Please check out my first post on this series!
Weakest At Its Strongest (Part One)
If you had the chance, what would you say to the person who hurt you the most? To the person you hurt the most? To yourself, alone? An unfiltered, unedited, unprepared verse. Think about it.
My heart has several scars upon it from different occasions in which I’ve cut it open and poured it out to people who hurt me significantly. From letters of closure “I truly hope you find happiness, thank you for all the good times” to apologises “I am so sorry for not being there for you when you needed me most” and let’s not forget the painful honesty of admittance “I felt something between us, I really enjoy spending time with you.” Oh, yes, I’ve climbed out onto that limb many times. I’ve sat there, trying to not fall off that limb with so little balance and stability, waiting for a response, for acknowledgment, for closure. My faith in humanity has dwindled down to almost nothing at times when it hit me that in most of these chaotic heartfelt moments, I will receive no response. They read the letter, the message, the text, they soaked up my weakness with a rag of apathy and threw it away. This might be the worst form of vulnerability, simply because it involves someone aside from yourself.
Everyone would tell me that I’m being the bigger, better person. Why is this such an unsatisfying statement? Let’s be real, it doesn’t feel like the level of the pain I experienced is being matched. That limb I went out on? It snapped, and I hit every other branch on the fall downward. The tough cookie always seems to get away just fine, seemingly emotionless and all. How could you not respond to a letter filled with nothing but emotional sincerity, apologies, and well-wishing’s? How could you let someone expose themselves before you, stripped of their confidence, certainty, and security and then turn your back on the meaningfulness that they radiate for you? I have been left with so many questions, confusions, frustrations, and I took it upon myself to reach out. Just as I reached into the darkness of the sky this past summer. I mustered up the courage to hit that send button or to put that stamp on the envelope, only to have it thrown back in my face with humility. You made me feel naked, unworthy, untrusting, and I hate you for it.
Here come those large stones of regret, doubt, and shame that we use to build our walls. We pile them up so quickly and create a fortress of distrust for the rest of the world. Sure, it blocks out the bad guys. However, it prevents those diamonds in the rough from reaching you too. These walls feel so good to build because it provides us with a sense of safety and control, yet little do we know that they are hindering us. They may defend against the pain that the shallow, apathetic, emotionally unavailable people have provided us with, but they also prevent us from seeing the big picture. Imagine how much more expansive the horizon looks without a wall, or how many more opportunities lie on the other side of that wall that you cannot see? How will you ever let your soul mate into your life if they can’t help you take down this wall? How do you even love yourself within the confinements of these walls?
We will all always have some form of a wall, or at least a small fence up, as an instinct. To shield ourselves from the harshness of the world, to protect our dignity. In the moment, I hated those people who chose not to respond to me. I hated them because I felt shame, foolishness, and weakness flow through my bloodstream. I felt unworthy, like they had unseen power over me. However, I like to think about what it would be like if I didn’t reach out to them. Sure, I had questions that I did not receive direct answers for. Yet, I obtained the most important answer I needed to move on: This person is not meant to be in my life. If you can see past the deep fog of pain and frustration amidst a vulnerable experience such as confronting the person who hurt you the most, just know that the answer is right there. Try to understand that if they do not respond to you after you exposed your deepest emotions to them, it’s not you. It’s them. Once you can accept this, you will find strength in vulnerability. You will be able to acknowledge that you deserve so much better than the person who cannot find an ounce of love, forgiveness, or consideration to formulate a response.
In our purest, most natural forms of life, we are vulnerable. It is the core of our existence, but we have smothered it with false personas of pride, egotism, and “manliness.” When we are born into this world, we are vulnerable. When we die, we are vulnerable. When we drive to work, or take a walk on the sidewalk, we are vulnerable, but we don’t like to remember that. I think the revelation I am experiencing is that when you can shrink yourself down to your smallest, weakest, most humiliating form, it is only then that you can experience the ultimate power and strength that is born from vulnerability. Just as a nebula collapses for another star to be born. The paradox of vulnerability is that it brings you to your knees in weakness, but provides you with mountains of resilience.
These past two articles were a real challenge to tackle. Why? Because I made myself vulnerable, to thousands of people. I questioned myself, I backspaced repetitively, I bit my lip in concern. Strangers will now have known some of my weakest points in life. Yet, I feel empowered. Especially empowered, because I know that other people have experienced moments like these in their lives and they don’t know how to talk about them. I found beauty in perhaps its darkest form, I experienced humility in the most gratifying way. My fortress of damaged emotions has shrunk down to maybe a few blocks, and I’ll admit I am still cautious. However, I’ve decided that I rather be open to feeling hurt than to be closed to feeling nothing at all. I ask you this, will you take the plunge into a vulnerable situation? Will you lay beneath the stars alone, with your thoughts? Will you confront the person that you hurt the most, or perhaps that you hurt the most? Will you look the monster in the eye that is composed of the epitome of your imperfections and challenge it? Do it, I dare you.