Good morning Wild Ones!
I frequently ask my friends what their biggest fears are. And as much as I ask, I always struggle to respond back with mine. Usually I land at worrying about missing the amazing that God has for me due to my own foolishness. Yes, that’s a huge fear of mine, but after some thought, I realized that it’s not my biggest fear.
My biggest fear is actually V U L N E R A B I L I T Y.
Can I open myself up to a line of fire and stay there even if it gets uncomfortably hot?
No. As a very open person, it would seem that I can’t have an issue with vulnerability, but that, my friends, is the greatest façade. Openness and vulnerability are two very separate things. I am easily able to discuss things that I’ve come to terms with on my own; this is what makes me open. But the things that I currently struggle with and genuinely make me uncomfortable, I don’t talk about those.
I do fear judgment from others, but more so judgment from myself. When either my emotions or actions don’t match up with my understood self-image, I genuinely struggle to be transparent. I do not want to think about the cognitive dissonance that I’m facing, but as I’ve grown as a person, I’ve learned to force myself to think about those things that make me uncomfortable and leave me vulnerable. I am not a very emotional person as you would probably know if you read my post on abandonment issues. This is a part of my understood self-image.
So my emotions, especially hurt, love, shame, and regret, tend to make me very uncomfortable. They make me vulnerable. These are what make me feel like I am standing in the line of fire as it becomes uncomfortably hot. It takes me a lot of time to really sift through my deeper emotions to understand how I really feel.
How I’ve Developed My Vulnerability
1. I’ve become willing to adjust my self-image.
It’s important to see ourselves for who we truly are RIGHT NOW. Previously, I would try to justify my actions and emotions so that they could fit into my preconceived idea of myself. But as human beings we are fluid and ever-changing and so should our self-image. If our action or emotion does not fit into our self-image, we have to decide if either we are not who we think we are or if that action or emotion was atypical but rooted in something in our established self-image. Be careful though, changing your self-image can be dangerous. If your self-image change makes you a worse person, try changing your actions rather than your self-image. My most recent change in my self-image was the realization that I have become a more emotional person. Notice, this does not make me a better or worse person, but instead gives me better insight in why I do and think the things I do.
2. I am intentional.
Because I know that vulnerability is a struggle for me, I am intentional about it. If I feel a twitch of discomfort from anything, I immediately question myself on why. I also intentionally talk about things that I wouldn’t even say to myself previously with my best friends.
3. I write.
These blog posts are often exercises in vulnerability for me. I sometimes write about things that are not even fully resolved in my own mind (including this post on vulnerability). I not only write blog posts, but I also write poetry, journal entries, and even just simple lists to resolve my feelings. Poetry has probably been one of the greatest exercises in vulnerability I’ve had.
This isn’t really a crash course because I still absolutely struggle with vulnerability. (Sorry for the clickbait). Vulnerability is a balancing act, and I very much struggle on finding a middle ground. So please, if you have any tips on working vulnerability muscles please either put them in the comments below or send them to any of my social media platforms linked under the ‘Let’s Connect’ section (pretty much @wildextremities everywhere). I hope that if you struggle with vulnerability as well, you’ve gained some insight through my journey!