Strong Weak or Complete.
Are you Strong, Weak or Complete ?
For most people, being labelled as strong means that you constantly survive life’s blows. That you can thrive despite the odds. And it seems there are many benefits in our society for those labelled ‘Strong’.
Strong is also often used as a badge that people use to describe themselves, through a mantra or self affirmation. We hope the more we say it and the more others embrace it, then it will become true.
The problems with such labels is that they describe just one aspect of ourselves, as if one aspect can define who we are. “I am strong”. We are of course very complex creatures, with many different sides to our personality. It is quite impossible to take just one of these and say ” I am the kind of person who……”
I think our perceptions of the benefits in being labeled strong, are based on two beliefs that are held high in our culture.
The first assumption is that that Strong is positive and Weak is negative. That the strong survive and the weak perish. I suspect that the view has been in part fuelled by the Hollywood film industry. But also the premise that to have more is good, and to fight others and win is even better.
The second assumption is that life is something to be fought and gained, rather than an experience to be had and enjoyed. No matter what feel you gain in life, all the things you fight for are going to be taken away from you, one way or another. And a lot of striving is going to be a waste of effort.
I think a better approach is to acknowledge that we are all both weak and strong. and both makes us ‘complete’. I really don’t want to rid myself of weakness. It my weakness that forces me to acknowledge that I am Human, it keeps me humble and level headed. Its my weakness that helps me to understand others. Because I too have to deal with the imperfection of the Human condition. Its my weakness that forces me to reach out to others, and find happiness in the balance that others bring in life.
To be strong all the time means I have to carry a heavy shield and cumbersome armour. I need to feel as though I have to defend myself. It is tiresome and exhausting. And when my armour fails, i feel disappointed and defeated. Don’t get me wrong. My armours Good when i need it, but it does so get in the way.
My weakness and vulnerabilities are truly amazing. They enable me to form rich and deep connection with others. It makes others feel trusted and important.
Of course it is inappropriate and harmful to be always weak just as it is always strong. But in all things in life there is a balance. And that balance is what I aim for. To recognise that I need all parts of myself to be truly happy in life.
Life is not happening to me, its happening for me.