Author’s Note: We at Booty Jams Podcast believe it takes a lot of work to find fulfilling and enjoyable relationships that are additive to our lives. Often it takes a hard look at ourselves to realize who we really are, and bring ourselves to a place where we can share that with others. This week Jett shares a little bit about her own experience exploring an aspect of relationships we all struggle with: Vulnerability.
I have always felt that vulnerable was a dirty word. It was the way we described small animals caught out in a rain storm. A sign of weakness, of something to be conquered and rubbed out. After years of dating, I have taken that mentality into my relationships. Coming off a break up, I have to protect my heart. Build my walls. Make them strong. There is no conquering these barricades. My shell of safety is my good place. It’s where I can be exactly who I want other people to see me as. Flawless and completely rational.
However, my castle of perfection eventually gets lonely. So, when do these walls come down? When does “safety” turn into “closed off”? Is there reason in knocking down the fortress and exposing all my tender parts?
Yes. Quickly. And yes.
Being vulnerable is scary. It’s a terrifying road to go down when I’ve worked so hard to find a safe place alone. What if I open up and someone harms me again? What if I show them who I am and they leave? What if they think I’m “cray cray”? Being open is like walking out on stage in my underwear. I have nightmares about it. I always feel weird the next day. Double checking myself in the mirror the next morning making sure I remembered my pants.
But if I don’t throw myself on that stage, demand a spotlight on all of my gentle and raw bits, no one gets the chance to see me for who I am, and maybe adore every sensitivity about me. If I do not force myself to be seen, I close the door to those who may enjoy my candor, and get rid of those people that just can’t handle it. So, how the hell do I get there?
I have heard people talk about “When you meet the right person, you just know”. That’s great and all, but my walls could have been keeping out the right person (or the right for now person). Others tell me “you get there” when the other party shows levels of deep honesty. This idea makes me feel more comfortable because I am not standing naked alone, however it is an intangible undertaking. I would once again place my feelings, and the presentation of them, in the hands of someone else. I’ve played the waiting game and resentment is a cruel side effect. While waiting for someone else to “say it first”, I end up presenting myself as someone I am not. I showcase this super tough, really easy going person, masquerading under the guise of someone who’s never bothered by anything. The reality of who I am is being kept secret because I am too scared to be vulnerable.
Being vulnerable/open/exposed isn’t about the other person. It’s about me facing myself. Saying what I feel no matter if it is said back to me or not. It’s about me showing my soft spots with pride and saying “take it or leave it”. And finding the strength and gusto to point out where my tender parts are, and allowing people to touch test them. I am a sensitive person, and that’s OK. If I don’t let people see my delicates, how can they be delicate with me?
Through acting ashamed of these parts of myself I have made them shameful. I believed that apathy could be a good thing. That if I continued “not caring” then eventually I would be this superhuman, unbreakable and in control. The reality is that holding on to my walls did nothing but allow me to hide from what I really felt. If I didn’t recognize when to break them down, I would have secured myself in a lonely chateau where the actualization of real intimacy stayed completely out of reach.
Vulnerable isn’t dirty. It isn’t this pathetic aspect of life. It is me securing my true feelings and ending the war within. Realizing that I might get hurt, and still choosing to be a part of it. Breaking my bubble, being myself and entering the world with a new form. My walls were there for a reason. Not to protect and not to save, but to buy me time to change.
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