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Strong Enough To Be Weak

--by Jon Kabat-Zinn (May 14, 2001)


If you are a strong-willed and accomplished person, you may often give the impression that you are invulnerable to feeling inadequate or insecure or hurt. This can be very isolating and ultimately cause you and others great pain. Other people will be all too happy to take in that impression and to collude in propagating it by projecting a Rock of Gibraltar persona onto you which doesn't allow you to have any real feelings. In fact, you can all too easily get out of touch with your own true feelings behind intoxicated shield of image and aura. [...]

If you are truly strong, there is little need to emphasize it to yourself or to others. Best to take another track entirely and direct your attention where you fear most to look. You can do this by simply allowing yourself to feel, even to cry, to not have opinions about everything, to not appear invincible or unfeeling to others, but instead to be in touch with and appropriately open about your feelings. What looks like weakness is actually where strength lies. And what looks like strength is often weakness, and attempt to cover up fear; this is an act or a facade, however convincing it might appear to others or even to yourself.

-- Jon Kabat-Zinn
Author of 'Wherever You Go, There You Are"


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