Vulnerability is beautiful

When I was a child, crying in front of people was the most horrible thing I could think of. I used to refuse to go to school on time if my eyes were red. My mom would be late to work sometimes because I used to refuse to get out of the car if my eyes were red. I would ask her if they were red and if she said no, I would think she was lying just to get me out of the car. Then I would sit there until I believed I looked calm , cool and collected. I never tell people when they hurt my feelings and the I was twenty years old when I got over the largest part of my fear of crying in front of others. It’s funny though. Now, I am more open, just like I always wanted to be, and now that I am more open, I feel that I am bad and  that I have always been a bad, open person, despite memories of sitting in the car so no one saw my emotions. I could let this bother me, or I could find the beauty in being open, then I could share my feelings I’m having today. So, I read a quote recently that helped me love being open which was something like, “I don’t want small talk, I was to talk about deep, meaningful things with my friends.” That makes me think about intensity. And intensity to me is completely amazing. Why talk about the weather when we can dig deep into our emotions and have an intense moment? Being open is the emotional climbing of a mountain in my book. It is perfectly wonderful to be open. Emotions are hard, showing them shows how strong you are as well. But it’s also okay to be closed off. While it is better for your mental health to be open, you can still find the beauty in yourself if you are closed off. For example, since I became open, my brain told me that it was only beautiful to be closed off. While this isn’t a great thing for my brain to tell me, I am left with the knowledge of why being closed off can be beautiful. If one day, you decide that you don’t want to share your feelings, that is okay. Think of yourself as being loving and protective over your emotions. The way I think of being closed off and guarding of your emotions is kind of a deadpan type of personality and I think acting like that is just as beautiful as when we show so much of our emotions. But remember, self of context, and we are not all the same all the time. Sometimes I can be closed off with a deadpan personality and sometimes I can be vulnerable, whether that be smiling and laughing a lot, or sharing my feelings. Luckily, I have found a way to like both of them. If my ways of finding the beauty in these two things doesn’t help, find some other ways to like being vulnerable and being closed off.   giphy-16 This video of Taylor Swift makes me okay with being vulnerable. She looks like she is feeling so much with her eyes and that is one thing that makes me okay with my vulnerability.

So, to be open today I have decided to talk about something that has been bothering me. This is the thoughts of a treatment center I was in years ago. I was far away from home in a place for my eating disorder. I was distraught and I cried constantly. Needless to say, I was over my fear of crying at this point. I still think about the times I cried, the times I acted like a child, the times I made the best friends possible but lost them with my negativity. I cannot think of the place I was at without cringing to myself. When I start thinking about it, I feel myself getting taken down many notches. I wish I could speak to everyone who was there and tell them I am doing better and that I would never act like a child like that ever again. While I am able to see the positive in this experience, it’s still hard to think of. The other piece of this is that I was vulnerable while I was in this place. But I was ashamed of how vulnerable I was. But when I look at this video of Taylor Swift and how much emotion she portrays, I’m okay. As Meryl Streep said from Carrie Fischer, “Take your broken heart and make it into art.” I can’t write my songs without being vulnerable.

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6 thoughts on “Vulnerability is beautiful

  1. I seem to have had the polar opposite of you when it comes to being vulnerable: when I was younger I was VERY open about how I felt, especially if how I felt was negative in some way. Looking back, I genuinely don’t believe that I was open for attention – I just really, really wanted someone to make those negative feelings go away, because much of the time I didn’t know how to handle them on my own (I now look on these moments as early encounters with depression).
    Nowadays, I’m incredibly closed off – to be completely honest the only times I ever “open up” are when talking to my mother, and on my blog/comments. When I went to outpatient counselling a few years back I had multiple hour-long sessions on “tearing down my walls” (surrounding my heart), and I’ve gotten…better, but I’m certainly not where I need to be yet. For me, having vulnerable moments is much like pulling out a splinter – a quick, sharp moment of feeling, and afterwards you’ll be glad you did. This is why I always appreciate your viewpoint of finding the beauty in everything.

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    1. I really appreciate your comment as sometimes the skill self as context, while helpful, is hard to believe sometimes. When I think about who I am in the past it’s sometimes hard to believe that I can change. I sometimes believe that the good changes in myself aren’t the real me because I wasn’t always this way. However, you sharing that you as well have gone through polar opposites in your childhood and adulthood tells me that we can change and self as context is not only a helpful skill but I legitimate one! Thanks so much for your comment!

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      1. It saddens me that vulnerability is often seen as weakness; much of society says that if you have a problem, keep it to yourself and deal with it yourself, because everyone has their own problems and they have no time or responsibility to help you with yours. I dunno, maybe that viewpoint is my depression speaking, but it feels true more often than not for me, personally. Even the word itself, “vulnerable,” as if you’re leaving yourself open to attack. There is such a stigma attached to the word itself. But, like you said, why talk about the weather when you can share an intimate, emotionally charged moment with someone? It’s a hard lesson learned, but well worth it.

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      2. I agree and I think that is why I have been so ashamed of my own vulnerability. But emotions really are extremely hard to deal with, especially with a mental disorder. Showing your emotions shows you have them, and having them is strength that you can survive them. I mean, depression means no joy in anything…now that’s hard to deal with, as are all the others

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