Strength and Courage, The Tears behind a Smile / Fuerza Y Coraje, Las Lágrimas Detrás de Una Sonrisa

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Everyone wants to be strong.
Few, however, realize that being strong hurts. You become strong when you persist and you learn, and you don’t refuse to accept the lessons pain can teach you. You become strong under pressure. You long to feel weak and have someone tell you it’ll be fine, that it’ll work out, that you’re not alone. But once you are labeled as strong, not many think you need to rest, to take a break from the stress of being a rock for all those around you. It becomes a poisoned dart. It defines what others expect of you.
Strength is a virtue that can be cultivated. Often, strong people are so because they found themselves in a situation in which they took the right path, which many times is not the easy one. They cried themselves to sleep, got up and started going again, because that’s what you do: you move on.
It is quite common to praise the value of holding on, bearing the pain and not giving up. Although this is undoubtedly true, there is also strength in knowing when and how to let go. The difference between the two is that holding on is a question of resistance while letting go requires wisdom and courage. It is riskier, and has no guarantees. Staying put guarantees you at least that you’ll know the depth of your misery.
Never underestimate the pain of the strong because it is forged in silence and with a smile, in solitude. And don’t try to test someone’s strength just to see how much they can endure.
Think this: would you test someone’s weakness just to see how weak they are?
If you could look inside a strong person’s heart, you’d see the crisscrossed scars, the scabs and the pain still seeping from more recent wounds.
If you could understand the strength of a smile born of a sleepless night, you’d see the courage and integrity they draw upon to not lash out at someone, even if your every cell aches for it.
If you knew how much pain goes into making a decision that you are sure could have been avoided.
Maybe you’d have a sliver of sympathy for that soul.
Maybe you’d gasp as you glimpse the Truth behind the mask of self-sufficiency.
Maybe you’d learn that nobody can be a hero for someone who doesn’t want to be saved.
Maybe you’d shiver at the unbearable solitude of taking a step away from the comfort of conventionality, knowing you might never find your way back.
Maybe, just maybe, you’d feel the weight of the world on your shoulders and want to leave it behind for an instant.
Maybe you’d discover there’s strength in a goodbye.
-/-
Todos quieren ser fuertes.
Pocos, sin embargo, se dan cuenta de que ser fuerte duele. Te haces fuerte cuando persistes y aprendes, y cuando no rechazas aprender las lecciones que te da el dolor. Te conviertes en fuerte bajo presión. Anhelas sentirte débil y que alguien te diga que todo va a salir bien, que no estas sola. Pero una vez que te etiquetan como fuerte, no muchos creen que necesites descansar, que necesites un respiro de ser el ancla de todos los que te rodean.Se convierte en un dardo envenenado. Define lo que los demás esperan de tí.
La fortaleza es una virtud que se puede cultivar. A menudo, la gente fuerte lo es porque se encontraron en una situación en la que tomaron la decisión correcta, que no la fácil. Se durmieron llorando, se levantaron y siguieron adelante, porque éso es lo que se hace: seguir.
Es común alabar el valor de resistir, aguantar el dolor y no rendirte. Aunque es indudablemente cierto que es importante, también hay fuerza en saber cuándo y cómo dejar ir las cosas. La diferencia entre ambas cosas es es que no rendirse es cuestión de presistencia, mientras dejar ir requiere sabiduría y valor. Entraña más riesgo y no tiene garantías. Quedarse quieto te garantiza que por lo menos sabrás cual es la razón de tu miseria.
Nunca subestimes el dolor de los fuertes porque se forja en silencio y con una sonrisa, en nsoledad. Y no pruebes la fuerza de alguien por ver cuanto pueden soportar.
Piensa ésto: ¿Probarías la debilidad de alguein solo por ver lo débiles que eran?
Si pudieras ver dentro del corazón de una persona fuerte, verías el mapa de cicatrices, las costras, el dolor rezumando de las heridas más recientes.
Si pudieras entender la fuerza de una sonrisa nacida de una noche sin sueño, verías el coraje y la integridad que invocaron para no ensañarse con otras personas, aunque cada célula de su cuerpo lo pida a gritos.
Si supieras cuánto dolor conlleva tomar una decisión que estás seguro que se podría haber evitado.
Quizá tendrías una migaja de simpatía por esa alma.
Quizá te quedarías sin aliento al contemplar la Verdad detrás de la máscara de autosuficiencia.
Quizá aprenderías que nadie puede ser un héroe para alguien que no quiere ser salvado.
Quizá temblarías con la insoportable soledad de alejarte del consuelo de la convencionalidad, sabiendo que tal vez nunca encontrarías el camino de vuelta.
Quizá, solo quizá, sentirías el peso del mundo sobre tus hombros y querrías dejarlo atrás por un instante.
Quizá descubrirías que hay fuerza en un adiós.

One thought on “Strength and Courage, The Tears behind a Smile / Fuerza Y Coraje, Las Lágrimas Detrás de Una Sonrisa

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  1. You said this much more eloquently than my irreverent verse. Basic human decency, the kind we both referenced, takes strength of character and resolve. How sad more people don’t see it as such. Perhaps that is the root of all the evil in the world–we’ve forgotten how to care about each other. Thank you for sharing.

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