Disclaimer: I am not a licensed therapist. While I do have a masters degree in counseling, the purpose of this blog is not to provide counseling. The purpose of this blog is to offer tips to deal with the frustrations of life. When it comes to your mental health, please seek professional counsel if you feel necessary.
Did you read it? I sure hope so because it’s the basis of my blog this week. This is a random yet powerful post I found floating around my personal Facebook page. I read it and thought to myself: this right here *smh* this is powerful. It got me to thinking about what we mean when we say women are incredibly strong.
Traditionally, we define strength by what we have endured or what we have been able to bounce back from. This can be expressed in multiple ways. For instance, if you have ever been lied on by someone close, but still managed to maintain great personal relationships, you may be deemed as strong. If you can lift 50lb weights in the gym, you may be considered strong. You may even be considered strong if you can take a lick and keep ticking.
All of these are appropriate interpretations/ expressions of strength. So what exactly makes this post valid and problematic?
It is the idea that for women, strength is expressed through mental and emotional abuse. The very idea that we are only complimented about our strength after we have endured trauma is very problematic. This idea teaches us the very thing this post warns about.
You are not just strong because you have endured pain. You are strong for a many different reasons. I want to change the conversation by giving you 3 reasons you are strong that don’t include emotional or mental pain.
- You are you. There is strength in being yourself. Nobody else can be you better than you can. In a world where social media has taken over, the strongest people know how to authentically be themselves. I believe you are in that number.
- You are have boundaries. You are a firm believer in guarding your “yes” and standing firm on your “no”. It takes strength to keep your word when the pressures of life and society come your way. But you are unshakeable and immovable always abounding in the grace of your no.
- You love yourself: Between the rise of the IG model, the praise of the big booty, and the desire of a small waist, it can be difficult to love yourself. Commercials, TV, pictures, and social media post often tell us whats wrong with us while offering solutions to fix it. But you have found a way to silence the noise and love yourself anyway. I commend you for it.
If you don’t fit into one of those categories, or you are struggling with one of those areas, I encourage you to allow God to search your heart and burn up every lie. I know traditionally we separate Jesus and Therapy, but not here. The bible says that faith without works is dead (James 2:26). You not only have to believe He can, but you must commit to the process to see it come to pass.
Next week I’ll be talking about dealing with self-defeating thoughts. I’ll be providing both practical and spiritual tips on how to free your mind and clean your thoughts.
Shanithia “HyQuality” Kendrick