I just spent 45 minutes staring at a blinking line on my computer wanting something, anything, to come out, but I’m filled to the brim with emotion and unable to pour it out onto a page.
But, I’ve learned a lot about myself lately, and I can tell you that it’s fear that is holding me here staring at a blank page.
If there is something else that I am learning in a real and deep way recently it’s this: When life is scary it’s easier to hide.
It’s easier when faced with the choice of having to talk to people you haven’t talked to in a long time about why you went silent I may say, to avoid it and hide.
It’s easier to not go to places where you might run into people and be forced to talk about what your life is like, while trying to put on your best “I’m fine” face when you’re crumbling underneath.
It’s easier to stay in the shadows, isolate yourself, because talking about how you’re a complex human being, full of light and dark, just seems like too much. Too exhausting. Too scary. Too shameful.
It’s easier but it’s not better.
You know what is better? Vulnerability.
There is a lot to unpack when you talk about vulnerability and it feels so counterintuitive to everything we are taught about how to survive in the world. All you have to do is go to Maasai Mara and watch some unsuspecting antelope meet its end at the merciless hands of a prowling lion (Or tiger or hyena or cheetah. I mean are antelopes at the bottom of the food chain here? Goodness.) to know that being vulnerable is seen as a liability not an asset.
It’s funny though, isn’t it? Maybe sad is a more appropriate word here. In hiding what we’re essentially doing is trying to protect ourselves, because life is scary!
You can put your heart out there and get burned. You can lose your job. You can get cancer. Someone you love can get in a car accident or make destructive choices or know just the right words to use that will send you spiraling either into a fit of rage and an abyss of sadness. Sometimes you can even hurt yourself.
And so, we protect ourselves from rejection, sadness, grief, and other emotions that cause us pain. We do this because we think in moving away from vulnerability we are making ourselves strong. Nothing can hurt us if we make ourselves strong. Strength is a highly valued attribute in our culture. While, I won’t argue that it’s a valuable attribute, I will argue that what makes someone strong isn’t their ability to not be emotional.
Joy,fulfillment,creativity,belonging,love.They all happen, truly happen, when you risk. Vulnerability requires risk, but we are all familiar with the idiom that with great risk comes great reward.
Friends, being vulnerable is one of the strongest things you can do with your life. And the reality is that it is the gateway to meaningful connection. Something every one of us desires.
I’m by no means perfect at it. In fact, I’ve spent a lot of my life hiding behind lies and not reaching out for help a long time ago when I really needed it. I still need the help. I’m not there, yet, but I believe that the weird, awkward, scary, sometimes (basically always) uncomfortable, even painful feelings that come with being vulnerable and being truthful, letting down your walls and being real with who you are, all the light and dark that exists within each one of us, is always better.
Without it we cannot experience the deepest desires of hearts to be loved, to be known, and to belong.
Yes, life is scary, but don’t hide! Be vulnerable and discover that in this counterintuitive act of leaving yourself exposed you find you make room for the best parts of life. Especially love.
This is all say though ,your life,your choice.I leave you with this quote below.
“Sometime you have to stop being scared and just go for it.Either it will work out or it won’t.That’s life.” From livelifehappy.com