How Letting Vulnerability Be My Greatest Strength Changed Me (And Why You Should Let It Change You, Too)

@NickBulanovv
@NickBulanovv

It took me a while, but I never really understood the phrase, “It takes strength to show vulnerability.”

I know my friend has it tattooed on her skin, I know Miranda Lambert said those words and stood by them, but to me they didn’t really convey until now.

For nearly a year now I’ve been pouring my heart out on the Internet to millions of people I’ve never met, people I never will meet and friends who have known me long before I shared my heart with the world.

Before this time I didn’t show my heart to anyone. I was emotionless, I repressed everything and didn’t talk about feelings because I thought that showed weakness and the last thing I wanted was to be perceived as was weak. I don’t think my best friend in college saw me cry until the middle of my junior year because I wanted to show I was tough, that I didn’t cry and I didn’t let anything get to me, but all that left me with was growing anxiety and insecurities.

I held hate in my heart, I judged others based on their decisions and I was always fearful of not being liked or the best.

I held on to all these negative vibes until I opened up my heart.

I opened up my heart and now things make more sense. Now the world doesn’t seem like it’s filled with so much negativity, even though it probably still is.

Now I welcome vulnerability with arms wide open. I allow vulnerability to be my greatest asset because it’s something most people are afraid of. Most people are afraid to pour their feelings out and put them on display for the world because they are going to be judged and critiqued, but from being vulnerable it has taught me to not give a fuck.

I was fearful at first of sharing my thoughts, I was scared I would get judged and I thought it was slightly embarrassing. I only wanted people I didn’t know to read my words because that way the people I did know wouldn’t think of me any differently. I thought they might change their feelings towards me and they might judge me, then I realized I didn’t care.

I realized I don’t give a fuck. I realized if people in my life don’t want to be friends with me or are going to change their outlook on me because of the pieces of my life I choose to share then I don’t want them around me anyway.

I don’t give a fuck if you disagree with what I have to say because our situations are bound to be different. I don’t give a fuck if you think the words that come out my mouth are garbage or if you don’t like the way I carry myself or present myself because I learned to live for myself. I don’t give a fuck because emotions are subjective and you can’t determine how I feel.

I learned that by putting myself out there I will be criquted and judged and made fun of and called names, but not to care anymore because it’s who I am. I’ve never felt more like me and this is exactly who I’m supposed to be.

I wasn’t created to keep my emotions under lock and key because all that brought me was shame and self-hate. It brought me to a negative place, a place where I didn’t love myself and a place where I enjoyed picking people a part; even if I never said it out loud I did it inside my head because I wanted to find their flaws in order to feel better about myself.

Looking back that is so completely twisted and awful.

I don’t like that version of me, the one who pretended to have no feelings and a black soul. The one who thought it was cooler to be completely detached and not find joy in the simple things. That version of me was garbage.

But I changed; you can always change.

I learned how to open my heart and let the light warm up the darkness. I decided to show vulnerability and take pride in my words. I learned what it feels like to be a decent human being and what it’s like to love my own company. I’ve learned what it feels like to understand the saying, “It takes strength to show vulnerability” and live by it, and it’s life changing.  TC mark

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You look back and you just feel stupid.
You can’t forgive yourself for falling
or believing all the lies.
You reread every text.
You relive every memory.
And it all starts making sense —
he never wanted love.
He only wanted attention.
He only wanted validation.

“It’s just wondrous how every time I go through some emotional trauma, your posts are so relatable and it gives me so much hope. I love the writing and the photos. It’s all a pleasure to read. I can’t thank you enough for it, really.” — DM from @ThoughtCatalog Instagram follower

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