For me, the key thing is accepting that
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For me, the key thing is accepting that you don't need to be strong ALL of the time....or even that appearing outwardly strong all of the time is not necessarily something to aspire to. There's a song in the charts here at the moment by Jessie J, and there's one line in it that gets me every time I hear it, when she sings "it's okay not to be okay" And accepting that, for me, is where the true strength lies! I can remember my therapist saying I was selfish for never sharing my troubles and never letting anyone see that I wasn't okay - it totally floored me, as I believed that I concealed those things to be kind to my friends because I would've felt selfish putting upon them, and by bringing doom and gloom to what should be a happy meeting - selfish for expecting someone to care about me. But the way she explained it to me was that I was letting them give 100% of themselves to me, and I was only giving 50% back in return; that they did care about me whether I wanted them to or not, and I was being ungrateful in holding them at arms length and not trusting them with my feelings when they trusted me implicitly with theirs. And so I try now to let them see how vulnerable I am at times, and I feel strong because of that! Only last week I was collecting my youngest from kindergarten, and I saw my friend who is a teacher at the school next door...usually we would just wave and say hello, but this time she excused herself from her colleague and said "just one minute..." and came running across the playground, massive smile, and literally jumped on me and threw her arms around me like she hadn't seen me for years (it was prob about 2 weeks)....and d'you know, it felt amazing! And I put it down to letting people see the "whole me" now, as I feel so many of my friendships have improved recently. Sorry that was slightly tangential!