Okay so I have to admit a weakness of mine in order to drive (I hope) some dialogue about the topic of
I am terrible at being vulnerable! My last boyfriend told me he liked it when I was sick or when I was down & out b/c I hurt my back because that was when he could serve me and I finally "needed" him. That was a wake up call for me!
As a therapist I work in a field where people tell me their troubles, worries, and share with me their deepest secrets and anguish on a regular basis. I also happen to be the person that for years people depended upon to share their hearts—knowing they were safe. Through the years I've learned when and where to let people "dump" on me. However, over time I became the dependable, independent, strong one. I learned quickly that I wasn't allowed (in my circle of friends) to be weak or vulnerable. In fact, a few times when I tried to let down my guard I was literally laughed at. I was seen as the one who people go to when they are weak—not the one who comes to them when I was weak.
And then there's that whole single, female, independence thing I've got going on. Some days I'm fierce because I don't have a choice and other days I'm fierce because I not comfortable letting down my guard. I know this is not good and I'm working on it.
There is a quote I love by President George Washington, "Be courteous with all, but intimate with few, and let those few be well tried before you give them your confidence." This is me. Now, don't confuse being open as being vulnerable. I am an open book. I am confident in talking about most things openly in my life. I hold very little mystery. Where I run into trouble is when it comes to being vulnerable, letting down my guard/walls, speaking from my heart. For someone to hold my heart and catch my tears I need to feel I am safe and I can trust them.
I think because I am this way I close myself off from opportunities or conversations that could be life changing. I sometimes wrestle w/God because I feel like the older I get as a single female the more independent and strong willed I become. I sometimes feel like if I'm vulnerable I will appear as being needy or that my heart will ooze out my fingertips and eyelashes and I will appear too raw or naked—standing there arms outreaching with no one there to accept me...
And yet I know otherwise.
I know if there are people who love me unconditionally. I know there are people who will listen to my heart, catch my tears, and keep my secrets if only I would ask. In fact, I know there are people, right now in my life, who would be relieved if I would do this. I know these things and yet I struggle...
I would love to know how you invite vulnerability into your life?