I do not like feeling vulnerable. In days past I worked in places where being vulnerable put you at risk, and others around you. The environment created a certain internal arrogance that gave me the confidence to get through situations that were forever changing. Put me in a situation where something goes wrong, I will step up. Ask me about my feelings, and I will fall over.
I have only felt truly vulnerable on a small number of occasions; that would be any of my children in hospital, me in hospital, divorce and living alone for the first time in my life at the age of 40 spring to mind. I suppose I classified it as having a loss of control. But being vulnerable should not be seen as a weakness I have discovered. Used effectively and with structure, this emotion can make you mentally stronger.
So what is controlled vulnerability for me? In a nut shell, when missy first asked me not only how I was feeling, but what I was feeling! I have to say that was a hard question to answer. Feeling sad is feeling sad isn’t it? As the years have passed I have got better at showing my vulnerable side through being honest and not over thinking situations when asked. The biggest break through is asking myself these questions and recognising when things are wrong.
Being vulnerable in a safe environment is okay. It feels somewhat liberating, cathartic if you will. My head feels lighter and clearer of thought. Being emotionally naked, even for a short period of time actually helps. Who would have thought?
It takes real courage to expose our vulnerability, to put our ideas, or our writing out into the wider world with no guarantee it will be liked. All too often we attach our sense of self-worth to how that contribution might be received. If people like it, its good; if they don’t, it’s a bit of a bummer. I have known myself in the early days to write something from the heart and not get a single ‘like’ or comment. It wasn’t a great feeling I admit, because I did expect others to resonate to the message within. My response was not to throw my teddy out of the pram, I did much worse. I wrote something I thought other people would like; something that was in vogue. I know the type of thing to write about that will get lots of comments, I understand that sort of game; but that is not me, not the real me. I will happily write for a topic, or even a meme, but writing to collect a thumbs-up to avoid becoming vulnerable through rejection is utter bollocks. Why do that?
What I have written in the last paragraph will not please some people because they disagree, and that is okay. It is my opinion and if you don’t like that then please disagree but commenting or ignoring it. I have learnt, with the help of missy and on-line friends, that sharing vulnerability can be a good thing; avoiding it or pandering to it only makes the nights darker and the monsters bigger!