Strength In Vulnerability

Updated: May 14

There is a strength in being openly vulnerable. It is a little counterintuitive that true strength is being openly weak. This is a musing, for the one everyone leans on. The strong, the pillar, who holds, yet no one holds. This is for you.



There is strength in showing another where it hurts, where it’s not as pretty, where you struggle, where you stumble, without dimming your self-worth. Yes, you. Wired with a strong sense of responsibility as the one who is always there. This started a long time ago, yes? When you were little and saw the admiration in everyone’s eyes when you met that expectation placed upon you. A lot is still expected of you, why? Because you still hold yourself to a higher standard. An unrealistic standard.



So very early on, you learnt. You learnt to act strong. To look strong. To be strong. All. The. Damn. Time. You got very good at masking your feelings, then grew to putting them aside and catering to everyone else’s feelings but yours. Over time, you almost never feel them anymore. They are now buried too deep to pull out. You built a persona that’s very useful to people around you, and they feed on it. You feed on it. Yes, you can be trusted. You are reliable. You feel needed. You never flake or leave people hanging when they need you; in fact, that fuels you to action. It’s like you want to be for everyone what they aren’t for you. It doesn’t matter how you feel. You are always there, and you like that about you.


You built a persona that’s very useful to people around you, and they feed on it. You feed on it.

But, there’s a problem. Over time you never learnt to be okay being the one who needed a little help. It was how you measured your worth. To be perfect or right all the damn time was your benchmark. Your trademark. Phew. You know what’s worse? You also never learnt to ask for help. To say, I am tired. I cannot do this right now. I need you too. I really need you. No. You have a reputation to uphold. So, you mask it with a smile and stiffen your upper lip.


Time passed, and you molded and wiggled to fit yourself into this perfect person, and you actually became her. You stunted your ability to be human, to identify your flaws as what they are, not a definition of who you are. To communicate this. To ask for help. To grow and enjoy the process. To accept that you are not and never will be perfect.


To accept, that you are not and never will be perfect.

You never learnt to be okay with being vulnerable, weak, exposed. Sometimes you smell the weakness bubbling through, and you shut it down. Get your act together, girl!

You wear the cloak of strength you have learnt to wear so many times, it has now become your second skin.


You grow older and find love, but it is hard to be so bare. So open. Yet the relief taunts you and because you have been hungry for so long, you let it all out a little too soon. You’ve had air trapped in your lungs for too long. So, you gasped and screamed, and it let out strange voices and expressions and you scared them away. They left. You cried. You hurt. It hurt — like hell. You said to yourself, I will never be weak, ever again! You straightened up. Never again.


You became cold. Devoid of emotion. Able to recreate it, but never genuinely express it.

You iterated and became this sturdy reliable pillar, got a little too good at being you. You became cold. Devoid of emotion. Able to recreate it, but never genuinely express it. Efficient. Then he came along, and showed you the beauty of being vulnerable, and you wondered what it felt like. What it would be like to lay your head on his chest without a care in the world. You loved him, but you had learnt bad habits. It was hard to let him know you loved him, if you never showed him. If you never opened up.

You became cold. Devoid of emotion. Able to recreate it, but never genuinely express it.

So little by little you tore your wall down, and each time he proved he was worthy of yet another brick. Time passed, and today you smile, even though it still kicks in every now and then, the need to be strong and perfect. You remind yourself that it is okay to be vulnerable. Okay to need someone. In fact, it is what makes growth possible.


It also feels so good. Feels amazing to exhale with no expectation of the next gulp of air. To allow yourself to be pampered. To rest on another for a moment. To cry and unburden your soul. To know what it feels like to take a breath and let it all out.


You finally come to the realization that it is okay, to be. To just be, no expectations, or posturing, or being strong for anyone. It’s okay to be you.


Flaws and all.


Love,

Maria


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