Think of this word for a minute.
This is a scary word for most people. For me, it’s quickly become a value I’ve learned to hold very dear to my being.
I used to live my life in false bravado. Meaning, I thought I had it. I had moments of vulnerability, moments of joy, of silliness, of contentment, of longing, of reflection, of love, of pure survival. I thought that was it.
This was my life. These moments. These feelings. They are familiar. They are consistent.
Then there was a shift that I experienced. I can’t pinpoint exactly when it happened. It was around 4 years ago. I decided what I had wasn’t enough. What I felt wasn’t all I could feel. Who I was wasn’t all I could be. I wanted to explore how I got to where I was; and really just more of who I was because of situation and circumstance that was beyond my control. I also wanted to open a door to who I had the potential of being.
I consciously took action and sought out therapy. I’ve always been interested in the psychology of the mind and how that plays out in behaviors. I’m a big believer in therapy and what that world can provide to people if they only opened themselves up to it.
I can’t say that I realized at the time what was happening to me. I can’t say there was a defining moment that was the catalyst of change either. I think honestly what happened was that I became bored of all I knew and I was cognizant that there was more to me. That how I showed up every day to the world wasn’t necessarily how I wanted to present myself. But to change how I presented myself I needed to understand myself. To do that is to be vulnerable and compassionate with yourself.
The shift happened subtly although the work and reflection was tough and is still an ongoing process. Trying to understand things that came about in my life while living in the bias that is myself and my life is really strange and so existential I kind of had to look at it from a new mindset. Like holy fuck, heavy stuff. What I’m grateful for is the ability to do so. All of a sudden things weren’t enough. All of a sudden my passions started to present themselves to me. All of a sudden I had a fire in me that burned through me waiting to erupt like a volcano and I wanted everyone to be on my level.
It had me vexed.
What happened next was enlightening; my ideas and my perceptions of myself expanded. I was trying to process so much of what I was learning from my past and what got my to where I was. Throughout that time of self awareness the relationship I was in no longer became the relationship that fulfilled me. I was made to be aware of things I wanted that my man was incapable of giving me; to no fault of his own. He saw that before I did. I saw potential. He saw truth. Unfortunately, it didn’t work out and with that I felt my heart break in ways I never thought possible. I thought that because of the place I was in, my expectation was that everything would ‘work out’ because of timing or that I made myself vulnerable to him or whatever the fuck have you. I had never been in love like that before. Shit, I had never truly been IN love before. He taught me that. My relationship with him taught me that. I think that because I was in such a place of transformation and self reflection already and I fell in love during that time everything was magnified with such propensity.
Through the time of feeling completely gutted, broken heart in a million bloody pieces laid out on the table in front of me; I shed my soul. Literally and figuratively. I reacted in ways I never would have been able to before. I shared with whoever would listen about my heartbreak. I talked and cried and wrote through it. I had to look at myself, really look at myself and what I had become. I continued to go to thearpy. I asked my friends and family for help. That one was tough for me. I could never ask for help before but I did it in all my broken glory. For the most part my request was received and people supported me and held me in such a loving supportive safe space. In a couple instances it wasn’t but there were lessons there that I also value and learned from.
Through my heart break I was still learning of who I was and who I wanted to be. I decided then to be vulnerable. Vulnerable in my pain and my heartache. The people that showed me love and time helped me understand what it meant to have a tribe. There were a few other times in my life I was tested. When that happens people step the fuck up and show you who they are and what you mean to them. It’s a beautiful thing. Through my brokenness I was able to recognize that. It helped me get through the pain. I will forever be grateful for those that showed me kindness, empathy and love. Compassion is huge. It comes from vulnerability. It should never be underestimated. That shit moves mountains.
I have such a hard on for learning and I am addicted to TED Talks. Do yourself a favor and watch the Ted Talk Brene Brown gave on vulnerability below. She is amazing. Then spend your day listening/watching other talks. Expand your mind and learn something. It’ll make you feel good. I promise