Lately, I’m finding I appreciate vulnerability even more than before.
Or more specifically, I appreciate those who are so willing to make themselves vulnerable. Since I completed my Masters at Naropa University, I have had my eyes opened to how often this happens. Individuals take the opportunity to dive deep into their own sea of personal issues and struggles. We each have our own sea.
With the deep dive, it is inevitable that discomfort will ensue. Emotions surge up and bubble until that inner strength that is fighting so hard to keep it contained can no longer withstand, and tears cascade down cheeks. It is truly a beautiful thing to see when someone has no reservations about being exactly who she is.
For so long, I have felt as though I have lived in a world where people share the best versions of themselves in public. Nobody has a clue what the cognitive and emotional processes kick in moment someone is alone. It is amazing to notice that who we are in public and who we are in private are sometimes two different people. I noticed for myself, I often gave the best version of myself when I was in the company of others.
Don’t misunderstand, it isn’t as though when I was alone I was a wreck, because honestly, I wasn’t. There were definitely things that I was unable to express in front of others: sadness over petty circumstances, insecurities about men, fear of the unknown. But now, over the past months, I feel as though the tides have turned.
Now I feel as though I am comfortable being who I am. I am someone who is happy, subservient, gregarious, self conscious, hungry for knowledge, a nerd, a knitter, prideful, a perfectionist…the list goes on and on. But what I do know is that I am real. I know that at the end of the day, I am scanning for deeper understanding. I am always game for being taught a lesson. I am desperate for true relationships, and I am determined to fill my day with love and authenticity.
So I say “thank you” to my community and the world for teaching me the importance of vulnerability. I thank those around me for encouraging me to be real at all times.
Editor: Kate Bartolotta