Recognizing and Supporting the Strong Woman

29 Apr

A woman was spending time with her family.  She looked perfect in her purple blouse and dark blue jeans.  Her long hair was recently straightened and her makeup was just right so that it showed off her natural beauty.  Someone cracked a joke and she laughed a hearty laugh.  While eating, she would stare off into space for a few seconds before returning her attention to her family.  She smiled often and easily.

Looking closer, her eyes were a little red and slightly puffy.  The tip of her nose was blushing just a bit.  It could have been allergies but there was something more.  It is recognizable to those who understand.  It can be seen in the eyes and felt in the soul.  She was hiding her pain.

The woman had recently been crying.  A fresh application of makeup covered the tear marks that left dewy paths down her cheeks.  It also hid the redness on her nose.  The makeup concealed the pain and sorrow.

She sat there and hid her suffering.  No one in her family noticed.  Why would they?  She was always the strong one.  They depended on her and leaned on her when they needed strength.  She was the one who always took care of other people.  Without hesitation, she made sacrifices for those she loved.  She accepted her role despite the consequences.

The strength of a woman is often unrecognized and imperceptible.  When all she wants to do is cry, she uses all her strength to force a smile.  She endures the tightness in her throat as she breathes, speaks, and laughs.  As her heart is breaking, she pushes herself through the grief.  She stands strong while offering her love, support, and guidance.  She bears the unbearable task of keeping it together so her world does not fall apart.

Do you know this woman?  I do!  I know a lot of women like this.  And sometimes this woman is me.

Here is what I believe: It’s great to be a strong woman but sometimes it’s even greater when you can allow someone else to be strong for you.

Ask a strong woman how she is (how she genuinely is) and wait for an honest reply.  I know I would appreciate the kind gesture.


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H. Hassenbein

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