Becoming Vulnerable

I’ve had a lot on my mind lately and it has been a rocky road at times. When I step back and look at things from the outside, I realize that time is beginning to get away from me again, as it did in my early to mid 30s. I sensed it back then, but I wasn’t quite sure what was happening. It’s much different this time as I can feel it breathing down my neck and glaring into my eyes.

I took my first summer vacation last week since the years when I used to enjoy the time between semesters in college. Although I worked between semesters I still viewed it as a vacation. I’m glad my parents made me work. It taught me a lot about myself and it gave me the necessary tools I would need to survive on my own. It’s unfortunate that many parents aren’t able to give their children the right tools to live responsible lives when they become adults. These people never learn proper work ethics or the value of money. They aren’t motivated, yet they believe the world should revolve around them. They don’t see the difference between right or wrong or they simply don’t acknowledge it. They’ve been coddled since they were children and their parents gave them everything. It’s a shame to see these people try to survive in relationships when they become adults. They simply don’t have the skills, yet they attract the weak and strong alike. It’s like someone once told me, “Would you get behind the wheel if you didn’t have the skills to drive a car? Well, the same holds true for relationships. Would you get involved with someone who doesn’t have very good relationship skills?” I never thought about it much until recently and it makes an awful lot of sense now that I look at it. People who don’t have the proper skills don’t have the necessary tools to live life without becoming a hindrance to others. These type of people can drag people right under the bus with them. They don’t know any better.

A friend of mine sent me an email this morning, which saddened me when I read it. Here’s a part of it:

“WTF….I can’t sleep .. I woke up at 3:15 and haven’t been able to go back to sleep.   I can’t stop thinking!!! Ugh …. I am lonely .. I miss sleeping with someone. I hear a noise and get all paranoid and my adrenaline kicks in n I wonder if I could protect my children from an intruder.  I can’t stop crying ….. It feels as though a huge hole has been ripped through me and I dont know if I’m strong enough to heal it.  I lay in bed and hear the rain falling and the cars pass by and the dog snoring and it all just makes me feel so alone …….why have I made such poor choices that have led me to feel this way??  I’m tired …. So tired ….I don’t know if I am strong enough…….

Unfortunately there are so many people that feel this way and a few of them fall into the hole that appears. We all make bad choices. It’s who we are as people. If someone tells you they have never made a bad choice they’re not being honest. Many people will live with their bad choices and try to make things better rather than finding the strength to step back, take a look into the future and address how badly some of these choices will affect them. There are people out there who think they can “fix” their partners. They stay with the partner because it becomes a project to fix them. Before you know it time gets away from you and you realize that you can’t fix something that you didn’t create. It’s an ugly cycle that repeats over and over. You’re the only one that can save yourself instead of focusing so hard on saving the ones you love. If you stay you become lost and eventually fall into the same trap. You lose your self worth and your bad choices follow you around.

Today I watched a little bit of the Ellen show when I got home from work. Her life partner was on there with a new book that she just wrote. In the end of the interview she was talking about the positive attributes that Ellen brought to her life. I found a few of the things she said to be amazing. A few things she said reminded me very much of a close friend of mine and things  she has said in the past.

She said before she met Ellen she used to think that being tough and pretending nothing bothered her was all she ever needed. She didn’t think she ever needed anyone and she always kept people at a distance even the ones she loved. After she met Ellen and they became a couple she said she finally saw things that were beyond amazing. Ellen taught her that the best thing you can do is to be vulnerable and show your soft side. When you become vulnerable it opens up another door. She realized that you attract what you give out.

I always bust my friend’s chops about this because she always tries to be a tough guy. She hides her feelings and doesn’t let anyone close. She feels like it’s a safety blanket and if nobody can get close then she can’t get hurt. As Ellen’s partner said, she learned how much she missed out on when she lived that way. Now, she’s surrounded by a lot of love, support and happiness.  Unlike my friend, I tend to wear my emotions on my sleeve. It’s funny though because I only do it with certain people. I’ve left myself very vulnerable at times. Yes, I have been hurt but I’ve also experienced some things I never would have been able to if I had closed myself off.

I’ve been all over the map tonight so I don’t have a good way to end this. It’s been a long time since I’ve been here to write. My mind has been jammed lately and I’ve been lost deep in thought. All I can say is that you should always look out for yourself first and foremost. Don’t spend your life babysitting people that don’t have relationship skills. It will lead you to a very depressing, trying and unfulfilled life. If you come in contact with someone who wants to help you break free from hiding behind the tough guy image you should probably give it some serious thought. Ellen’s partner was extremely hesitant and unbelievably afraid, but in the end she said she found the most amazing person in the world just because she took a chance. The chance allowed her to trust someone else and show her soft side. I’ll leave you with one of my favorite quotes which pertains to everything I’ve written about this evening. It reads, “Love is giving someone the power to break your heart, but trusting them not to.”

If you open yourself and become vulnerable you will most likely receive the same. That’s where the trust is formed and it only builds from there. Give it a chance. Get rid of the tough guy image…………..your heart will be much more brittle if it remains hard. As you love to lay your head on a soft pillow at night…..a soft heart can bring you into a totally different type of dream. A dream where birds sing first thing in the morning and the sun glitters on the leaves of the trees. Heck, unicorns might even jump over the rainbow once you get there or you might even be able to finally sit back and enjoy your new soft side that kept you from finding something has always seemed non-existent.

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