Staying Strong

When going through difficulties, we seem to always hear someone tell us to “stay strong.” When this is said, it seems to translate into: “grit your teeth, stuff your emotions, and get on with life.” While there is value in being encouraged to keep going and not give up, this way of thinking can be problematic.

We need time to process our emotions and listen to our inner voices. By listening to our vulnerabilities, our disappointments and anxieties, we provide a safe space for those hurt parts of ourselves to begin to heal. There is little actual strength in avoiding a problem and temporarily escaping from pain. True strength surfaces when we are willing to face discomfort and experience what our emotions can show us about ourselves and our experiences. By doing this work of allowing ourselves to actually feel our feelings, we can heal instead of putting those problems off until later.

So let me encourage you to take some time when you are able and listen what your emotions may be telling you. This won’t happen all at once and it’s not something you ever really finish with. Over time, though, you may find that some feelings that once caused you great difficulty are now much less dangerous. You may find you are stronger than you thought.