Vulnerability: go big or go home?

Vulnerability has to be one of the worst feelings in the world.

People tell me “oh no, it’s liberating to let everything go and feel vulnerable.” Liars. Of course, I may eat those words later if that experience ever does happen, but as of now, I call foul.

I’ve been fixated the past few days on this idea of stripping down a person (insert inappropriate joke) to their truest self. In other words, what’s really under all the walls and layers people throw up and cover up with? What makes them tick?

To me, this is the truest level of intimacy; getting to really, truly know and understand a person. How they work, how they think, what makes them smile, what are their pet peeves, what makes them cry, and why?

I’m not suggesting that the physical stuff isn’t intimate, obviously it is, but in my opinion, something that can be cheaply given away in a one night stand is not the deepest level of intimacy. Because that can’t be given to someone; it has to be studied, it has to be learned over time. It takes commitment.

And that’s another word that bums me out.

I’m deeply committed to about four things: 1) Jesus Christ, 2) my family, 3) my friends, and 4) my inability to commit to anything other than the three aforementioned commitments. Yup. I’m in a strongly committed relationship with my commitment issues. Sad, I know.

But all of this realization has led me to wonder, why do we have to throw up walls in the first place? And why are we expected to be “ok” all of the time? I think in a perfect world this wouldn’t be necessary. We could be open and honest, and not fear getting hurt. And if we did, we would have the support and encouragement to properly heal.

Alas, life isn’t perfect. Things are messy. People are fallible and make mistakes. And when we’re vulnerable, we get hurt. And then you’re generally left with two options: 1) go numb, or 2) hurt like hell.

Those are terrible options if you ask me.

But I guess this is one of those “I don’t make the rules” situations. You just have to play the hand you’re dealt I suppose. And who knows, maybe those open and vulnerable people are onto something. I mean, go big or go home, right?

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