All my life I've been told I am strong emotionally. When I'm sick I'm expected to keep on working. When I'm grieving, I'm expected to remain strong and carry on. When I'm sad I'm expected to keep a strong upper lip. But inside I don't feel so strong sometimes and I wish people would understand that I might need someone to lean on occasionally. When my husband's father died I was the strong one who had to take over. When my parents died, I still had to be the strong one who had to take over. Just because I'm strong and I don't let life sucker-punch me into submission doesn't mean the punch hurt any less or their pain is any more valid.
On the other hand, I'm ashamed to admit that I don't have enough compassion for those who show absolutely no strength and tend to let hurts from years past cripple them from taking responsibility for their own happiness today. It can't always be the fault of that person or that circumstance. Sometimes you do have to get over it and take responsibility for your own actions and reactions.