Vulnerability Part 2.

I'm sure I've talked about this before but today I want to talk about Vulnerability. Partially because I watched this amazing video on Ted.com about it and it really made me feel inspired. PS, have you heard of Ted.com? It's ahhhhmazing.
Brene Brown gave a speech about vulnerability and how it is both good and bad. Which I SO identified with because I have those moments. The times when I open myself up and I feel so refreshed, and moments when I have my vulnerability trampled on and wish I'd never let anyone in. Getting shut down is never a pleasant feeling, I don't care who you ask. And I know several people who have opened themselves up to things only to get shut down and it completely wrecks them. Their brains tell them that they've done something "wrong" and for some reason they start to feel like the only way to right it is to close up. Which I think, like, they did something wrong. But many times the thing that was wrong wasn't that they allowed themselves to be vulnerable, but that they did it in environments that weren't trustworthy. You need to be careful where you place your vulnerabilities. Because sharing them with people who don't deserve it can be destructive. But sharing them with people who deserve it can yield you the greatest rewards of anything you could ever do. Sharing will build you trust, and create bonds with people that never could have occurred if you remain closed off to the world.
Through this I have realized that I am sort of a vulnerability-addict. I will tell you absolutely anything about my life's struggles because I feel like it's that connection to other people (often through vulnerability) that makes bonds between us. I don't suspect that many people bond over having easy lives. We, as people, bond over our frailties and our struggles. Watch any great movie or read any great book and take a look at the bonds that people make there. How many characters do you feel a connection with that live seemingly perfect lives? It's always the people who have identifiable flaws with whom we connect. And life is all about our connections that we make, and how those connections make us feel.
But you must be careful of your world around you when you open yourself up. And in any single one of my bad experiences in this life I look at one simple question: Was it me? And hey, sometimes it is. Sometimes I was thoughtless. Sometimes I became someone I should know better than to be. And I make conscious efforts to move away from those poor choices. But sometimes it's NOT me. Sometimes, it's the people and places I was around that need to change the next time around. Sometimes I did everything right, except to trust the wrong people. Made a bad judgement call, you know? So be careful of those, too.
I feel like I'm getting more complex than I need to here, because the message is really simple. It's okay to be imperfect. It's okay to take risks where you make yourself vulnerable. That's where the real leaps forward occur. They don't happen when you "play it safe" by doing the thing that will be the easiest. You move forward by doing the toughest stuff, the stuff that you might get hurt doing. Just be weary and aware of your surroundings when you leap. Don't take risks with people who would be careless with your vulnerabilities. And don't be a person who is careless with other people when they expose themselves. I read somewhere that fear is the cause of almost everything negative that a person can do. Fear of not being accepted, fear of not being loved. Don't be a person who instills that fear in other people, for any reason. Just don't even start that pattern. Be kind, and caring, and loving. Put good out and you'll get good back. I promise.

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