What Would Life Be Like If I Didn’t Have To Be The Strong One?

What would life be like if I didn’t have to be the strong one?

I have lived my life being “strong”, not letting anything beat me, not being weak, and not giving in. I have fought through battles, at least from my point of view, and soldiered on. Nothing has ever gotten me completely down, at least not so down that I couldn’t somehow get back up. I know I’ve been lucky, but I’ve also been certain that my strength has protected and saved me.

My mother says it’s like I was born with a steel rod up my spine, something that kept me solid and tough. Even as a child I managed through. Life could come at me, but nothing could break me. I always was, and am, a survivor. Because I always was, and am, strong. That’s what I’ve believed. That’s the story I used to define myself, and my childhood: to define what had worked for me and how I still needed to approach my life.

But I’m beginning to question that story. I’m beginning to question my definition of how I made it through my childhood and I’m beginning to question my definition of strength. I’m definitely beginning to question the way I need to be now. Maybe I don’t need to be strong, at least not that kind of strong? Maybe that works against me, at least sometimes, by making me too rigid, too determined, and too unwilling to ask for help. And maybe it wasn’t my strength and my soldiering and my ability to withstand anything that got me through. Maybe I just got through. Maybe it was luck, or the help of others, or grace. Maybe I was protected and held safe by the goodness of the universe. Maybe I was loved more than I thought I was loved. Maybe I had love inside me, instead of the steel rod. Maybe I have that now?

It doesn’t matter what it was that allowed me to get to where I am today. What matters is that I’ve decided I don’t need to keep trying to be “strong.” At least not that kind of strong. I like being physically strong. I like that I lift weights, that people stare at my biceps, that my daughter’s roommate described me as “a bad ass”. I like that a lot. But I don’t think I have to keep being the kind of strong that believes it has to suffer through anything and everything – without help, without rest, without admitting it’s hard. I don’t need to be that kind of strong anymore. I think I can choose the easier route sometimes, that I can admit things are tough for me, and that I can ask for support and lean on others.

What would life be like if I didn’t have to be the strong one? It would be glorious. It will be glorious.



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About the Author | Lisa Kohn

Lisa Kohn is the author of a memoir, To the Moon and Back, due out September 18, 2018, that chronicles her childhood – growing up in the East Village of New York City in the 1970s and in the Unification Church (the Moonies). Lisa writes of her recovery from the emotional abuse and abandonment she faced, and her now life of hope as a thriving and happy mom, wife, and leadership consultant and coach. You can read more at her website, www.lisakohnwrites.com, where you can also download the first chapter of her book.

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1 comment to "What Would Life Be Like If I Didn’t Have To Be The Strong One?"

  • Debbie

    What will that glorious life be?

    If you are not the strong one taking the leadership role to make sure there is no failure — you give someone else the opportunity to lead, to own, to feel you supporting them. You give yourself the opportunity to be the follower, to “not” make the decisions, to “not” get the kudos — to “yes” help someone else be that person, that strong one.

    If you are not the strong one, failure may happen. Failure might not be as disastrous as anticipated – and may lead to avenues not considered.