There is something so imperative, so crucial about strength to me.
I have to be the strong one.
I have to endure things for others that they themselves cannot seem to handle at that moment.
In that split second when your world is falling apart, when your heart is breaking, when you're at the very end of your rope, I have to be there.
I have to be strong for you.
If I love you, I carry stuff for you. It's the way I've always been, and I can't see myself changing any time soon.
But. I gotta be honest.
I'm a coward.
Behind this mask of strength and endurance, I'm shaking like a frightened puppy during a thunderstorm.
On the outside, I'm calm and put-together, focused entirely on making sure that you are alright and that you know that you have someone to lean on during this -- the darkest moment of your life.
But inside, I'm screaming. My mind is going a hundred miles a minute, throwing things together and tossing them out in a split second. Nothing makes sense. I have to keep telling myself...
...over and over and over again...
breathe. breathe. breathe.
Rain pelts my face, blinding me, mixing with my tears of sorrow, frustration, and guilt. The laughter of my own cowardice is shrieking in my ears.
"Afraid. You're afraid. Coward."
I have to allow myself to shut my eyes, wrap my arms around you, and lock out my fears.
Inside, I'm on my knees, eyes closed, hands raised as high as they can go.
I'm screaming at the top of my lungs to the thundering skies...
"TAKE THIS, JESUS! I'M NOT STRONG ENOUGH!!! I NEED YOU!"
And then, He comes for me.
In my mind, Jesus has a roll of duct tape and a warm blanket.
The duct tape is for Satan's mouth, to keep the lies away.
The blanket is for my heart.
And for yours.