Personal Strength is not an invitation to Doormatism!

Over the recent past, I’ve come across many people who have been taken for granted, misused, overlooked and just generally, been treated very badly (and sadly), and while one would naturally assume these people to be weaklings, they’re actually some of the strongest people I have ever known! 

It occurred to me that those who are emotionally strong, are always willing themselves to overlook being overlooked, and to move beyond the emotions caused by those who casually inflict their opinions, degradation and harsh words on them, thinking them “able to cope with it”, while they themselves are fully aware of the fact that they’re using these (once-) “strong people” as emotional punching bags and dumping zones.  And the strong ones? Well, they just keep braving on, maintaining a facade of nonchalance, while pining for a life in which they are protected, instead of protecting, a life in which they are comforted, rather than always comforting – and a life in which they can smile a true smile, not the smile expected to be there, ready to band-aid everyone else’s heart, mind, soul and conscience.

If the so-called “weak” were mindful of their destruction, they might realise that they claim their false sense of power from those who really are strong, but at the cost of the strong ones bearing the imposed roles of doormats – glorified or not!  Those same sad, seemingly-weak souls who make those 3AM calls because they’re sad about an argument at work, or something miniscule, don’t think twice about the effect on the person they’re constantly clinging to, for support, comfort or as an emotional dumping zone – only to forget their kindness once their own misery has started to fade.

But where the strong ones turn to, in their moment of distress, sadness or confusion? Certainly not to the people in their lives, for they won’t accept their pillar of strength crumbling, and would rather run a mile in the opposite direction at the first hint of an emotional fracture.

They turn to themselves – to self-heal, to attempt to replicate the empathy, sympathy and understanding constantly afforded to those around them, who are constantly in need – and often they self-heal in guilt – knowing that the consistent beeps from their mobile phones inches away are indicative of yet another one in need…while they try to mend themselves in order to mend others…

My take on this: If you’re a “weaker” person, be considerate of those who support you…by all means, turn to them in your hour (or 3) of need, but don’t assume they’re created to listen to the rehashing of every moment of anguish you’re experiencing, as they also have a life extending beyond you.

And to the strong ones, a wise man once said to me : In order to be of service to humanity, you need to nurture yourself first, as one who neglects to nourish themselves, has nothing to feed another from.  

Sometimes, a little bit of selfishness, can lead to prolonged selflessness…

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