In earlier blogs, I’ve advocated for allowing yourself to be emotionally vulnerable, outside of the safety net of an established relationship. I’ve encouraged men to stare the possibility of rejection straight in the face and go for it when they meet a woman who they click with. But do I always follow my own advice? Of course not — this is the way of women, isn’t it?!
Call me Lady Gaga, ‘cause I keep a poker face. I take a systemic approach of keeping my thoughts and feelings close to the vest. It’s usually because I’d rather not risk less-than-positive reception. I’m protecting myself from the “what-if.” This is true whether I’m the one putting myself out there, or whether I’m the one doing the confronting/rejecting — either way, someone’s on the spot, and it’s uncomfortable.
But I’m working on this. And I’ve found, when you really, REALLY let go… when you’re vulnerable and you expose your true mind and heart… you’re powerful. You’re liberated. You’re YOU.
“I’m not over you”: The personal power of speaking your truth
Not too long ago, I met up with a former flame, “A.” It had been over a year since our relationship had fallen apart. I went into the rendezvous knowing exactly how I wanted to appear — moved on, totally unscathed, and unbothered by his abrupt and unexplained departure from my life.
True? Partially. I am single, successful, and 100% satisfied with my life. But when it came to A, I never understood what went wrong, and was never strong enough to broach the topic via text, as we kept in casual, platonic touch from time to time. Time hadn’t healed. But then, when I saw him again, I knew I might not get another chance. Spurred on by a girlfriend’s prodding, an inspirational quote I had seen on Facebook, and my third beer, I gathered the courage.
I said to A, very directly: “I still think about you. I think about us. I haven’t gotten over you. If the timing ever lines up for us both, I’d like to see if we could work. I wanted you to know in case you had the same desire.”
Scary, at first, but once the floodgates were open, the strength, the POWER that this revelation brought surged through me. This was me, my truth, my humble heart. No games, no hiding behind a mask of pride. Everything was on the table. He respected me for it, and then he opened up too. Because I gave first, exposed my heart, and was straightforward about my thoughts and feelings, the entire course of conversation changed. We talked about the past, what happened. We talked about the future, the possibilities. I got closure over the relationship’s loss, and validation of its realness.
A and I walked away from each other knowing and understanding a hell of a lot more about each other than what otherwise may have been just a surface-level conversation.
Being vulnerable is a work-in-progress for me. I’m going to keep practicing my spoken truth, and feel this empowerment. No matter if it’s uncomfortable, and no matter the outcome, whether pleasant, unpleasant, or somewhere in between. And I encourage you to do the same. Be bold. Take action. Reveal your truth. Not just men; women too. If it means anything to you, do it. Pride is the enemy — don’t let it trap you.