Vulnerability is the essence of connecting with someone, and to truly connect with someone is the essence of life.
So then, why do we grow up believing vulnerability is a bad thing?
Why is it so hard to let our weakness and doubts show and to really reveal ourselves?
I have spent my entire life, in some shape or form, hiding some parts of who I am. Whether I am wearing a mask or just withholding parts of myself, I have been ashamed or afraid to show all of myself to anyone for as long as I remember. The older I get, I still find myself holding back in some of the relationships in my life. I find myself only giving away little bits and pieces to everyone I know. Until I met my wife, I don't know if I really even knew I was doing it until everything just sort of spilled out to her. Until I was really seen, just bared soul and completely authentic.
But, even now, knowing how I hide parts of myself, I still do it. I find it so hard to just let my insecurities and doubts go. I tuck them away and bury them in the corners of my mind. I put myself out there in the way I want to be seen, not in the ugly and scarred way that I exist. I don't want to live like that, a picture perfect life veiled in optimism. I'm flawed and scarred and have deep insecurities that make me wonderfully vulnerable. There are some aspects of me hidden deep away that only My Love has seen. But, I'll be brave and share some of my true authentic self, with you. Parts that shouldn't be hidden because there is nothing wrong with them.
One of the biggest insecurities I have, is the discomfort I feel when someone asks me about coming out late in life. Immediately I feel like there is something wrong with the fact that I just didn't know. I avoid the conversation and squirm when I'm forced talk about it. Even with those closest to me know, I don't often open up about it. The thing is there's nothing wrong with it. I didn't have a label for myself when I was younger, and that's okay. I'm okay with the fact that I was confused for a lot of years; my path was what it was but I feel like it's not acceptable to the world. Like we should all just be born knowing and that's that. But, not me, I struggled. I learned a lot and I was hurt and found significant growth through the process. My path was what it was. Sure, I wish I would have figured it out a hell of a lot sooner, but I didn’t and I shouldn’t be ashamed of that. I shouldn't squirm like maybe something is wrong with me because I was with men for a lot of time before. I think of it like anyone who is looking for the right person; you have to figure out who it is. I just was a little off course and got stuck in Manville. But, how that's perceived shouldn't be of concern to me. I should just put it out there in the world, let other late bloomers know it's okay to have been oblivious. To be stuck in some hetero-normative life because the course seems predetermined, is unfortunate but it happens. It happened to me, and to that I say, better late than never.
Another of my vulnerabilities, is the fact that I'm an emotional person. I cry. I cry when I'm hurt, happy, sad and even super angry. I have strong emotions that just happen to come out my eyeballs at inopportune moments. I don’t know why that is, I think I just feel very deeply. It can be extremely annoying on this end at times when you're so angry but tears is all that comes out. But they do. Unfortunately, I think tears and emotions in general are something we are taught at a young age to hide at a young age,
don't let them see you cry,
Tears make you vulnerable. Vulnerability is strength. I know what I feel and how to express it. I don't feel like showing my emotions makes me weak in any way. I think keeping my feelings bottled up is far more damaging to me than a tear from my eyes could ever be.
The last of my insecurities I'll share that I keep tucked away, is my guilt. The guilt of what I've put my kids through. I don't mean just divorce and a mom who came out as gay. I feel so much guilt for the years I chose to stay. All the years I thought I was doing what's best for them by staying. My boys lived through a very unhappy marriage and I feel guilty every day because of it. I question whether I should have left sooner to spare them some of the memories they now hold. I worry seeing the fights and hearing the anger will have lasting effects that will reverberate to their future relationships. I wonder if they will blame me. The effects of my weaknesses will not be known for years to come. It scares me. I don't talk about it because it hurts me; it cuts me deep in my heart. But, that vulnerability of mine is there, it now guides my decisions and is something I have to live with and learn from.
I know everyone has things in their life that they keep in; masks they wear. Daily we try to portray the image of what we think we are supposed to be. Let that go. Be you. Be your gorgeous self. Being vulnerable is not a weakness, it's stunning. We are all struggling souls on this earth who are seeking approval and connection. We want to find happiness and contentment in this life we have, but the only way to do that is to let go and just be the beautifully flawed human that you are.