So last week I had a post on the perception and importance given to physical strength. Much of that was in keeping with the theme of my blog: the bane of being skinny!
And that is just one dimension of strength. Towards the end of that post I alluded to another ambit of strength – the invisible, subtle yet according to me definitely the most critical form. And it’s this kind of strength that’s ensured I have a more holistic outlook towards the world around me.
This is the exact reason why I can say that:
I am strong because I am vulnerable
Seems like an antithesis right: I am strong because I am vulnerable?
There is something alluring about allowing yourself to feel vulnerable. To stand there bare to the bone and admit that yes this is who I am, this is how I feel and I feel okay about it. It requires a helluva lot of strength. More so because each one of us is socialized into pulling off the look where everybody says they’re fine!
At the end of the day, irrespective of who you are, the position you hold/status you occupy, gender you belong to, age group you are in etc etc etc there’s a certain threshold – and then the dam bursts (which turns out to be a bigger mess to deal with than admitting that you are susceptible). How else are you going to let any form of help come in otherwise?
And no, this doesn’t in the least mean you can go around and be a damsel or dud(e) in distress all the time with all the people. That’ll be you being a douche with an extremist view.
I held on to my illusion of being invincible until very recently. And then just this realization and the fact that there is a certain charm to being open and exposing yourself, getting off the pedestal you might have found yourself on, made it possible (I wouldn’t say easy) for me to consider my own vulnerabilities. I’ve allowed myself to be vulnerable even with people I don’t know through writing my blogs, penning thoughts however raw and unformatted they may seem and risking the perceptions that might come with that by sharing it with the rest of the world, undauntedly.
I am strong because I don’t judge
It’s linked with admitting to being vulnerable and prone to failing, being scared, being alone among many other things – because this is exactly what we have been told never to say. Baring yourself is only healthy if you’re not judging – not judging yourself first. One cannot walk the planet expecting to be empathized with when one isn’t free from their own judgment.
When I spoke of risking myself to the perceptions that arise from people because I admit to my vulnerabilities through my writing, it meant that I’ve taken that first step to not judge the person I am.
It helps me not to judge people in return – even the ones who may be judging me. So I observe i.e. watch as I’m being judged for being idiosyncratic! It’s eye-opening in that I find I have developed the ability to not take another’s judgment to heart but learn more about people I surround myself with.
I am strong because I choose to be me
Yep! It is a choice that has to be exercised.
Here again there’s the whole socialization process to figure out and consider. So, if you’re not ready or unwilling to risk knowing what comes from your own vulnerabilities and being non-judgmental, I don’t think you’re choosing to be yourself (baggage and everything included).
Now agreed that at the core you are the sort who’d want to live in your PJs 24*7 365 days of the year and do absofrigginlutely nothing – and that this to you is being yourself where you don’t judge yourself. So for you it’s safe to say that ‘being yourself’ is the worst thing anyone could have told you!
On the other hand, some of us as we evolve retain just one version of ourselves while we hone and develop many different levels that enrich who we are.
I am strong because I don’t take people or myself too seriously
That is, I can laugh at myself and I can laugh with people (not at them). The absurdity and the irony we find ourselves surrounded by give us enough to realize that life indeed is too short to be taken seriously – no one comes out alive any way.
I’ve found that humour helps me be open and accepting, live the moment without expectations and yet be mindful. skinnygenus was the first step in the direction for me – I turned my woes into a source of entertainment, not just for me but even those reading about it. The blog hits (1900 all time history pageviews) , significant readership/audience from across the globe (including USA, Russia, Germany, China, Ukraine, Bulgaria) has been rather exciting for me to see.
I learned to laugh at my quirks and that’s taught me how not to get offended anymore anytime a reference is being made to my not-so-ampleness. And I’ve extended this to the way I can cope and deal with many other bizarre occurrences as well without losing my mind.
I am strong because I am work in progress
And yeah, above all I am strong because I am work in progress. And strength to me is no more about how well I can hide the pain. I am still learning – what my frailties are, how I can take them in my stride firstly by not denying their existence and topping all of it with a dash of sass!
And even though I have laid out some of my attributes that have helped me learn about my own strengths I still have to grapple with this one unresolved issue - I’m vulnerable because I am strong! I’ve been told I make it seem like I have it all too easy…