I am increasingly getting ideas for blog posts by seeing what people are tying into their search engine that lands them on my blog. I find it fascinating to look at in general, but once in a while something catches my attention. Sometime after I wrote my I am not Weak post, someone found my blog by using “I am weak in every way” as search parameters.
I don’t know if this actually reflected that person’s mental state at the time. Maybe they were looking for something specific, maybe they were looking for song lyrics, but maybe they were not feeling very good about themselves and running a search related to that. I am going to write this assuming that it was the latter.
I want to talk about weakness a little bit. It’s such an insidious concept. The idea that I am weak seeps into my brain and becomes ridiculously difficult to dislodge. It seems to be part of an overall idea in my head that I am simply inadequate. That I am Not Good Enough; not as good as Everyone Else. Which is to say, I know what it is like to feel weak in every way. It is something that I struggle with more than I would like to admit.
There is something that I read about once, about how actually a lot of people out there struggle with feeling inadequate. Sad to say, it is, apparently, a fairly normal way to feel. One of the things that far too many people do is not actually compare themselves to those around them (not that you should be doing that). Instead, people create the idea of a person which is constructed out of the very best elements of the people around them. This imaginary person keeps an immaculate house, makes dinner from scratch every day, has amazingly behaved children or pets, is in a fabulous relationship, does all the crafts with a high degree of skill, is highly successful in their career and so on and so forth. I think you get the idea. I know I do this far too much. I feel inadequate because I am not living up to ALL of these rather lofty goals and ambitions. Yet in reality, most people only manage one or two of those things with a high degree of skill or success. That perfect person is entirely imaginary, and to hold ourselves to that standard is to set ourselves up for failure.
But as much as I try not to, I still do that. I think that I should have achieved [insert thing here] and I judge myself for my perceived failure to do so. I assume that I am wrong somehow to not have achieved various things, and that the only possible reason for my failure is that I must be weak. Because strong people manage to do everything, right?
Well, not really. People sometimes can put on a good face, but mostly people achieve what they achieve, and it just isn’t going to be everything. This is why I try to make an explicit point to remind myself of my strengths and accomplishments. I remind myself that the list of ALL THE THINGS is impossible, and I look at what I have done and what I am good at, and I try to feel good about it.
Which is not to say that this is easy to do. Sometimes I look at my accomplishments, but I don’t feel good about them. Sometimes I feel good about them, but still feel like the list should be longer. And sometimes I just can’t see them at all. Sometimes I am drowning in depression and just getting my head above the waters to take a breath is more than I can handle. Reminding myself of my awesomeitude is just not in the table at that point.
And you know what? That’s ok. It happens. It would be nice if it didn’t happen and maybe someday I will find a way to make it not happen anymore, but in the meantime it’s a thing I deal with here and there. I can either angst and agonize over the fact that sometimes I feel awful, or I can accept it when I can and leave my energy and attention for other things. So I choose to accept it. I am who I am.
And I am not weak.
And neither are you.