How To Find The Courage To Be Vulnerable (Plus A Semi-Sorta Love Letter)
I wanted to write a post about vulnerability today. It’s inspired by this great book that I just read called Daring Greatly by Brene Brown.
I first heard of Brene when I was perusing the TED site one day. Next she popped up on Oprah, still chatting about this vulnerability thing. I found out about her books and I put a hold on a copy of Daring Greatly with my library.
I’m the 40th person to put in a request on one copy of the book. Obviously I’m not the only person who’s ready to dare greatly by learning how I can be more vulnerable.
So, how can you be more vulnerable? The short answer is digging up the courage to do so.
That you have to figure out how to ignore the critics, become resilient , and get out there and fight your heart out. The long, more complicated answer is that yes, courage is key, but you might have to wade through a bunch of your nasty life shit before you get there.
My next thought was how can I talk to you all about vulnerability without putting myself in a vulnerable position? I attempted to write this post from a non-personal stance, but clearly that doesn’t work. I’m going to dare greatly today. Hang with me.
So, here’s what I’m feeling vulnerable about today: I’ve been caught up on the same guy for quite some time. A long ass time, actually.
It was a relationship I was in to win, and one that I still can’t quite give up on. That’s me being vulnerable. In my head I picture all of my friends shaking their heads. Yes, it’s one of those situations. The kind that everyone says to walk away from.
Everyone except you, that is.
We have all of these sayings about there being plenty of fish in the sea, but there is no other fish like him. There is no other fish like anyone in our lives. Yes, we might be replaceable in the job arena, but there are some people that you meet who are just truly, truly one-of-a-kind, and that’s just it.
So, there is something in me that makes me want to fight for this. It’s not even that feeling that women tend to get (guys let me know if you have this too) where you think about all of the time you’ve invested in the relationship, and you decide to put in more to “make it work”
Does “making it work” even exist?
Anywho, in the moments when vulnerability seems impossible, I just want to walk away. I want to turn my back on everything that has hurt me (including my own behavior) and pretend that this never happened. That I didn’t meet this guy. That he hadn’t stolen my heart, and that I never once had to contend very publicly with the knowledge that he just might leave me after all.
I’m a fighter. Even when my feelings are hurt, or when I’m totally down and out, it’s my anti-vulnerability style, or the effects of my feelings of shame that bring me out, full force, swinging. I’m literally fighting for my life in those moments.
He ducks. He guards. He rarely swings. He was already behind a wall when I met him, and the bricks have gotten higher.
I’m not sure there is space for me anymore. I’m not sure if he wants there to be space for me. I’m not sure I should fight for that space. I saw this on Thought Catalog:
“There’s no sense in being with someone whom you can’t picture yourself happily with in the foreseeable future. Don’t get me wrong, fixing damaged relationships is great; but trying to glue back a thousand broken pieces while getting cut in the process is unhealthy.”
But then there was also this:
“Making yourself difficult to love. By being shut down and over-complicated, you create a seemingly impenetrable shirt, doused in cupid repellant. We all struggle in our own unique, disastrous ways — the key is to fix them. Making yourself available, approachable and open/honest will work wonders for your love life.”
And I read this quote the other day: “An optimist sees the opportunity in the danger. A pessimist sees the danger in the opportunity.”
I think he reads my blog from time-to-time. Usually when I send him here.
On the off chance that he might be reading today…well, I just want you to know that I love you.
I’ll end this journey inside my head by saying you all should read this book. Seriously.
I hope you have the courage to do something that takes a bit of vulnerability today. And of course let me know what’s on your mind in the comments.