An Oldie But a Goodie

I think besides the fear of public speaking, being vulnerable is one of the biggest fears that people have. I was sent a link the other day by a close friend, and the video was this woman speaking about vulnerability and the research she had done over six years. It was some pretty powerful stuff, and I learned a lot from it. Here’s what I took away.

People hate being vulnerable. They hate being in a place that makes them feel like they are unsafe, physically and emotionally. Vulnerability is the core of shame, of fear, and is our underlying struggle to find worthiness. Being vulnerable is like being a street fight…people don’t often play by the rules. Often of times we numb ourselves and protect ourselves from being vulnerable. Unfortunately, what happens when we numb ourselves to being vulnerable, we also numb our emotions, and that tears us apart at the seams. The way this manifests itself is that we blame other people for our problems (a way of discharging pain and discomfort) and we pretend that our actions don’t have an effect on other people. We assume that everything is about us, and that no one else really matters. We prevent ourselves from being vulnerable in our relationships, with our friends, with people we just met. I know this because I have been guilty of it once in a while, in thinking that someone won’t like me for just me, so I tried to pretend or play into something that I thought they would enjoy. Trust me, that’s not the way to go (I was just being vulnerable in admitting that). But there’s another way to do this.
Courage, the original definition, when it came into the dictionary was “to tell the story of who you are with your whole heart.” Wow. I wish I had that definition when I wrote about courage. But it really means to let ourselves be deeply seen by others. To love with our whole hearts even though when you go into a relationship with someone, and there are no guarantees. Being vulnerable, yes…is the core of shame, fear, and struggle for worthiness…but it is also what makes each of us beautiful. It is the “birthplace of joy, creativity, of belonging, and of love.” This blog, is my attempt to be deeply seen, and to establish my journey into loving with my whole heart. There are no other motivations.
I picked “Better Together” by Jack Johnson for this because he sings the truth. We are all better together. We are better people with people who love us, who care about us, and would do anything for us. And to all my friends, I think they can feel that I love and care about them dearly. If you are in a relationship with someone, or just are really good friends with someone, lay your heart and your feelings out on the line. Let them know how you feel about them, and never assume that people know what you are thinking. I truthfully think that the only way you can become great friends with someone is to be completely vulnerable with them. This is why Greg and I sit down every week and drink Guinness and occasionally enjoy a fine cigar. We sit there, and drink, and spill everything…emotions, fears, struggles, things that make us happy…and the list goes on. This is our attempt at being vulnerable with each other, but we both respect the fact that we trust the other with the things that are truly on our minds and in our hearts. That is a friendship that will last till we are old men. And we will still be sitting on the porch, maybe in rocking chairs, talking our lives out. I haven’t written in days, because I am just happy. Really happy. I wrote the other day that it was the first time I had woken up with a smile on my face. Well, that has happened every day since then. Being at school over break is really relaxing. No one is here…I go swimming every morning…hangout with my roommate…study for my missed finals…write and decorate my room (which is almost fully covered in posters, vinyls, and quotes)…and hangout at night with some of my best friends. I have been happy because things really picked up for my. I got a huge promotion at work, but most importantly, that kicked in the gut feeling is gone. I am finally making people laugh again which is one of my favorite things in the world, I have a house to live in for next year with two great roommates, I have decided to pursue my dream of History and traveling aboard to Florence, and I am completely at peace with things. I am happy, and I am happy on my own. I am me again.
This blog is me being vulnerable. I am not writing this for anyone but me. But something else I am writing it for, and this possibly could be for the people who read it, is what I am learning in life. Every day there is something new and interesting. I love writing what I have learned, because maybe, somewhere out there, there is someone who is going through the exact same emotions for feelings I am going through and can pick themselves up with some of the advice I have been given. I do it because I know that while I am at the moment being vulnerable, I am also defeating my fears. My fear of being alone, being left by people I care about. And I know that I am getting better at combating those fears because here I sit, happy as a clam, smiling…because I know that we all travel certain paths and no matter where people go, those paths cross again.

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  • adultcollegestudents
    January 20, 2012 at 5:04 am

    Reblogged this on adultcollegestudents.

  • PaintByLetters
    January 20, 2012 at 10:54 am

    I can really relate to this post. It takes great courage to speak our feelings, even in the face of fear. Recently, I’ve had my own lesson with it. Looking back, some things that hurt to say or seemed foolish to reveal and made me vulnerable, were just me expressing my feelings, even when others refused to let themselves go and be free.
    I think the way you write and express yourself is really beautiful. Keep it up, I look forward to every post. You’re a great writer and you speak to many of the issues we deal with on a daily basis and put them down in a very dynamic way.
    It’s a rare gift to be able to be very clear and concise, and touch people on a real level and connect with them. Often enough, there are silly blogs that catch your eye for only a second. Gratefully, this is not one of them. I think it’s fantastic that you are not only growing yourself, but seeking to help others with the same. We need more men like you, who are willing to grow and conquering their fear. Your realizations and emotions are very honest and stirring.
    I don’t know you, but I think you’re beautiful. Thanks for posting.

  • lolweltschmerz
    January 20, 2012 at 12:45 pm

    Beautifully stated.

  • Just call me K
    January 20, 2012 at 4:04 pm

    I absolutely love this post. It really hit me in the heart to be honest. Thank you. I think I’ve also seen that video you mentioned about being vulnerable…was it a woman who was so used of needing results and collecting data etc? Anyway…thanks again for writing this…I needed to read that today…I was starting to put my walls up a bit…good reminder 🙂 xx

  • anotherhickabillyhoedown
    January 21, 2012 at 12:15 am

    I Totally LOVE this blog. You put yourself out there. So brave, so vulnerable and still in such a great way to portray yourself in the limelight. It made me feel so good reading this as it should have your friends. Your tenderness in writing has really made an impact on me. I wish that I could write like you, and many others that I do follow. I have read some pretty amazing things. I myself have so many of the same fears, you had written about. I would LOVE to wake up with a smile on my face, and just make my day out to be one I truly love. I fear this in so many ways, I truly don’t believe I am meant to be happy in this life. My boys bring me so much joy, happiness and love. Yet, they have the battle to try to get through in me being their mom. Any ideas for me, any things you are willing to pass on. I would be grateful to you. I am so happy that you are smiling again and have the feeling of gratitude you deserve to have.. I hope it continues for many years to come!

  • hermitsdoor
    January 21, 2012 at 7:31 am

    In our self-esteem culture, we like to focus on our strengths and successes. We like to ignore and overcome our vulnerabilities. Vulnerabilities are different from errors, mistakes, and failures. Vulnerabilities are deeper aspects of our personality. Rarely do these go away in our lives. You have got it right to first recognize them, then find a few friends whom you have the trust with to share these. Next is to find ways to pursue your ambitions and have successes regardless of your vulnerabilities.

    By the way, if you like stout beers, try Murphy’s stout. We came across this while traveling in Ireland a couple years back. You can find it some times in the USA. We buy it at Trader Joe’s. If you like black-and-tan, mix Murphy’s with Smithwicks. This is called a Killkenney from the Irish town where they brew Smithwicks.

  • pathwriter
    January 21, 2012 at 12:31 pm

    Your heart and your vulnerability are what make your blog so great, Evan. Keep writing—there are people out there who need to hear what you’re saying.

  • Leo
    January 21, 2012 at 1:58 pm

    I enjoyed this post. Especially the definition of courage. Thank you.

  • Lino Althaner
    January 21, 2012 at 2:00 pm

    I agree with your points of view. That’s our first job, to try to be better. One important goal is, of course, to defeat that sense of vulnerability that tries to stop us in our liberty, in our relations and activities. Of course, there is a spiritual force the saves us from insecurity and leads us into good and happy work. By the way, why don’t you follow my blog, as I am following yours. There is a lot of food for the spirit there and a lot of material in english Thanks

  • 29tolife
    January 23, 2012 at 4:31 pm

    Hot fire. You nailed it. I was nodding my head in agreement so much, I may have to sue you for whiplash. Just kidding.

    “This blog is me being vulnerable. I am not writing this for anyone but me. But something else I am writing it for, and this possibly could be for the people who read it, is what I am learning in life.”

    That is also the goal of my blog, and I’ve been amazed and impressed with how others have responded to the random things out of my head. Good stuff!

  • raoai
    January 24, 2012 at 12:58 pm

    this is a wonderful post, thank you for sharing this with us.

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