Home > Uncategorized > The First Step to Becoming Vulnerable

The First Step to Becoming Vulnerable

In our society, especially for men, it is looked down upon to show feelings.  We can become conditioned to judge ourselves as if our thoughts had taken on the form of someone else.  For example, judging yourself for not being married at your certain age in life, and when looking deeper into it, realizing that thought could have come from parental influences.  Beating yourself up for driving an old car, but realizing that maybe having a nice car really isn’t that important to you as an individual.  Or after looking through a face modeling magazine (do those exist?) feeling as though your nose is 0.34 cm too far on the left side of your face.

We act like someone else, we put on personas, and what I have noticed in myself that I do a lot, is faking that I am happy.

I try to tell myself what reality is, rather than looking at reality and accepting that, then going from there.

The first step to becoming vulnerable and creating real healthy relationships, is to first become vulnerable with ourselves.  You don’t need to look at yourself through the eyes of society, television, your parents, your cousins, your friends, your enemies, or the bus driver who has biceps half an inch bigger than yours.

While doing my 30 day challenge for positive thoughts experiment, I started to realize that although changing my thoughts to always look at the bright side of life, I still didn’t feel 100%.  I felt as if I was depressed and couldn’t show it to the world.  I finally just accepted that fact, called the University where I am a current student and asked if they had support groups for depression.

I had no shame in doing this, nor did I act as if something was wrong with me.  I simply called and asked.  I plan on going in on Thursday and saying, “I sometimes get depressed and would like support from others who are going through the same thing.”  There is absolutely nothing wrong with that. By saying that in a way that communicates, “Yeah this is what is going on and I’m going to handle it, no big deal.  It may be hard but I can do it,” almost lifts me out of the depressive cycle instantly.  This can go for anything, not just depression, I just happened to have a direct experience with this issue.

This is a very different approach then what I used to do.  I’ve been to a therapist a couple times and another group before.  I never opened up to them.  I held it in and to be completely honest, I couldn’t become vulnerable and truly express myself to them because I hadn’t even admitted it to myself yet.

After I had accepted myself and my situation, and realized this is completely normal for a human being to experience, I didn’t feel the self-created loneliness that has kept me imprisoned for so long.  I didn’t dwell on this so called “imperfection” and hide it as if I had to be some badass superhuman.  Once I finally accepted it, I actually laughed.

It is weird to say I feel depressed and happy at the same time, but it is true after I have done this.  Now that I have finally accepted reality that I have this minor issue, I can smile at it.  I can change that to going and getting support, taking action when I sense something is wrong, and meeting other people who share the same struggle.  I can take that challenge and turn it into a gift by helping others since I can understand the issue personally.

Have you become vulnerable to yourself?  Is it scary to look deep into your feelings, and really ask yourself what is going on in there?  Are YOU the one that is happy with yourself, and not just your step-mother’s third-cousin’s coworker who thinks you are doing the right thing?  If you look at the past couple of months of your life, have you felt alive?  I used to feel as though somehow I was 1 out of 7,000,000,000 that had problems, and this made me feel as though I was some seriously screwed up human being.  This isn’t the case, and even if it was, who cares?  You are who you are.  It may be painful to accept at first, but once you do, you can finally live in reality, make the change, and meet others with whom you can build a real fulfilling relationship.  Also, there ARE people out there who want to help, but they can’t until you let them in.

Once we become vulnerable with ourselves, we can then talk to people from an authentic sense of being.  I would like to encourage anyone reading this to stop and really tune into how they have felt, write it down, and if you notice there is something in your life you truly don’t enjoy, seeing what you can do to change it.  Sometimes just being able to express it and laugh with someone else about it is all it takes to feel better.  Sometimes just knowing you are on the path to improve can help.  If needed, see if there is a close friend or support group nearby to let it out and meet others so you can realize you aren’t the only one with a screw missing in the world but there are actually 7 billion others just as “messed up” as you are.

Categories: Uncategorized
  1. Jim Nelson
    August 26, 2010 at 10:43 pm

    T thanks for your comments. Lot’s of good thoughts. My goal, along with your challenge of course, is to be authentic. Much more difficult than I anticipated. To be authentic, or vulnerable, is difficult because you need to accept that you will love yourself and thus then able to accept the love of others. There is a small fear that others will not love and accept you if you are authentic. Intellectually you know the opposite is true-the more authentic and real you are the more love you can accept from yourself and others. Society teaches us to be fake to be accepted and conform to old beliefs. Look forward to the mental diet.

    • August 26, 2010 at 11:16 pm

      It’s difficult. Hopefully this blog will remind me of my goal so I don’t just forget about it.

      I never thought of being “vulnerable” and “authentic” as being the same thing, but they really are. Thanks J

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