So this “loving the crap out of life” that I declared not too long ago? Well it requires an enormous amount of emotional bravery, with a gigantic mountain of hope. You take a risk, put yourself out there, and hope for the best. The hardest part about being brave with your emotions is rejection.
What if your true self is too much for another? Do you recoil? Crawl back into yourself, deep down to that fortress in your soul where protection from hurt, rejection, or pain lies?
Seems like an excellent defense mechanism to combat total derailment. But then, where does that leave you? Honestly? No where worth staying. It might feel safe and sound for a while, but love doesn’t win inside a locked-up wall of safety. And you most certainly cannot love the crap out of life when you are not actually living life, if you are not going where you feel most alive.
Instead, that fortress is where your soul goes to die. Safe and protected from further scars while remaining a hollow vessel of lifelessness. Love and always and always cannot win that way.
So what happens, then, when you give vulnerability a chance, when you are a person who has emotions spilling out of her? Emotions are so incredibly tricky. Bravery and emotional courage can shoot you to the moon full of hope, with fireworks of happiness exploding all around you. Or, it can send you spiraling downward, frantically out of control, slamming onto the ground in a dangerous eruption.
You’re either bursting with confidence, or sitting confused on the floor, questioning your self-worth, wondering what you did wrong.
Here’s how vulnerability works, for me anyway:
I love the crap out of life. I take an emotional risk and bravely put myself out there on that ledge of hope. Then it is out of my control. The Universe’s pendulum swings in the direction it is meant to travel. I have to just let it go and see what stays.
If it swings towards hope and the bravery is accepted, endorphins immediately release throughout my mind, body and soul. (I’m fairly sure mine are pumped with extra doses of excitement screaming “Wooo Hooo” from every direction.) Physically, I am smiling or singing or laughing more easily. I am able to meet difficulties with clear thinking and less stress. My heart beats calmly and evenly. The balance of life comes naturally, flowing out of me like a river glides effortlessly over rocks downstream. HOPE! Hopefulness...
On the other hand, if the pendulum swings in the opposing direction, and the emotional risk is rejected, ignored or even worse, entertained for moments and then abandoned, the effects are deafening for a woman who loves the crap out of life. You can actually see the light leaving my eyes and the color draining out of my face, as it slowly disappears. Immediately following, my heart rate spikes and races so furiously, that my breath escapes me faster than I can catch it. Sometimes my hands even begin to shake. My head fills with throbbing pain and dizziness sets in. What is left is a gray dullness. Sadness and disappointment. Hopelessness. Like someone knocked the wind right out of you.
It is no wonder so many people choose to lock up their feelings with a titanium chain. Vulnerability is scary. Scary with a big ol’ capital S. The fear of being hurt or rejected may, in fact, be greater than happiness and hopefulness to some.
But here’s the thing:
At the end of the day, no matter how colorless I may be, somehow…I always return to love. I cannot explain it. But I do. No matter how scary the risk, no matter what the outcome. Ultimately, who you are is your truth. Be you. Period.
And like my girl, Liz said:
Yes, that’s exactly right. Keep living your truth and loving the crap out of life. Return to that grieving hopefulness I spoke about a few weeks ago, if you have to, until the storm of vulnerability gently dissipates. Be proud of your strength and courage. Be bold with your brave love. And don’t you dare try to fit yourself into someone else’s box. More importantly, don’t you dare give up. You have come too far for that. Too.Far. Embrace your self-love. Stand tall again when you can. Because you will. You will stand humbly tall on that mountain once more. Light always shines brightly in the end.
Loving the crap out of life + the mountain of hope = You.
Beautiful, wonderful, unique, “no-one-else-like-you“, you. Still rising in love. Still welcoming life. Still finding hope. And…still boldly embracing the heck out of vulnerability. Because the biggest risk in life is not taking one at all.
Still a believer,
2 thoughts on “Vulnerability, with a Side of a Hope”
Wonderful post, Jen, and exactly what I needed to hear at this moment in time. You are fierce. ❤ you!
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❤️ and always and always Jenn! Fierceness must run in the family 😉