On Being Both Soft-Hearted and Strong

By Marie Allred - August 24, 2018



It's okay to be soft. You can be strong in different ways, the ways that truly count. You don't have to be hardened and stoic. There is a difference between being strong and being callous.

We have always lived in a society that worshipped heroes. Worshiped them for their bravery and their strength and their resilience. And now we live in a time where the push for heroes, especially for strong female ones is so great that lately, I've begun to consider what exactly makes them so appealing to us, and what exactly does it mean to be strong?

I've been thinking a lot lately about who I am and my identity as a strong woman. I have caught myself being negative and disrespectful to myself. I have caught myself thinking you stupid softie, or stop crying you weakling and other things along those lines. So, how often do the rest of us tell ourselves these same things? And why? Why do we equate weakness with caring, or weakness with being soft-hearted?

Your heart is the strongest part of you. On a metaphorical and a physical level. It pumps blood through your body every second, of every hour of every day from the day you are born to the day you die, ceaselessly. It wants you to survive, and it fights for you. Your metaphorical heart is just the same. It wants you to open up to others, it wants you to be sympathetic and kind. A soft heart is a sign of strength, not weakness. Tears may feel like a weakness but they are not. Tears mean that you are strong enough to care deeply and freely about something. Tears mean that you have a soft heart and that’s okay. It takes some time to get used to, but tears are not something to be ashamed of, they are something to accept and embrace.

I really want to drive home the idea of soft-heartedness. I want to promise you that it’s okay to be soft. You are not weak for caring, or crying or hurting or loving. You are enough. This I can promise you. This I do promise you.

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