I’ve been talking with people lately about vulnerability. And how hard, yet so undeniably necessary it is for any of us to let our guards down. And be our open, honest selves. To ask for what we want and need from others, and risk rejection.
Whether it’s a better job, marriage, love or friendship – if you don’t ask, you don’t get.
And yes, often you ask and still don’t get. Sometimes you get your heart terribly broken. But at least then you know. And you can have peace of mind that you opened your heart (and your mouth) and spoke your truth. Which is an Oprah-ism, I know – but it’s also true.
When you speak your truth from a place of love, whatever you get back, well – that’s on them. And because I trust in the universe, it’s also all in perfect order.
A new friend of mine is currently struggling with this dance of vulnerability, and has a habit of shutting men down before they can hurt her. In an attempt to “protect” herself, she wrote a poem expressing her acceptance with her current long-distance relationship not working out.
He backed off. Which is NOT what she wanted.
“I don’t know why I sent that to him! I’m just so used to being disappointed,” she explained to me.
Sometimes we push the things and people we love away, for fear they will do the same to us. But our attempts to protect ourselves often backfire – only to push away the very thing we want the most.
I get it. I’ve been hurt and disappointed way too much lately. But the one thing I find comfort in, is the knowledge that I’ve tried. I have peace of mind, and in my heart, that I’ve been open and honest and held nothing back. No words have been left unspoken. I have no regrets or wonder.
My Kabbalah teacher, Daniel, likes to remind me (the perfectionist Virgo that I am) that “it’s about the effort, not the outcome.”
Just repeating those words help me exhale.
We have no control over the outcome, of anything. Control is an illusion. All we can do is give everything our best effort.
Life, as I’m coming to realize more and more, is about balance. Going after what you want, then having the patience to let it come to you. If it’s meant to be yours. Move forward, then wait. Apply for that great job or promotion. Ask for help. Share your true feelings. Go after your dreams with wild abandon.
Then wait. See what comes back to you.
Maybe nothing will come of it. Maybe they’ll reject you. Maybe your heart will get broken. And yes, that sucks. But so does a life lived in mediocrity.
I believe that pretending that you DON’T want something, in a vain attempt to protect your heart, is self-sabotage at its saddest.
Because when you risk happiness, yes you risk heartbreak and disappointment. But what if – just what if – you get exactly what you’ve always dreamed of? Isn’t that kind of unbelievable happiness, worth the risk?