The Power of Vulnerability

A friend of mine once sent me a TED talk about the power of vulnerability which I watched with gratitude and awe. It was a really long time ago but the video highlighted the power of letting ourselves feel all range of emotions in order to live our life to the fullest.

Despite being so captivated by the video back then, I’ve found myself limiting the emotions I feel or at least making excuses when they’re not the “right” ones. I would overreact whenever my boyfriend hung out with his (what seemed to me) clingy friends. I would get angry and sad and every other shade of crazy. So my mom decided it would be helpful to go the school counselor where I could hopefully get tips on “controlling” my emotions. To my dismay, the lady I saw would repeatedly assure me that everything I feel is normal; that I need to learn to feel my feelings instead of try to control them.

Tonight, as a recurring family problem came up again I cried and cried. I kept telling myself that maybe I was crying because I had forgotten to take my birth control, because I was tired from work or I was stressed out about an assignment I have to complete. What I failed to realize was I was crying because I was sad. And that’s okay.

I am glad I can now recognize myself trying to cover up negative and uncomfortable feelings. I am also glad to realize that I can’t be happy all the time. I can only be human.


The Relationship safe zone

Two years ago I developed this theory of a relationship safe zone which would help me relax and open up. I had been with my boyfriend for six months and he would open up to me immensely during that time. I knew everything about his childhood, his fears his passions all the things you’d want to know about the person you’re in love with. He, on the other hand, had to constantly pester me about opening up. I would come up with a fraction about my life and then share it but it never felt like I was sharing deep parts about myself. I was so afraid of being vulnerable because how fleeting people tend to be. One moment they’re there listening to your deepest thoughts and the next you’re not speaking to each other. So I told myself that I had to be vulnerable if I wanted to be happy. I convinced myself that after a really long time you cross the relationship safe zone and your chances of breaking up decrease significantly. I told myself after 6 months of being together and knowing each other you’re probably be together for a while! So I opened up. I don’t remember how much but I let my guard down. I talked about things I’m passionate about and my childhood as much as I could. But lo and behold after our one year anniversary my boyfriend decided he couldn’t put up with my temper and gave me ultimates I couldn’t and wouldn’t stand for. So I sent him on his way.

I ended the relationship safe zone and my relationship.Most importantly I realized there is no such a thing as a relationship safe zone. Relationships don’t have predisposed expiration dates, they just expire when you least expect it.
Two years later the person who knew everything about me and who I was so in love with isn’t there. He is a new person with some questionable interests and hobbies and from what I hear an inability to be vulnerable. And I’m still the same. I cannot ask for help from my partner. I cannot tell him when I’m sad or having problems. For whatever reason I refuse to let my guard down. And some say it’s a matter of a partner and when I meet the right person I’ll be a big bag of mush. But as of now I’m still waiting for someone to wear me down. Or open me up. Or whatever other cliche phrase you prefer. For now I’ll just thank those who are vulnerable without effort (like my ex) and admire them for letting me see the deepest parts of them.