Read This When You Struggle With Being Vulnerable

Sometimes being vulnerable isn’t easy. And sometimes it isn’t easy being vulnerable with someone you love; there’s always the possibility of abandonment, heartache, and pain, and there’s always the possibility that the person you love is going to leave you, ignore you, or worse, reject you.

It’s hard to open up to others when you see how easy it is to keep things to yourself and to keep yourself as a closed book. Sometimes, I bet you wonder how easy it is to keep yourself from telling others about who you are. It can be so easy sometimes to not share what you’re feeling to others and especially being vulnerable with them too, and yet you sometimes forget that there are people out there that care about you too. 

In a lot of ways, telling someone how you feel or maybe how you felt in the past is like having your chest ripped open and exposed. It can feel so daunting and intimidating to open up to others about your insecurities, anxieties, and doubts when it’s such a momentous task and when you feel so much self-hatred towards yourself; how can this be good for your heart? How can you even express the amount of guilt and self-blame you feel to others when you feel such dark and heavy emotions towards yourself? 

Even scarier, how can you be so sure that they won’t hate you or dislike you for everything you are? How can you be certain when there’s the possibility that they might not actually like what they see or like what they hear; the endless possibility of being rejected—and worse, not loved—is always sitting in your chest and resting heavy on your lungs. 

It creeps up on you on some nights, keeping you awake from sleep and genuinely bothering you to the point where you are frustrated at yourself. There’s a quiet desperation inside of you that’s seeking love and care, and yet there’s also a silent feeling of anger, and you don’t even know who to direct it at. You hate it so much when it bothers you like this and when it gets to you so deeply because you hate having to feel such overwhelming emotions, especially at night. 

You can’t help but feel hate and anger at yourself for not being able to just tell someone what’s going on and how you feel. The endless blame and the endless hurt you feel just deepens the wounds, because being vulnerable with others has always been told to you as “the right thing to do.” The blame feels like it can only rest on you, because who can actually help you at this point, and who genuinely would want to? 

For some, it may be easier to tell others how they feel and open up about their experiences or traumatic events throughout their life. But for you, staying silent has always been your best option because it has kept you safe from hurt and you told yourself it was for the best and for your own protection. It was genuinely just easier to not say anything and to stay silent because you felt that it protected you from further hurt, blame, or the possibility of anger misdirected your way. And I hate the way you’ve collapsed into a ball of fear and shame; I genuinely can’t even begin to express how I hate seeing you hurt like this, and hurt for such a heart-breaking reason. 

In the past, you have never felt what most people have gotten to feel, and I know it’s particularly unfair for you; it’s so easy for some people to open up about their fears and secrets, and yet for you, it’s just something you can’t seem to do and it literally breaks your soul every time you try; sometimes, when I see you open up to others, you can’t even help but cry. That’s evidence of how long it’s been since you’ve reached out to someone who cared about you, and that’s how long you’ve had these thoughts sitting inside your chest letting it grow into deep wounds. 

You’ve never gotten to feel genuine connection, love, and care going your way and I hate this so much about you but you blame yourself for it; you think you’re the problem just because you can’t open up about your darkest thoughts. And sometimes, you become so self-destructive to the point where you think you are the only person in the world who could do this themselves, because at the end of the day, who else can you blame? 

I hate how you think you are alone in this. How have you never realized that being vulnerable requires strength and bravery, and guess what, you have it within you too; you have it within you to share the darkest parts of your mind and soul. And sharing parts of your story and even things that others do that hurt you can be hard, but look at the people who stay and surround you and listen to your words; look at the reward. Look towards the one person who has never left your side—me. Because truly, at the end of the day, I promise, opening up to others isn’t a burden for them, so it should never be and should never feel like blame directed towards you, or even the blame you direct towards yourself. 

Vulnerability encompasses the essence of feeling strong and brave, but that doesn’t mean feeling weak and fatigued and exhausted is not a part of the process. Just because you’re feeling scared or anxious doesn’t mean you aren’t strong and brave, and it sure as hell doesn’t mean you can’t share what’s going through your head at the moment or even right now. I can’t say it enough, I am just one person that’s not going to leave your side because of what you are willing to share, so don’t even hesitate or worry about it; you can open up to me and I can be your confidante, and let me share your thoughts, pains, and heavy burdens with you; we can uncover the deepest parts of your soul that you protect your hardest to guard. Because you’re guarding your heart too tightly and you’re only guarding it because of how others have treated you in the past, so please, just try something new and be strong, and please just let me in.   

Don’t be surprised, but people who give you the time of day and show affection and love towards you genuinely give a damn about you, and that may come as a shock; it may feel abnormal at first to be given so much attention and care, but what if it’s what you deserve at the end of the day? What if it’s what you can have even if you’re not too open with yourself, or even with your past? What if this is how a person can be fully loved and deeply cherished just for who they are, and what if you can have that? 

In some ways, you just have to try and openly express it. No one is ever going to openly hurt you or abandon you for who you are, and I promise, I am living proof that I am just one person who will stay right in your corner and by your side. Because all I’ve ever wanted was to help you uncover who you really are; the deepest and most vulnerable parts of yourself. All I’ve ever wanted was to uncover what you try so hard to protectively hide and help heal the broken parts of your soul because I love every single damn nice or dark thought that crosses your mind. All you have to do is be yourself with me, and whether you share those parts of yourself with me or not, I promise, that is enough for me.

An Open Letter To Myself: Hold Onto Your Vulnerable Heart

I want to let you know that I think you are so brave. I really do. It takes an incredible amount of strength to pour your heart out for others in spite of the possibility of being completely and utterly wrecked by another human in return.

It takes an unbelievable amount of vulnerability to open up your heart completely to another person, whether or not they do the same for you. It is both such a blessing and curse to feel so deeply for others. To continuously crash your heart into a person you feel a deep connection beginning with. Because where does it get you to stay guarded? Where does it get you to hold back your thoughts and feelings? How do you progress your relationships with others if you do not try to get to know them on a deep level?

Fuck being scared of feeling like you are too much, like you are trying too hard, like you should be playing the game in order to win somebody over. Because you get nowhere when you attempt to hold back all of who you are in fear of what somebody else might think.

I want to let you know that I love how much you are. I love that you have the capacity to pour out for others. I love that you want to make genuine connections. I love that you want to find a love that is entirely inspiring and freeing.Because if you hold yourself back, then you are not being all of who I know you are capable of being; you would not be true to your soul.

I love how you do not keep your guard up for long. You do not weigh things out logically before jumping in. You simply feel—you feel everything all at once and want to keep feeling everything in spite of potentially getting hurt. How wonderful of you.

I admire how you want to live your life without regrets and without holding back your endless thoughts and sincerest feelings. Too many people are so afraid of living and are so afraid of rejection, but not you. You would rather feel everything and get rejected instead of holding back your energy for somebody. Do you even know how much strength that takes? Promise me that you will hold onto your vulnerable heart, because I want you to know that you are so rare and do not even realize the impact of that yet.

Maybe You Feel So Lonely Because You Can’t Let Yourself Be Vulnerable

For the longest time, I never talked about my insecurities, issues, failures, mistakes, and any troubles that I had been going through because I always wanted to be perceived in a certain way. It was difficult for me to tell anyone when I messed up. It was not easy to admit I had insecurities. It was very hard for me to share my fears with someone or talk about my traumas or phobias. I didn’t want people to get the wrong impression of me. I didn’t want anyone to know my weaknesses and use them against me someday. All this ended up making me show some layers of myself and keep the other ones hidden. I didn’t open up with someone else about what was occupying my mind the most because I wanted to appear tough and as if I had it all together. I kept being this way for a really long time, which made me feel incredibly lonely because I was going through everything on my own.

I didn’t speak to anyone about my anxiety or depression or any tremendous fear I had about something. I didn’t share with anyone how bad I had been doing lately. I didn’t open up to anyone at all till I met people along the way who were not afraid to be vulnerable with me. Those people so bravely shared with me their struggles and their deepest low points. They trusted me enough to engage me in their struggles and healing journeys. They weren’t afraid to show me all their insecurities and tell me all about the things they did and were ashamed of. They weren’t actually scared to show me this part of themselves — this weak, ugly, unfiltered, and raw side of them. And I couldn’t help but feel the beauty of this.

It’s such a beautiful thing when the person in front of you is not afraid to be vulnerable when they are with you, because they make you feel like it’s okay to be vulnerable too. It’s okay to mess up and say that I messed up. It’s okay to say that I have insecurities and that I don’t know how to deal with them. It’s okay to say to others that you’ve been through so many things that messed you up to the extent that you just can’t get back to what used to be your usual self. It’s okay to say that you’re emotionally tired and drained. Seeing how others were unashamedly vulnerable with me helped me let my guard down and finally be able to be vulnerable in front of someone else. And for the very first time in so long, I felt somewhat free. I felt like all these things I held deep within me were finally out there, and I was engaging someone else in helping me with them.

When I started sharing all the things I was so cautious about sharing, I found so many people out there like me. I found others who were going through the same things, and I felt like I became less and less lonely every single time I talked to one of them. We shared each other’s experiences and we learned from one another. We understood things about ourselves, and we acquired wisdom and knowledge about dealing with what we’re going through just by sharing with one another. Opening up to others has healed my constant feeling of loneliness because I realized that I wasn’t the only one going through what I was going through, but others were dealing with the same exact things.

I used to perceive vulnerability as something that would make me look weak, but it’s actually the essence of bravery and strength. It’s this beautiful state of honesty and rawness that lets you communicate intimately with the person in front of you like never before. It’s actually the cure that nobody told us about.

When You’re Strong But Human, Read This

It isn’t your job to always be the strong one, and people shouldn’t expect that of you. It’s okay if you have a moment or two where you need to be weak and crawl up in a ball and cry. But I know what it feels like always to have people put stuff on your plate like it’s some indestructible tray, and you have the strength to hold it all. People keep asking more of you because that strength of yours doesn’t waver.

But you don’t have to be the strongest person in the room. 

It isn’t your job to always be brave because I know what it’s like to be scared and not know and not have the answers, but that pressure of everyone expecting you to. It’s okay if you’re afraid and unsure and merely trying to do your best to figure things out as you go along. Admitting you’re scared and uncertain is realizing you are human, and no one can fault you for that.

It isn’t your job to always have to be the kindest or bigger person when confronted with a situation. It takes so much out of you to always try and take the high road when it seems like it’s so easy for everyone else to be mean and disrespectful. You’re allowed to be unkind even if it goes against your nature. You are entitled to play dirty even if that’s not your kind of game. Because sometimes, people don’t value who you are and everything you have to offer, and the only way to get through to some people is communicating at their level.

It isn’t your job to always work at 110%. The truth is burnout is real; working too hard is something that high achieving people struggle with. Your greatest value is knowing what you need and not being afraid to do what’s best for the person looking back at you in the mirror. Before a job, you are your greatest priority, and making yourself, your number one priority requires knowing when to slow down and take a breath or take a day for yourself. Your mental health isn’t something to put on your to-do it but rather something to make a priority right now.

It isn’t your job to be perfect, and you deserve self-love right where you’re at in this moment, not once you get somewhere, or do something or attach its achievement. You deserve the kind of love and effort you put into everyone and everything. It’s easy when you have so much going on not to make yourself the priority. When you are selfless in your work and your life, sometimes you get the short end of the stick or the little bit you have leftover when everything and everyone is taken care of. But you deserve everything you invest in others and should feel comfortable investing that in yourself.

The truth is you are strong, brave, kind, hardworking, and selfless. In being all those things, I know you don’t like showing weakness. I know you don’t ever want to show you’re scared or unsure. I know you never want to be mean. And I know in everything you do, and in every relationship you have, you put 110% into it, and it gets tiring. But it’s okay that you’re human, and in being human, you don’t have to be perfect but what you do have to do is take care of yourself. So I hope from this moment forward, you begin to make yourself a priority because you deserve all the best, and that’s even in your relationship with yourself.