“Vulnerability is the birthplace of love, belonging, joy, courage, empathy, and creativity. It is the source of hope, empathy, accountability, and authenticity. If we want greater clarity in our purpose or deeper and more meaningful spiritual lives, vulnerability is the path.”
― Brené Brown
Why the hell is it so hard to be vulnerable? This absence of courage in allowing ourselves to be vulnerable is something I’ve noticed my generation is so deeply and profoundly lacking. How many times have you fallen for the dreaded fuck boy (or girl, we don’t discriminate here) who at the end of it all just “can’t commit right now,” or some other carefully worded variation of that bullshit excuse? The lack of empathy and deep, soulful connection is maddening at best, and crushing at worst.
I don’t know about you, but I’m exhausted. I’m tired of putting on my detective hat every time a new person comes along, deciphering every mixed signal like I’ve just unearthed some newly discovered Egyptian hieroglyphics. I’m tired of wondering if texting back immediately is too forward, or if that Snapchat with the dog filter was too #basic for life. I’m tired. There’s a certain point where all these frivolous interactions start to decline in importance, because at the end of the day, aren’t we all looking for the same thing?
To truly love is to be vulnerable. To put yourself out there, and give someone an opportunity to be in your life and not profoundly fuck up your heart exposes the deepest chasms of our souls. Yes, it requires a certain level of courage. To let someone close to you is daunting, but truly, what is life without risk? To never err or put yourself in a position to fail is the most unlived life there is, because nothing worth having comes without risk. Nothing worth doing isn’t met at times with failure. Is the fear of opening up worth missing out on what you stand to gain if you do?
At our cores, human beings were designed for connection. We are social animals, which is why any sort of prolonged isolation is considered so torturous. So what is it about deep connections that sometimes have us running for the hills? When you let someone so near your soul, you’re forced to bear parts of it you don’t normally have to. And the thought of having someone come close and then not accept all of you is petrifying. But the truth of the matter is, anyone who gets that close and doesn’t accept you, isn’t The One. True love goes beyond all the deep creases of complications into the folds of our hearts. We are all damaged, but finding someone who not only acknowledges, but embraces all of our shortcomings, is worth all the risk in the world.
So if you happen to be one of these people who runs at the first sign of intimacy, I urge you to ask what aspect of yourself you might be running from. I hope you dig deep and find what part of you thinks you don’t deserve love, even with all of your flaws. And if you happen to find yourself involved with one of these people, as much as it hurts, know that in rejecting your love, they’re rejecting a part of themselves.
At the end of the day, we are all flawed. However, those flaws don’t overcast our light. They’re only mere flickers in our candles that illuminate the world around us.