I think I’ve told myself that I was writing my “most vulnerable post” a few times now. I’ve felt like I was maybe letting people a little too far into my mind and into the pages of my diary. But I can now confirm that there is a new MVP (most vulnerable post) in town. Some impulsive part of me feels the need to share a few lessons I’ve been learning lately, copied almost straight from my actual journal (with some edits bc i’m brave but not THAT brave). Strictly for therapeutic purposes. Maybe you’ll relate in your own way, maybe you’ll think this is stupid. Frankly, I don’t care either way. My journal is my therapist, and now I guess you can all read what I have been, like, realizing.
- Be sure of who you are. This is something I preach. I think that knowing yourself to your deepest core is the most important thing, and that until you have this, you will never be able to live as your truest self or allow anyone to truly know you. While this is incredibly important, it is equally important to allow your knowledge of who and what you are to remain fluid. We are ever-changing and evolving, and every situation we go through will slightly change who we are. Remaining too set in your thoughts of who you are will create inner turmoil, because while you might have outgrown certain parts of yourself, your mind will not be embracing it. You will end up holding yourself back from opportunities and from peace and happiness. You may have identified with one trait for years, but holding onto that trait too tightly will prevent you from celebrating the new ones that have found themselves in you.
- You are not strong because you don’t need anyone. You’re just guarded and stubborn. Everybody needs someone. You can be strong and independent and know that you can rely on yourself and find happiness for yourself while still needing others. Even though you might be perfectly fine with and used to being on your own, and even though you might feel like no person can make you happier than you already are, it still feels good to know that you can also rely on someone else. Life is an awful lot less lonely that way.
- People can’t read your mind. Being upfront and honest about the things you want and what you are feeling or thinking isn’t always easy, but there’s not even a chance that things will go the way you want them to go if you don’t open up and speak your mind. Not saying what you really mean or what’s really on your mind is you having your walls up. Whether you’re trying to spare someone’s feelings, or you’re afraid to be vulnerable, or you’re trying to avoid conflict, holding back what you think or feel will leave a wall between you and others for as long as you decide to keep it there.
- Letting people in can be terrifying. Baring the parts of yourself that you’ve been protecting and hiding from the world is one of the harder things you’ll do. It brings fears of rejection and embarrassment and regret. But it can also end up being the best thing you’ve ever done. And you might feel less lonely. And you might realize that breaking down the walls you’ve had up for years, without even knowing it, feels liberating.
- Nothing ever goes the way you thought it would. I’ve learned this lesson before, but life has reminded me of it again. Making plans in your mind can be dangerous because it creates expectations that may never be reached. But that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t let yourself dream and get excited about the things your heart wants. Holding back from doing this is, again, you having walls up, and trying to protect yourself from heartbreak and disappointment. If we lived our lives not allowing ourselves to think too much about our dreams, or not allowing ourselves to create expectations, we would never grow, and life would just be plain boring.
- Our past experiences taught us something, and they maybe even made us jaded or cynical or afraid to put ourselves in similar situations again. But those are past experiences, and we should take what we learned from them and not forget it, but also not let it dictate our present/future experiences. Holding yourself back from experiences that could bring you happiness because of a past experience that brought you the opposite, is nothing other than you having walls up and refusing to knock them down.
- Don’t be afraid to fight for something that means something to you. Don’t be afraid of coming off as weak or desperate. Desperation shows vulnerability, which by now I hope we’re learning is a good thing. Moments of desperation show us what really matters to us. Don’t let go of those things without a fight.
- People think in different ways, and sometimes making them think in the same way that you do is a hopeless cause. (refer to Confessions of an Over-Thinker). Someone who is thinking with their head usually wants to think that way for their own reasons, and being on the other end can be frustrating. But ultimately, you cannot make someone agree with you if they don’t want to. No matter how badly you want to, you cannot knock down someone else’s walls for them.
- Never regret allowing yourself to feel and be vulnerable. I wish that doing these things would lead us to happiness every time, but the reality is that sometimes it ends up in exactly what we were afraid of. But even if it kind of feels like it was all for nothing, it wasn’t. You learned something. You broke your walls down. Now try not to go running to put them back up.
With love and lattes,