Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Your Turn Challenge: Day 2 - Exposed

Your Turn Challenge: Day 2

Prompt: What is something that's important to me? 

Honesty. Vulnerability. 

Today I read a blog post by author Donald Miller titled "People Who Hide Parts of Themselves Will Never Feel Loved." 

Never feel loved? That's kind of extreme. For some people, terrifying.

There's even the hashtag, #foreveralone, that sums up this sentiment. Afraid to be alone, to never feel loved.

But what's probably worse is to be with someone and still not feel loved. To be loved, but still not feel loved.

In the short post, I found what's becoming a familiar message. 
Miller writes, "What suffers when we fail to let ourselves be known is our emotional health. Being accepted as we are by others, without conditions, is the stuff that feeds our souls."

Let ourselves be known. Be accepted unconditionally.

Coincidentally, I just bought Brené Brown's "The Gifts of Imperfection" as an audiobook and have been listening to it using the Audible.com app. If you haven't seen her TED Talk on "The Power of Vulnerability," it's a must-watch.  There's also a follow up called "Listening to Shame." 
In the latter video, Brown emphatically states, "Vulnerability is not weakness - and that myth is profoundly dangerous."

I'm seeing this message more and more. And the times I've had the courage to experience it myself, I know it to be true. Honesty, authenticity, there's nothing like it to bring connection between people.

Writing on this blog is horribly vulnerable for me. And I'll also, while I'm on the topic, admit that how I'm feeling about my blogging is directly correlated with how many likes or comments I get. Similarly, when I post things on Facebook or Instagram, I feel an exhilarating sense of approval and acceptance. It boosts my mood, it encourages me to keep posting, if only to keep the people happy. 

I don't like this fact. I often deny it to myself. But it's true. I like likes.

Conversely, in the absence of likes or virtual attention, I get discouraged. Like the last 2 days when I posted about this challenge and very few people paid attention to it. I figured there was some mistake. I was frustrated. Doesn't anyone care?!?

Bleck - this is starting to feel like a pity party. 

I like some parties, but not that kind. Maybe a pita party. Mmm, with some hummus? And fresh veggies. Hey, I think I'm onto something. (Note: pita party > pity party).  

The thing is, I guess I don't really know the line between being open and oversharing. Between being honest about how I feel and throwing a pity party. Between admitting my weaknesses or needs and fishing for compliments.

This whole thing is messy. 

I would much rather show my "strong" side to people, and not bother them with my rough edges. 
I'd rather not share at all than risk oversharing. 

But I know that won't lead to true happiness or acceptance. 

Vulnerability is scary. It leaves us exposed, like we're falling through the air on a skydive. 

It's exhilarating. It's freeing. It can be addicting. 

Ultimately, I believe that once you get used to being vulnerable, there's no going back. 


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