Sometimes it's the hardest thing in the world.
Letting your walls down. Letting people in. Letting them see you.
Because what if they don't like what they see. What if they can't handle it? What if they don't want to.
And maybe that one time you tried, the person you trusted let you down or rejected you or left. We are so good at letting people see the parts of our lives that we want them to see. And when it comes to me, I think I’ve become a little too good. But the unbreakable barrier I am always so quick to put up between myself and everyone I want to let in are doing me a disservice. Or I'm doing myself a disservice.
Because sometimes, being vulnerable is the hardest thing for us to do, but it’s also the most important.
Sometimes, you need to let people see the real you. All those lost loves and the nights you felt alive and the moments where it seemed like your heart was physically wringing and aching and shattering in your chest. Sometimes you need to let people see all the pieces of your past that have undeniably and irrevocably shaped you into the fragmented yet whole person you are today.
Because they need to know that they're important enough to be trusted with those pieces. Because they’ve probably felt it all and had the faded relationships and infinite dusk-turned-daybreaks and heartaches, too. Because they need to know that there’s an actual human soul behind the smile you present to the world everyday. And because if you don’t, you won’t ever truly connect with them.
It’s the hardest thing in the world to let people see you for all you are, stripped of all pretenses. It's so much more intimate than any physical touch. That's why being vulnerable and real—being weak—is also being strong.
We've made ourselves believe that weakness and strength can't coexist, but they can. And they do.
It’s unbelievably strong to recognize what you want and be brave enough to ask for it, to put yourself out there, to acknowledge that you deserve to have the answer to your “what if” for once. To know that you deserve that happiness. To know that you could live without it—but you don’t want to. It’s the hardest, scariest thing in the world to let people in, but you need to.
I need to.
I'm not good at being vulnerable. But I'm trying to be.
I owe that to myself. And if you're like me, and you're cautious, and you're guarded, and you're maybe just a little tired of being your own worst enemy—I hope you know that you owe it to yourself, too.
Let's be unafraid to be afraid.