I wrote an entire post on the bad end to my day yesterday. And in reading it I realized that the problem was not the last broken straw or my sobbing on a street corner in my car. It was:
Why didn’t I make a call and get some moral support?
(enter loud booming voice)
Vulnerability has never been your strong suit, Jessica.
This issue of vulnerability is as much (or more) for men as it is for women. Of course, the hardest part of being vulnerable is being okay showing your cards. Showing not just the new and shiny … but also the flaws. It’s saying, “I need help here and I need you to love me even when I’m not perfect (or even far from it!).”
I was watching the 70’s show the other night (don’t ask!) and Fez’s girlfriend broke up with him because he was showing his feelings and needs too much. So, he “turned” into someone who had no needs or feelings. Eventually, the girl came back. But, by that point, Fez realized that he’d rather be “needy” rather than a cold rock. 🙂 What a great message for kids (and us adult kids!).
Being vulnerable is about revealing what you deny or keep hidden from other people. We all do this to some extent. Have you ever said to a friend, “OMG! I love being insecure about XYZ!” No, of course not. But if we loved it all — why wouldn’t we?
Why don’t we just put our vulnerabilities out there for everyone? Because it’s so risky to show our authentic selves and risk someone walking away. Instead, every day, we get up, put on our armor and start anew.
I’m by no means an expert here (obviously failed last night), but if we want to choose vulnerability, we need to remember these things:
1. Love yourself. I’ve got a lot of gaps (some as large as an ocean). But I’ve got some good parts too and I need to focus on it all. If someone doesn’t like my gaps, well then they can find someone else.
2. Practice. This stuff doesn’t happen overnight. I’ve got one big vulnerability that I’ve only shared with a couple of people. Why is that? What am I afraid of? We all have these same “things.”
3. Look for the sun. The reward of being vulnerable feels like the warm sun coming up over the horizon and covering me. It’s love … but it’s our love for ourselves and no one can take that away.
I think the more vulnerable we are with others, the more we seem “normal” – with flaws. And, the more normal we are, the more people want to be with us and are inspired by our openness. It’s a win/win. You grow and so do they!
Look, if everything was beautiful and perfect in us, what would be the point in being here? 🙂
Have an amazing start to your week!