Day 1 – Embracing all of yourself will lead to true strength

Day 1 of the June 2016 Challenge is indeed a challenge – for me, each year that I’ve been blessed with has brought a new thing I wish I’d known or heeded as a child/teenager. How do you decide which one is the most important, or would have helped you the most?

As a young child and all through my teens and early twenties, I never used tears to express any sort of distress – be it  physical or emotional. Come to think of it, I never expressed distress, period. Happiness and elation, yes. Even anger or irritation. But never distress. Nor sadness. I’ve always attributed this to two things: my unusually high threshold for pain, and my ability to seemingly brush things off and move on without any sort of emotional baggage.

What I had to learn the hard way is that bad things don’t disappear if you ignore them. They don’t disappear if you brush them off. They hide inside you and fester into insecurities that you will struggle to overcome as an adult, and that will affect your relationships with people.

All my life, I’ve had this idea of what strength was, and deluded myself into thinking I was a total bad-ass. But no person has an unlimited capacity, and I did eventually reach my limit. It broke me. And the journey of piecing myself back together has been the most difficult I have ever faced.

What I would tell my young self is this:
Everyone has strengths and weaknesses, and you would do well to discover what yours are as early as possible. However, it is not weakness to show vulnerability, or to express your needs, be it physical or emotional. Your being is made up of a physical and an emotional one, and you will only be a complete, strong person when you embrace both sides.

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