The Real Strength

March 2022

I learnt a long time ago that you can never control what other people do but you can control how you react and respond. And there was never any written rule to say that you can't compose yourself before you respond; That you can't stop and take a breath first. I'm not saying to not deal with things that come up, especially the uncomfortable ones, but I am saying that responding on the impulse isn't always a good idea.

But then there's something about being a nice person, that makes other people feel like they can take advantage of you, or that you'll just be a pushover... That they can just behave rudely and get away with it, because well, you're nice.

But guess what? Behind every smile is a story. And behind some of the biggest smiles are the strongest souls.

You know the ones that I'm talking about. The ones that have gone through hell and back. The ones that have fought the biggest demons possible and come out the other side, somewhat bruised and battered, but still standing tall, ready for the next day.

It's why I never like to assume anything about anyone. However, I'm human, so of course I'll make judgements on first impressions - it's hard not to. But I also know that it's normal for most people to have an "image" to maintain, whether they're aware of it or not, so whether consciously or not, they'll only show you the sides that they want you to see. And this is where it gets interesting...

Because the ones with the biggest battle scars are usually the ones that have the biggest smiles and appear the strongest, and are generally the kindest. Because we know what hard really is. We know what doing it alone really means. We done it all and then some, and we don't want others to feel anywhere near as lost or broken as we ever did. And because of all of that, we're grateful for all the every day little things. And that's one of the main reasons that we smile.

We're the ones that found our strength in our foundations and when our foundations felt a little unstable, we tended to them, fixed them and stablised them for future growth. And whilst we were fixing our foundations we built up some pretty sturdy walls too. Walls that in some cases, we made sure were impenetrable.

So it irks me when people think that they can take advantage of the kindness of another person. That there can be people out there that choose to be cruel and unkind instead of nice. I'd like to think that it's because they haven't fully healed themselves, but I don't want to give them excuses for their poor behaviour; I'm sure they were all raised better than that.

It's possibly more frustrating when it's assumed that if you're nice, you can be walked all over and treated poorly, just because you're well, nice. And nice people always hang around, right? Wrong. There's a limit to the niceness that goes out before we reel it in. There's a limit to how many chances we give before we shut it all down and you see a side of us that you'll wish you didn't. And we're not the ones to tell you how long it'll be until then. We're the ones that just give you the rope and see what you do with it.

A smart person will use it to reel us in and bring us closer... maybe even use it to break down some of our walls. The silly one will just use it to hang themselves. It's just a matter of time and you usually don't have to wait long.

But I guess that's where the real strength of a person comes in. The silent strength. The unsaid strength. The inner strength that allows a person to pick themselves back up after every misstep, stumble or fall. The strength to keep going no matter what. The strength to keep on smiling, pushing past anything else going on and to see the silver lining in everything. The strength not to ramble on about the details to anyone, but to just shut the door and walk away.

Because as much as I'd like to see the good in everyone, not everyone is worthy of something good.

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A Beautiful Soul Shines The BrightestDo what works for youBe gratefulHarness the power withinDo it your wayBe fair. just and true to you