What does it mean to be vulnerable? When have you been vulnerable?
Note: This may be a rant due to the music I am currently listening to; however, all is relevant.
According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, vulnerable means two things:
1: capable of being physically or emotionally wounded
2: open to attack or damage
What is characterized with vulnerability? Nervousness, shyness, fight or flight, shock, surprise, butterflies in the stomach, nausea, sweating, eagerness…
The most known vulnerability is related to dating and relationships. When you first develop feelings for someone, most of the time, you have a pre-built wall. You do not want to tell them everything, because you have just met them. Yeah, they are cool and yeah, you like talking to them, but sometimes, we do not even trust our friends with some of the things we keep locked inside of us. Letting that special someone into the world your friends have not yet seen can be scary. We are told to let our walls down if we are into someone; however, is it not easier said than done?
For some people, pasts can weigh a heavy toll on the future. Trusting someone again can be one of the largest obstacles to overcome. Part of you feels ready to trust again, yet you are constantly haunted by the daunting past. For some, you were left helpless at the end of a past relationship and had to rebuild yourself from the ground up. You had to find enough strength in yourself to pick yourself off the ground and walk down that lonesome road again. For others, you simply hate being alone and are constantly bouncing from relationship to relationship – never truly finding someone worth while. There are multiple outcomes to relationships, but nevertheless, the past influences our present and future.
Within almost all relationships, you will let your walls down and let that someone see who you truly are. You will go on the ledge and give them everything hoping they will accept you. That is one of the scariest things. What if they judge you? That is my first hesitation. What if they tell someone? What if they look at you differently? How will this affect the rest of the relationship? Will I scare them away? Questions are constantly popping up in your head due to fear.
Is there not beauty within being vulnerable though? Is it not calming to know that someone out there is going to accept you wholly, and you will accept them?
Vulnerability is a beautiful thing. It gives you the chance to put yourself out there and say, “Hey, I know that I am not perfect, but I hope I am perfect for you. I am knocking my walls down to accept us.” You are then faced with the ability to be neglected or accepted. You are “open to attack or damage.”
Okay, so let us say that you are attacked and damaged? What then? What was all this for? Learning. Learning more about humanity and yourself than you could not have experienced without trying to be vulnerable. You will learn that people truly are different, diverse, a melting pot in society. Is even possible to learn about certain situations that someone else has encountered and how they coped without presenting yourself in a vulnerable situation? You may realize that it is possible to be a better you by learning about someone else.
However, none of that would be possible unless you try. Try and try again. If you fall, get back up. Put yourself out there. Be yourself. Learn about people. Become intrigued with the world. Question. Be optimistic. Most importantly, love yourself enough to realize you can overcome anything. You CAN heal. You CAN be stronger than before. You WILL be vulnerable again. And you WILL be okay.
The next time you dive into any relationship, think about the positives that can come from vulnerability and pushing your walls down. You may be amazed at the diversity and learning experience you can gain from it.
“Sometimes it all gets a little too much but you gotta realize that soon the fog will clear up” -Shawn Mendes
How I Overcome the Vulnerability Jitters:
- 5 Deep breaths
- Eye contact
- 1 Leap of faith