We live in a world where we are constantly told to ‘be strong’ so it is inevitable that at times when we don’t feel strong, we feel we are failing.
The best advice I was given during this journey was to acknowledge my emotions and release them. It is so important to allow yourself to feel the emotions, feel vulnerable and allow yourself to grieve however you need. If you feel like crying then cry, if you want to be silent then be silent, just do what feels right for you and do it with pride. True strength is being true to yourself, acknowledging your emotions and releasing them.
I’m not really sure what societies perception of ‘being strong’ really is. Is it pretending you are ok when you aren’t. Is it keeping a brave face in public to avoid people from feeling awkward around you. Is it never crying and always holding it together even when you feel like you are falling apart. Is it being anything but true to yourself to create an acceptable public appearance to avoid having to be viewed as failing. For me being strong is about staying true to yourself, allowing yourself the honesty you need to embrace your journey. It’s crying when you feel like you need to cry, it’s retreating when you don’t feel up to being social, it’s protecting yourself in order to heal.
Being truly strong is often phrased as ‘being a bit selfish’ but are you really being selfish by allowing yourself to be human. It’s perfectly acceptable to take time to allow yourself to heal and not be ‘selfish’
Selfish - (of a person, action, or motive) lacking consideration for other people; concerned chiefly with one's own personal profit or pleasure.
For many years I was a ‘yes’ person, I went along with plans and ideas because I didn’t really know who I was. I met some great people along the way and had some amazing experiences but was I always serving myself well... No!
This last two years have made me more aware of who I am and part of that is knowing that it is OK to allow my emotions to roll. It is understanding that I don’t need approval or validation for how I am feeling because it’s how I am feeling, if I’m feeling it then that’s my perception. It’s not living a life aiming to ‘be strong’ in societies eyes, it’s living a life aiming to be strong in my own eyes. We don’t know what the next person is dealing with so how can we judge a persons strength.
I have no doubt that anybody going through miscarriage or infertility are incredibly strong people. I have no doubt people grieving any loss are incredibly strong people. We are all strong people for getting up everyday and fighting our demons no matter what they are. Before you next tell someone to ‘be strong’ just consider how much strength and hard work you are actually brushing off, that they are already doing.
Feel the emotion but don’t become the emotion. Witness it. Allow it. Release it
~ Crystal Andrus