Why crying in public, speaking your truth and opening your heart is your life’s biggest asset.
Like me, I’m sure you’ve felt the slightly distressing and stripped naked (hopefully not literally) feeling of vulnerability in countless life situations – good and bad. From letting out a croaked sob during a heart-wrenching film in a packed cinema to having the guts to kickstart a personal or soul-defining passion, the feeling has the magic to show some true human beauty.
So that’s why upon googling its definition I was kind of left a bit puzzled…
To me, ol’ Google’s translation of vulnerability sparks connotations of weakness and naivety – two words that most certainly should NOT be associated with such a state.
By showing vunerability you are not weak or naïve. You are powerful and bold. The idea of opening yourself up to either rejection or acceptance in an exposed state is some pretty scary stuff. Your stomach may drop and your nerves may soar but by gradually tiptoeing out of your comfort zone and baring yourself and your emotions you will challenge, learn and experience life’s most greatest riches.
So if you feel yourself holding back or hiding behind a camouflaging façade make some extra effort to…
In many situations, it can be a helluva lot easier to scrunch up your emotions and push them to the very back of your mind instead of grasping them with full force and taking them in your stead. The urge to do this is an act of self-control that you shower yourself with to stop you from feeling what you really wanna feel. If you’re a control freak like me, this may be a trap that you feel yourself falling into amidst many situations where you feel exposed to other’s judgments of yourself.
As hard as it can be you need to push these nagging thoughts that are weighing your ego down away by teaching yourself to choose openness. Let down your guard and embrace your emotions, even if you may find them embarrassing or confronting. Feeling sad, enraged, happy, ecstatic or conflicted is a part of being a human and by losing control and embracing such ‘feels’ you will be guided to what you truly believe and want in life.
Within my past 18 years of existence, I have found myself in situations where my voice has suddenly, upped, left and set sail to a distant entity to escape all opportunities of expressing my opinions. My thoughts are shushed by the devil on my shoulder and my airways become trapped – my words unable to escape my lips. I stay quiet in political discussions, don’t raise my hand in university lectures and respond with ‘nothing’ when asked what is wrong.
Once again such reactions have evolved out of my (what appears to be century-old) fear of vulnerability and confrontation as well as my desire to please others and appear ‘polite’. But really, where will such an uninvolved attitude and expression of participation get you in life?
Fuck politeness is what I say. If you have a passion about an issue or feel strongly about something you believe in, SPEAK UP. By stating your truth and getting involved in civil opinionated conversations you will be gifted with the opportunity to express your own knowledge, learn from other perspectives and work on your own communication skills. As you have probably become aware of by now, communication can be a complex thing but by engaging in meaningful chats and articulating your truth you will learn to attain confidence in both yourself and your beliefs.
When around people you admire or wish to please it goes without a doubt that you have at least once in your life consciously or subconsciously presented an idealised version of yourself in order to reach a desired perception. This ideology can be referred as ‘impression management’. By putting up and managing this ‘look at me’ shield-like persona of perfection you may fake your intelligence, pretend you dig your crush’s taste in music or even invest in a dress you would never rock when not in their presence. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all about the ‘fake it till you make it’ concept but in the context of everyday interaction and communication with others you cannot and never will be able to love & be a ‘fake’ version of yourself.
Flaunting and loving yourself can be a tough gig to get through as that annoying thing society has deemed as ‘insecurity’ can be great at playing mind tricks on us. What you always have to come back to though are the things that make your soul sing. What outfits do you feel most confident rocking? What music do you sing your lungs out to on lone road trips? What hobby do you have a secret knack for that fills up your spare minutes? It’s a combination of these little things that make up your true self. It can sure as hell be terrifying to put them out in the open but by owning them and self-assuredly acknowledging them in the presence of other people you can grow to find your authentic self and tribe of likeminded people. As shocking as it may be to believe, there is only one YOU in this big wide world. No one else has the same knack for cooking, same splatter of freckles, same outrageous laugh or same passions and beliefs. You are spectacularly marvelous in every single way and you need to be open to vulnerability to realise it.
— from me to you & I