A man is born gentle and weak. 

At his death he is hard and stiff. 

Green plants are tender and filled with sap. At their death, they are withered and dry. 

Therefore, the stuff and unbending is the disciple of death;

The gentle and yielding is the disciple of life. 

Thus an army without flexibility never winds a battle. 

A tree that is unbending is easily broken. 

The hard and strong will fall;

The soft and weak will overcome. 

--Lao Tzu

This becomes a testament to the importance of vulnerability, the importance of being connected with the present, of essentially "going with the flow".

Often those of us who struggle mentally are praised for being so "strong", so "resilient" to the things we go through, and often those who are the strongest of us are the ones suffering greatly, more so than those giving us the "compliment" may actually perceive. It takes much more energy to build (and maintain) walls than it does to crumble under the force. 

There's this odd sentiment among people that you always have to "fight back". That the prospect of being vulnerable leaves one open for attack  . . . 

Attack from? 

They try and tell us we're paranoid. 

If you believe you'll be attacked, you will be attacked. By your own mind. 

Being rigid in mind and body leaves you trapped, encased in your own personal hell. Being flexible in mind and agile in body leaves you, well, like this: the-matrix-billboard

If you're flexible in mind and body, you'll learn to absorb different forces and push them back as a reflex. If you're stiff and rigid, what hits you will bounce off . . . until the force is large enough and breaks you. 

There's nothing wrong with struggling. There's nothing wrong with feeling weakened. There's nothing wrong with being flimsy or flexible or agile. There's nothing wrong with vulnerability.

There's something wrong with thinking you can absolutely handle everything thrown at you with a smile on your face. There's something wrong with thinking being "strong" means "being closed". There's something wrong with thinking resiliency is the ability to turn every negative into a positive--particularly, when you turn that negative into a positive without ever focusing on, and growing from, that negative. 

There's something wrong with the idea that focusing upon negativity drives you downward. Dwelling on the negative, perhaps, but focusing upon it for the purpose of confrontation, for the purpose of learning, is how a negative makes a transformation into a positive. Recognizing a negative, saying "oh well", then "finding" a positive within the negative does nothing but allow you to ignore the feelings of the negative. If you can't embrace negativity, what makes you think you can embrace positivity? They're one in the same. 

You can't experience positivity without having ever experienced negativity. And Visa Versa. It's the concept of Yin-Yang: love cannot exist without hate, evil cannot exist without good, and you could never tell one from the other if you have never experienced both. Hence interconnection. 

I can preach twenty four hours, seven days a week. Some people with disagree, some people will agree, other's won't understand what the hell is wrong with me, and really none of it matters. Everyone has their way of life and I respect that. However, I've seen the damage of being this kind of "resilient", of being this kind of "Strong", and it's done nothing but create more mental strain than any of my apparent "illnesses" could.

Life is a cycle. Pain is a cycle. We don't categorize death into right or wrong, than why do we categorize people's pain as such? Why is one type of pain disordered and wrong, but another average and understandable?

HINT: Everything on earth is understandable if you take the time to climb off your high horse and understand it.

Published by Alishia Dauterive