Showing vulnerability is scary because it’s when we’re at our most human.
How it works is, we’re all a little bit broken. We all come to the table with bags and bags of old hurts and betrayals, bitterness spilling over the sides, insecurities bursting at the seams. We’re held together with glue and string and fuzzy bits of old tape, pieces of us constantly tearing and flaking and falling off.
It’s a wonder when we reach adulthood more or less intact — and a straight up miracle when we find someone who can look through the daily disasters we wear like hopeful armor to see the beautiful steady beating of our survivor’s heart.
There are a lot of people out there in the world who won’t take the time to look past your lasting damage. There’s a persistent image that exists in society, an insistence that happiness is the only acceptable face you can show, because anything less is a reminder of the reality of life.
We come rocketing into this crazy plane of existence, and if we’re lucky, we live a little before we roll right back out of it. That can be terrifying if you haven’t come to terms with it — if you haven’t made peace with our imperfection and our impermanence.
Showing vulnerability is scary because it’s when we’re at our most human. For those who haven’t yet faced the fact of what that means, it’s an emotional Medusa, snakes of uncertainty turning them to stone. Of course they run away the moment they can move again.
Hold out for somebody who’s made it at least as far as you, someone who’s waved a white flag of surrender at their stupid, stubborn mortality the same way you have, who’s gone on in spite of it. Don’t waste your time on somebody still insisting on hiding the broken parts of them behind their back.
For our wounds to heal, we have to bring them out into the light, examine them with a critical eye, apply first aid with a careful, steady, and loving hand. We have to avoid those who rip our bandages off over and over again, exposing our hurt to the air, keeping it painfully fresh.
Instead, we need to seek out someone who has all their bags open on the table too, taking up so much space that there’s barely any room for somebody else to sit down. But there isroom — just enough — and unpacking all that heartache and disappointment in between us together is one of the greatest acts of love there is.