Vulnerability

Posted: August 24, 2014 in Uncategorized
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I’ve been listening to Brave by Sara Bareilles today, and it reminded of something I’ve been wanting to write about here.

The topic is vulnerability, and the courage to be vulnerable.

For a little background about me, I’ve been through a lot in my life. I will always remember in high school my therapist commenting that I had been through more than most of her adult clients. Part of that was two abusive relationships. Those, and a few other factors as well, led to me not letting myself get close to people for a long time. I didn’t want to get too close, didn’t want to let people in, or let them see too much of me. I had walls built up to stay between me and other people, in order to avoid being hurt again.

It took a long time to deal with that fear, and to start feeling like I could let myself trust people again. This past year I had one friend in particular I got very close to, I let myself trust him, and open up to him. Then, early this summer, he betrayed that trust, he lied to me, he said a lot of things to me directly that hurt me, and him and a lot of other “friends” have said a lot of things behind my back as well. And one thought I had after this was that I should never have allowed myself to get close to him or any of these people, I should have never let myself open up to them, I should have protected and guarded against this- I was stupid for allowing myself to be vulnerable.

But after that knee-jerk reaction, I stopped and thought about it a bit more and realized that the truth is- I don’t regret it at all. I don’t regret trusting him. I don’t regret letting myself get close to people. I don’t regret being open. I don’t regret being vulnerable. And I hope to move forward from the experience with the courage to be vulnerable again. Over and over in my life.

If other people want to use that against me in some way, that really says a lot more about them than it does about me. It took me a long time to get to where I am, and I’m not letting a couple assholes ruin all that.

None of this is to suggest in any way that I am or will be a doormat, that I would just let people hurt me over and over again. This experience has also caused me to re-evaluate a lot of relationships and I’m working to be more conscious of exactly what kinds of people I want around me.

But when meeting new people, forming new relationship, or in current relationships with others, I’m going to do my best to go into it with openness, and the vulnerability that comes with that, rather than always being on guard against the worst possible in people.

I say the courage to be vulnerable because I do think it takes courage. It’s a lot harder to be open and vulnerable in relationships with people and in life than it is to be guarded and closed off.

But it’s also incredibly freeing. Actually, speaking of “freeing”, the first many times I heard that Sara Bareilles song on the radio I thought she was saying “I just want to see you be free”- which totally makes sense in the context though. Because there is a freedom in not letting other people who might try to hurt you dictate what you do or do not do. When I stopped and thought about it and thought about what certain people say about me behind my back, and I thought- so fucking what? Let them have their childishness and say whatever mean, nasty things they want! It doesn’t change me. It doesn’t change who I am. It does not dictate my worth. And letting go of that fear about what people say about me or how they might judge me was an incredibly liberating feeling.

This may seem a little off topic for my blog, but I don’t think it is. Rather, this is the mentality I take with a lot of what I blog about. I make myself open and vulnerable by sharing certain things here, and saying certain things. But I think there is so much more to be gained through being open.

So I just wanted to share some of these thoughts on vulnerability, and how being vulnerable can really be a strength (in my opinion).

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