I have an assignment. To write about vulnerability. As it so happens, I don’t want to write about vulnerability. And subsequently don’t have any ideas about what to write. I’m just going to have a go at it below and we’ll see…
One thing I have realized about feeling vulnerable is that I mistake if for other emotions. I get angry and frustrated. I feel unloved and exposed. I think that other people who make me feel this way are misbehaving and are not considerate. I had a huge “aha-moment” when I realized that I was the one behaving badly. It wasn’t the other person doing something wrong, not necessarily. I realized that they had triggered my vulnerability – and I reacted with getting annoyed and frustrated. You know, getting grumpy and wanting the other person to stop making me feel that way, not owning at all that I control how I feel. It’s not really that persons problem that situation x makes me feel vulnerable is it and that makes me so uncomfortable that I lash out?
What do I do about it then? Well, I stop, I breath, I might go for a walk, and I ransack myself. I ask myself the question “Why do you feel like this?” The answer is almost always (after some thinking) “I feel vulnerable.” I try to treat myself with empathy when I feel vulnerable, so I say “But that’s okay, you know, we agreed that this is actually something good, just try to endure it. Why do you feel vulnerable?” Most of the time the answer goes along the lines of: “Because it seems to good to be true, and I don’t want to lose it.”
I feel vulnerable because I have invested something very close to my heart – time, emotions, parts of my self… and I get scared. I freak the hell out, to be more technical about it. What if it was all for nothing? What if I exposed myself like that – and will not receive the rewards I have decided I’ve earned by doing so? Well, that’s kind of the thing. You will never know if it will go the way you want it to. You just got to freakin’ dare to do it anyway. Dare to be seen – and enjoy the moment when you do. Realize that okay, I’m going to have a vulnerability-hangover, but right in this moment of joy and happiness it is worth it!
I try to make mental pictures of situations when I’ve been real happy because I jumped, to have when things aren’t going well. It makes me remember, that I made myself be vulnerable and in that moment it was beautiful, why do I need more than that? Vulnerability is not weakness, it is to be courageous, to dare, to be strong, to embrace the moments when they come and fully allowing yourself to enjoy them, regardless of how fleeting they might be. And that kind of life is much better to be living then one where you didn’t dare at all. I don’t know about you, but I sure want to be able to look back at a a life filled with great, sparkling and beautiful moments.