Being strong doesn’t mean that you are emotionless. It doesn’t mean that you have never cried over a commercial or a failed relationship. It doesn’t mean that you have never gotten teary eyed over something silly before. It doesn’t mean that you are always stone-faced, stoic.
Being strong means that you keep in touch with your emotions. That you are honest about how you feel instead of lying to yourself. That you let it all out instead of letting your fear and hurt and anger build up inside of you until you burst.
Being strong means that after you are finished crying, after it is all released from your system, you are able to wipe off your face and go back to doing whatever needs to get done that day. It means that you don’t allow your tears to last forever, that you push past your sadness to let the happiness in again.
Being strong doesn’t mean that you have never had days where you felt worn out, where you just wanted to sleep until the entire week was over with already. It doesn’t mean that you feel empowered every time you wake up, every time you look in the mirror.
Being strong means that there are days when you would rather stay in bed, but you pull yourself up and start your day anyway. It means that there are times when you wish you could lock yourself away and not talk to anyone, but you are still nice to the customers that walk into work and the friends who are thoughtful enough to text you.
Being strong doesn’t mean that you have never had doubts about whether or not you are good enough, whether or not you are going to succeed, whether or not it is all worth it. It doesn’t mean that you have unwavering faith in yourself.
It means that you continue on, despite those doubts. It means that you keep moving along, even when everything feels hopeless. It means that you never give up on your dreams, on your future, on yourself. It means that you keep chugging along, even through the worst days of your life.
Being strong doesn’t mean that you can handle anything that the world throws at you by yourself, without any outside help. It doesn’t mean that you never need a hug or a hand. It doesn’t mean that you have to go it alone.
It means that you are smart enough to analyze your situation and decide if you can handle something by yourself or if you should ask for assistance. It means you’ll make a phone call when you are confused instead of being stubborn and trying to survive on your own.
Being strong doesn’t mean that your feelings never get hurt. That nasty words have no impact on you. That you don’t care about anyone else’s opinions.
Being strong means that, despite all of the mean things people have said about you, you keep your head held high. You keep your dignity and your temper. And most importantly, you keep your self-respect.