A recent theme and discussion that has emerged in my interactions is this concept of being able to live a life that is soft and strong. There can be many interpretations of what this means, however, I simply believe that a soft and strong life means a life that is balanced. When you think about the words soft and strong, these can be complete opposite. Sometimes we think opposites cannot co-exist, however, we need such complimentary qualities to bring a balance to our lives. I attempt to embrace a softness and a strength within my life. This is not easy to do, because we have learned that being strong is the only option. We are told to be strong, handle things on our own, and never let anyone know your weaknesses. I believe this is a false message we have received which has negative effects on us. Due to this expectation to always be strong, it is imperative that we begin to acknowledge the importance of living soft AND strong. I relate softness to openness. We cannot always be strong and hard because we then shut out those around us. We put walls up and refuse help when needed. When we have an openness, or softness, we invite opportunities to authentically connect with others. This requires self-reflection, and truly asking ourselves; is my strength over-powering my softness? Because true strength is also the ability to be soft. True strength is living your life boldly and fearlessly, while also being able to acknowledge times you are unable to be strong. I embrace my strength, while also embracing my soft side; and I encourage you to do the same. Embracing both of these qualities allows us to be who we truly; an individual with multiple parts. Strong, soft, and authentic.