My Journey of Being Vulnerable

Vulnerable

[vuhl-ner-uh-buhl]

The act of being vulnerable as a person is a feat in of itself. For centuries, stories have always reminded us that vulnerabilities lead to negative consequences and that we should always do our best to either overcome such “weaknesses” or mask them.

But being vulnerable is so necessary in life, in relationships and in our everyday experiences. How does one find meaning within their own self without recognizing vulnerabilities and being vulnerable?

Lately, vulnerability has been an extremely hard pill to swallow especially when it comes to feelings, allowing myself to be emotional and recognizing the notion that experiences are and will always be lessons with a larger purpose.

It’s safe to say that I’ve had an incredibly rocky journey when it comes to vulnerability, as most people probably do. I used to consider myself as someone capable of being too vulnerable and nowadays, I’m lucky if I feel even the slightest bit interested in letting someone in even the slightest amount.

I’ve spent so much of my time questioning whether or not my own vulnerabilities and my ability to be vulnerable correlates with my own worth. The sad thing about that is there was a time where I would’ve told you that it did.

Life has given me a lot to experience in the last year and within that time, I’ve been so many versions of myself and learned an immense amount about who I am, who I strive to be, and honestly, who deserves to be a part of my life.

Developing and maintaining healthy relationships is difficult. Developing and maintaining healthy relationships with romantic partners or a significant other is even more challenging, especially in college and even more so when you are struggling to keep a healthy relationship with yourself.  

It’s been remarkably challenging to become accepting of the notion that things and people are not permanent, nor constant, nor stable in your life. It was even harder to find myself in the position where I had to remember that just because life feels so perfect in one moment, that does not protect you from the chance that things may change for the worse.

Life is temporary and so are moments, along with people, experiences, memories and words uttered. Some of my best memories thus far were made with people I don’t even speak to anymore. Some of them are with people who are no longer as close of friends to me as they once were and others have simply grown into a life of their own just as much as I’ve grown into mine. Growth is inevitable. It just happens at differing rates for each person and as heartbreaking as it may be when your growth no longer matches up with the growth of someone you care or cared for, there are some things that are simply out of our hands.

I’m thankful for the fact that I’ve experienced so much life already and I’m blessed for the people I’ve met: the ones I’ve grown close to and apart from, the ones I’ve loved and who have loved me, and even for those who have done me wrong in the past. Anger is powerful and grudges are tiring. I know that because I’ve allowed them to control so many moments in my life, only to only be left with exhaustion and bitter disappointment.

Those troublesome moments, as emotionally challenging as they were, pushed me to grow and find myself in more ways than some find in an entire lifetime. But no matter how much I seem to grow and learn as an individual, I continue to grow more and more hesitant towards being vulnerable with people in my life, specifically those I’m romantically involved with.      

It’s been a journey attempting to remind myself that evolution is just as necessary and inevitable as vulnerability and to be okay with that. Reminding myself that the journey of being vulnerable is ever changing and always a product of where you are and how you're feeling, I’ve been working on figuring out to navigate my own roadblocks and not allow myself to think I am damaged for the sole fact that I’m in a time of self-discovery and struggle.

One of the most difficult lessons I’ve had to face lately is that worth isn’t tied to another person and that another person has no true power over said worth. It hurts to be let down, and it breaks you in ways that are so difficult to explain when something is torn apart so suddenly, seemingly without any warning. Our generation has it tough already, navigating life through the internet and social media platforms, but we have it even more difficult because we’ve lost sight of the importance of honest communication.

We can hide behind our phones and only bring up the tough or uncomfortable conversations while warm and safe through a screen. We’re growing more and more desensitized to the feelings of others, to their reactions, and consequences. Empathy is easily being distorted and the whole idea of being vulnerable in vulnerable ways is ever-fading.

I’ve been struggling with the actual desire to be vulnerable and at times, it makes me feel so inadequate. I have no qualms admitting my faults or recognizing failures to myself, but I’ve lost all desire to want to share those as openly as I once did. I’ve lost all wanting to open up to the people I’m close to and I am struggling when it comes to being open and honest about feelings with a person I know I care about. I think it’s a product of being broken down one too many times and now I’m so removed from the idea of being vulnerable with someone that I’ve put myself in a rut.   

I'm in a place that I know many have been and that many are in along with me. It’s a weird time of being too self-aware and maybe not enough? I know we are all meant to feel, to relate and be relatable. We are meant to fail and thrive and learn and proceed onwards. We are allowed to take time to ourselves, to be selfish with that time and who, if or when we share it. We don’t have to apologize for needing our time and our privacy and to hide a bit behind walls.

Life is meant to be lived in your own way and on your own terms. But I challenge you to be vulnerable. Be passionate. Be hurt and broken and wallow in your feelings. Name them and speak to them and try and try again to share them. Find courage in the fact that you are always stronger than you feel, and that your life, your worth, is no one else’s but yours.

Let me know about your own journey with vulnerability, comment below or contact me!