People mean well when they say to "be strong." But there may be a time and place when it may be better to say, "You've been so strong for so long that it is ok not to be strong right now."
Some of us are very good at appearing strong at all times. The strong-appearing people are probably the ones to whom we say, "Be strong!" when times are tough, but those are instead maybe the very people to whom we should say the latter. Maybe they are the ones who actually need to be a little "weak" every now and then. Strong people are good at being strong. What they are not good at is being not strong.
So, maybe it would be more helpful for some people at some times to have their friend's or loved one's "permission" to be a little "weak" for awhile. Or maybe they could even use the encouragement for it, at least until their "strength" comes back.
Tonia's friend recently posted a saying about being "resilient." I really like that word! Having resilience is so much more important than strength, isn't it? Because frankly, sometimes we simply are not strong, physically, mentally. And sometimes we are "weak," physically, mentally. And that's ok. Not one of us can be strong all the time especially when times are hard.
But even when we are weak, we can still be resilient.
I always see the good in someone saying "be strong." They are offering comfort and hope. But it is my hope that when I get tired of being strong, I can be weak enough to say so, and that my loved ones and friends will not remind me to be strong. I hope instead my loved ones and friends will tell me that it's ok to not be strong. I hope they remind me that I can be "weak" and resilient at the same time, and that resilience is the more important of the two.
Be resilient, my friends.