You are not a mess, you are vulnerable

“You are not a mess
You are brave for trying”
Vulnerability is noble, but it’s not easy. The war-torn path behind me indicates I have made many messes and many mistakes, but is that such a bad thing? Or do the courageous and brave get confused with the meek?

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Vulnerability is the quality or state of being exposed to the possibility of being attacked or harmed, either physically or emotionally.

To the possibility:

A possibility is elusive, it has no tangible reality, it does not require existence, experience, etc..

Bravery is the quality or state of having or showing mental or moral strength to face danger, fear, or difficulty

Of having or showing:

Having or showing proves the existence of something, it is an experience of knowing

16585249_394671140897195_6507710837463973888_n.jpgI don’t think that bravery is about skin. Bravery is about a willingness to show emotional need.
Richard Gere

If you know there is a possibility of danger, of a threat, like your emotional needs not being met, then it is an act of brave to ask anyways. In doing so you allow others to see you are vulnerable, yes, but you also allow yourself courage: then it seems you have met your own emotional needs.

Sometimes I look back on my life and think “what a mess!” but the messiest parts come from avoiding myself, from silencing my needs, from trying to be something that I am not, and not valuing myself enough. (see: anxious-avoidant attachment)  Every ‘mess’ was made from those moments of bravery where I allowed myself the opportunity to be vulnerable and discovered that in my self-denial I was faced with the wrong person, place, or situation.  

Momentary acts of courage make me a survivor of the mess, not the mess itself!  

16583668_227188914354245_8035263205221597184_n

Having failures, disasters, mistakes behind you, you have the choice, to avoid and conceal yourself when faced with the possibility of it happening again, or to show that you have made it through the pain before, and you can do it again. To do this in a meaningful way you truly have to believe you are worth it.

You give yourself value when you respect your needs and when you demonstrate that you respect your truth, over the truth of another.

I feel like my secret magic trick that separates me from a lot of my peers is the bravery to be vulnerable, and truthful, and honest.
Katy Perry

Truth and honesty are not exclusive to the expression of ourselves to others, they are also the ways in which we communicate to ourselves.

I have often allowed my need for love to overpower my need for self-expression. In relationships, I would change to meet the needs of another and in doing so I silenced my vulnerability. I would conceal myself in the belief that I didn’t understand my needs so they were not important. I placed more importance on the possibility of rejection. When I finally expressed my vulnerability, the damage had already been done, I had misled myself and the other, and everything would fall apart: I would have to piece myself together again.  

Through my research, I found that vulnerability is the glue that holds relationships together. It’s the magic sauce
Dr. Brene Brown

Dr. Brene Brown is a research professor at the University of Houston Graduate College of Social Work. She studies vulnerability, courage, worthiness, and shame.

Here is her TED Talk: The Power of Vulnerability

“You’re imperfect, but you’re worthy”

Shame is a huge motivator for me. I clean my house when I know that others will see it because I fear their judgment.   I was ashamed to have feelings or needs, I did not think that what I wanted was important enough to express.   I was also laden with the crippling fear that I was not enough, that I would find out I was a bad person, that I was imperfect, and that all that was out there in the world was rejection and disappointment.   I was afraid of me. The courage to be imperfect is still an ongoing battle for me. The more I express my true and honest self, the more I reward myself, and the more the world gives back to me.  

Painting Credit: Night by Jimmy Lawlor

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