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So often, I see the world as far less vulnerable than I. Perhaps we are all guilty of this. I look before me and see the strength in strangers, ferocity in friends, and the might of the masses that I never see in myself.

A very dear friend once said to me, “Barb, you are stronger than you think you are.” Although in disbelief, the words struck me. Are we not all stronger than we think we are, and thus merely trapped in our own insecurities? If this is the case, then we really are all far more vulnerable than I have realized.

Do we not all feed on each other for the same affection and acceptance, even if we go about it in varying ways? Do we not all aspire to become a better version of ourselves, if not somewhat out of a dissatisfaction with where and who we are? Do we not all wish, and hope, and pray for something greater than ourselves or our current condition?

Those aspirations—those vulnerabilities—where we sense the softness in ourselves, are so tightly bundled and protected, and why? To protect our dreams as if eggshells about to be walked across by the masses who seem much stronger than ourselves? Yet we all have those eggshells. We all have those vulnerabilities. We all have those morsels of ourselves that we cherish and protect against…against what?

If we are all in the same boat, who and what are we protecting ourselves from? Are we protecting our dreams from those who seemingly have their dreams? Are we protecting our aspirations from those who have seemingly accomplished everything? Are we protecting our weaknesses from those who seem strong in the face of everything?

Those people are no different than you…no different than me. The person you encounter on the street is every bit as apprehensive and insecure as you are, in some unspoken way. No individual is inherently weaker or stronger than another. It is all perception.

Our hearts are all soft. Our dreams are all big. Our hopes are all high. Our aspirations are all great. Our need for affection is insatiable. Our longing to be understood is all the same.

So what of those wise words my friend once told me? I would like to amend them, as a reminder to myself and anyone else who may read this:

You are stronger than you think you are.
The world is just as vulnerable as you.
When in doubt of any of this, love.
Love truly. Love freely. Love unabashedly.

Tagged: humanity, love , strength

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