It’s one of my favorite topics. I think I experienced my first real glimpse of it right as Brene was making it her anthem, and I ran with it. Because there’s so much good to it. After years of holding onto burdens that weren’t mine, and secrets that very much were, experiencing freedom by letting others help carry them was life changing. I realized that allowing people come along side me, while also being able to sit in that same space with them, changed friendships, work environments, and just every relationship in general.
It went against every grain in me, to live more honestly, and I don’t think I’ve shied away from writing about the internal struggle of craving vulnerability, but also wanting to have all my loose ends tied up in a nice bow.
I liked being vulnerable, because it’s worked for me. Because I’ve seen first hand what letting down walls and sharing struggles does. It helps you feel less alone, and helps you understand someone else’s perspective and worldview. It deepens relationships, and lessens confusion.
But what happens when it doesn’t?
For years, it wasn’t even something that crossed my mind. It was choice, obviously, but it only had good results. Sure, it’s hard getting past the initial openness, but after that the beauty of connections arrives.
Be more open = get closer to others. Simple.
But recently, I’ve been in seasons and settings where it just doesn’t. It’s just not that easy. Vulnerability isn’t always the break through I thought was. It’s sometimes met with awkward stares and confused faces. I thought this was something everyone wanted? I’ve found myself crawling back into my natural tendency not to share, keeping to myself, and handling hardships on my own. I’ve defaulted back into my feelings, and if it doesn’t feel safe to share, I won’t.
I write this, because I can’t be alone. I can’t be the only one who is sometimes thinking and feeling Why isn’t this working? Where’s the deeper level? Where’s the break though?
Vulnerability wouldn’t be hard if it always got us the clarity we wanted.
I’m learning, it just as much lives in the small but steady efforts, and as it does in the major breakthroughs.
It takes, patience, it takes courage, and it takes you continuing to fight to make it exist.
My plea to you and me is to not get give up trying to break down walls and jump over fences (pun intended), to get to that place with people. To keep showing up and fighting against ourselves to stay isolated with our thoughts and struggles.
To allow others to see the hard and messy sides, and trusting that those moments will count towards deeper connections.