The Strength To Show Weakness

This post was inspired by another blogger’s post.

(And I accidentally deleted half of when I tried to put the rest as “more reading”)

It feels like we get trained these days to “never show our hurt”. We’re taught to bottle it up and contain ourself.  Here in Japan this is especially true.

At my friend’s church, they had a “share your feelings” session once. She was the only of two westerners. Everyone else was Japanese.  One by one they stood up and shared something positive.

Finally, it was her turn and she shared about a recent misfortune in her life. The story was meant to be uplifting, how she overcome her tragedy and become stronger for it.  However, the preacher finally stopped her mid-story and asked her “why share that? Do you want us to feel sad for you?”

She sat down in embarrassment and the rest continued to share their “positive” stories.

I’ve come across this view several times in Japan that sharing your “misfortune” even in a close friendship is “selfish”.  I disagree.

In the west, I see more and more the view that you must not show “weakness” at all out of fearing of being seen as “vulnerable” and “weak”.

The whole world demands we bottle up the “bad” stuff, but then says “tell me about yourself” when really it’s “tell me about yourself — good stuff only”.

My life is not a fairy tale.  I can’t tell you about me without mentioning what I have overcome and am still overcoming.

Sometimes I do cry.

Sometimes I am weak.

That does not mean I’m a “weak” person because I show that weakness.

I believe in stoicism and reservation.

That said I don’t believe in bottling it up.  It needs to be let out.  I need to let myself be weak so that I can be strong again.

Sometimes, while hiking in the woods, I cry against my husband’s shoulder as we grief for the child we lost and the children we may never have.

We need to let the sorrow out or it’ll consume us whole.


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When I was in my twenties, I moved to Japan and met a man there. We embarked on our adventure through life and love. I have lived with him in Japan ever since. We want to start a family, but that is proving difficult. I struggle with infertility. We almost had a child, but that ended in tragedy. Now we enjoy each day and hope that one day we'll hear the pitter-patter of little feet and the bubbly laughter of a child. In the meantime, I enjoy writing, love, studying, traveling, and working. These posts are my thoughts and stories of my life here.

6 thoughts on “The Strength To Show Weakness”

  1. That’s so true and I can relate so much!! Most people feel very uncomfortable when we share anything if not positive. But living like that, trying to bottle all up is so all-consuming and unhealthy. No wonder drug use is on the rise, people need to escape their own sadness any way they can. I think we can do better than that. Just being there, listening and offering a hug makes a world of difference to someone in pain and it doesn’t take much.
    I’m so sorry for your loss. I’ve lost babies too and I know how heartbreaking it feels and how misunderstood it is. Cry anytime you feel the need. That does not make you weak, it makes you human. Hugs

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Yes I absolutely agree! Blotting it all up is the worst you can do. It can be difficult finding people to share your sad thoughts with though… Sometimes I worry that if I talk to much about how hard things are to my friends, they might find meeting me brings them down, so I do try to put a positive spin on things and limit how much I talk about sad things… With my husband I can normally be myself more. It’s hard finding that balance with friends where you share to get support but not too much.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s very true.

      It’s definitely hard to find people who can handle sad things.

      It makes it every hard to be real with people when we’re limited to only “happy things”.

      I’m glad you have your husband that you can share with. It’s hard having to worry about balancing our happy and sad.

      It’s so rough, isn’t it? :/


  3. I agree with this completely. I actually go to a support group once a week for woman who are struggling to conceive. We not only talk about ways we can put that right but also how we can cope if it isn’t happening. The best thing about it though is that we have a safe environment in which to empty our emotional buckets. We feel much better when we leave that room.


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