Vulnerability

4528cc0b58938e61441fbac26ee4b5b9

I may have been absent from my blog for the past two days, but the reason for my absence ended up enabling me to do something for myself and a friend this afternoon.  I took a long overdue and very much-needed trip to visit some of my college roommates, and as always, it was time well spent.  We have known each other for almost twenty-seven years, and over the years, we have celebrated one another’s marriages, births of children, professional successes, and personal achievements and supported one another through the deaths of parents, family discord, parenting challenges, and personal and professional disappointments.  In my case, they have loved and accepted me unconditionally through my divorce and bouts of depression and anxiety, in addition to all of the other ups and downs in my life.  We may not all live under the same roof like we once did, but we are bound together by our memories, experiences, and hearts.  They have been among my greatest teachers, and their gifts and lessons served me well today.

I spent a quiet Sunday alone, getting my house in order, figuratively and literally.   I set out to accomplish a number of things on my ‘To Do’ list, and as the day progressed, my list grew shorter and shorter.  It felt very satisfying to accomplish both the big and small tasks, but nothing left me feeling more at peace than an unexpected situation this afternoon.  When I was faced with it, thanks to the recent visit with my roommates that left me in a positive frame of mind and at peace with myself, I was able to allow myself to be vulnerable with a friend and to accept their vulnerability, as well.

I have a big heart that I wear on my sleeve.  Sometimes, that quality serves me well, as it enables me to connect with others readily and allows me to be empathetic and understanding.  Other times, it has betrayed me, as I have not always been selective enough in whom I entrust my big heart to and have gotten hurt terribly.  It is an ongoing process for me to learn how to guard my heart, yet still allow myself to be vulnerable.  The interaction with my friend this afternoon afforded me with the unexpected opportunity to practice striking a healthy balance, as I was able to speak from, and listen with, my heart, as we each chose to share some thoughts and feelings with one another about a number of topics.

At first, I was merely willing to listen to my friend and share words of support with them, as I always am willing to do.  I know that these actions were appreciated, but when my friend asked me to share my own thoughts and feelings in response to what they had told me, I was at a loss for words.  Part of me wanted to say what was on my mind, while another part of me wanted to remain silent, for fear of being hurt by their reaction.  Lately, my heart has been bruised one too many times, so, being vulnerable has taken on a new level of apprehension for me.  That said, I learned today that I can both follow and guard my heart, and I was able to listen and to say what needed to be said.  When all was said and done, I think that we both benefitted from allowing ourselves and each other to be vulnerable, even if just for that moment.

Just one thing each day . . .



Categories: Just One Thing Each Day

Tags: , , , ,

6 replies

  1. Some of your post give me chills we are alike in so many ways! I am not sure if I have shared this with you or not, but I was in my yoga class not too long ago and as I have learned (the hard way 😉 ) yoga not only is helpful for the body but also working for through the past and present “baggage”. Anyhow, I had a total meltdown and had to leave class in tears. I waited outside for my mother and bro, and when the class was over my yoga instructor came out and “scolded” me. She said “right now you are vulnerable, being vulnerable takes strength, it takes being kind, loving yourself and opening yourself up to be loved, don’t you EVER, ever, think you are weak because you feel vulnerable, you hear me?!” Although I was a complete mess, I got up and hugged her. She is so right! Being vulnerable is perceived as being weak, but really it takes SO much strength to reveal our vulnerability!. So keep being “you”! You’ve got this! ❤

  2. I have always been the listener, the one others flock to at times of crisis, the shoulder to cry on. I have not been one to need people in the same way – because I am strong (so I have always told myself). It is interesting that the emotional distress of the divorce has made me vulnerable and I now open up much more to others than I have in my entire life and I lean on them. In fact, it has been almost like cutting myself wide open for them. Perhaps that is a good thing, as through it all I have become much more empathetic to others. Before I showed sympathy, now I KNOW how they feel, and I feel that support I give people now comes with experience. At the same time, I guard close to my chest my inner-most soul, as it too has been bruised and I do not want to get hurt again.
    Your words – “It is an ongoing process for me to learn how to guard my heart, yet still allow myself to be vulnerable” ring so true for me.
    Thanks for this excellent post.

    • Elizabeth, many thanks for sharing your experiences with being vulnernable, as I always enjoy hearing your perspective. It definitely is a delicate balance, and I like how you came to learn that being more vulnerable enables you to be more empathetic with others. My hope is that we both find ourselves being able to surround ourselves with people whom we can trust to be vulnerable with and who will not add to the scars on our hearts.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: