We all face different fears in life. One of these which I believe all of us can unanimously relate to is the fear of being vulnerable. What does it truly mean? What does it entail? My understanding of the term mounted on clinching experiences as against erudition is that it causes one to bear their true raw self with all their imperfections and flaws intact, just out there for a certain other person to scrutinize. We all have skeletons in our respective closets which we wouldn’t dare reveal! We only take that liberty with a handful, and at times, not at all.
Why are we afraid of being vulnerable? To clarify with examples: Why do we hesitate to take chances? Why do we hesitate to start new relations? Why is being “emotional” considered a shortcoming? Why won’t we allow ourselves to feel?
- Is it that the fear of rejection/failure/exploitation that cocoons us all?
- Then again, is there ever any opportunity completely rid of the possibility of this repugnant trinity?
- In which case, don’t all contours of pragmatism direct at taking chances no matter what the odds might seem like?
- Is there not at least a mille-quarter of a possibility of succeeding as against an absolute zilch from not trying at all?
- Therefore, is it not ridiculously counter-intuitive to allow fear to dictate all of our decisions and in turn, life itself?
Also, since when did being emotional become a bad thing? Allow me to exemplify as to how ludicrous that sounds: It’s like the government passing a law incriminating the act of “breathing”. But they couldn’t possibly ordain something as laughably absurd as that! Breathing is indispensable for survival! EXACTLY! Applying a similar analogy here, having emotions and expressing them are just as indispensable for living (and no, I am not talking about mere survival).
All that being said, I’ll give you all this much though; you guys are damn good at pretending at being impervious/indifferent super humans who are just not capable of giving a rodent’s ass! If I got remitted with a packet of chicken biryani for every time someone said that they’re emotionless, my otherwise insatiable craving would have stood satiate some ages ago (and that’s saying something). Please get off of your ignorant horses and see things for the way they are. One cannot not feel (barring all those with a biological deficiency that renders them incapable to feel anything).
Allow me to shed light on a certain vicious cycle that most of us millennial seem to be caught up in; I’ve taken the liberty to label this cycle as the “the cycle of otherwise avoidable grief that overgrown juveniles get themselves into on account of appalling incapability to handle grief” or “the laughably predictable cycle of sheer idiocy”
Breaking the cycle down, all of us are recovering from wounds inflicted by the most unexpected of the lot: the persons whom we held most dear in our lives. As bitter as these experiences might be, in the aftermath there is either the choice of entrapping ourselves and in the process several others in the afore illustrated cycle of pure evil, or we can invest our energy into overriding the bitter past with a fresh (a slightly more sagacious) start. At sanctimonious as it may sound, none of us are entitled to use our respective tragedies as an excuse to meddle with another person’s peace of mind; “Your right ends, where my nose begins.”
In this mad battle to keep our guards up and high, what we don’t realize is that in surrendering to the fear of vulnerability, we are allowing ourselves to leave behind a trail of innumerable missed opportunities. In other words, we’re building ourselves a life filled with regrets. Truth be told, we live in a warped warped (intentional repetition for emphasis purposes) world where people just can’t wait to seize any and every chance to rub their guards in the face of another; where telling the truth about the way a person feels is akin to weakness or desperation.
We’re all guilty of playing complex games to the get the attention of others. Being honest or truthful is just too mundane to do.
Let’s just get this straight; none of us can predict the future (no offence meant to people who predict the future for a living). Then how is it that there are those who live their lives wholeheartedly and there others who are paranoid and despondent about most things!
Do the former have some sort of switch which enables them to feel less or not feel hurt? On the contrary, the former are the ones who feel more profoundly. They let emotions run their course as against suppressing them. That is the one thing they do differently from those who aren’t all that happy with their lives. The thing about emotions is that they demand to be felt and we need to heed and respect that. We cannot specifically numb any one emotion.
Human beings are prone to all emotions. Allowing prudence to prevail, it must be remembered that there is just no escaping sorrow. The silver lining however being that we can never truly know what euphoria is without having felt sorrow at a certain point. All of these charted “unwanted” emotions, no matter how dreadful, they are in fact a necessary evil. How many times have you heard someone say, “So everything went according to plan and that taught me a valuable lesson.”
I believe that gets across the point I’m trying to make. All the damage that melancholy inflicts, if I may dare say, is a blessing in the most despised disguise. Not only does the damage re-programme a stronger you, it further cultivates/enhances your sensitivity to detect and appreciate even the most nanoscopic reason for happiness. It’s an update that leaves you feeling like an invincible powerhouse (a hyperbole perhaps, but you get my drift).
It’s only when we truly experience dejection/hurt/ pain do we learn to appreciate the value of things which manage to bring a smile to our faces, regardless of its magnitude. There is no escaping pain or the many manifestations of it.
Giving up on opportunities or not taking risks solely out of the fear of having to feel any of those dreaded emotions, it’s just you being your pusillanimous best and basically missing out on life. That’ll keep you safe no doubt, but you’ll irrefutably be remorseful towards the end of it all. When you lead your life in fear of vulnerability, it’ll lead you down an irredeemable path with questions starting with “what if” or “had I just” bombarding you every second of every day. A self-imposed affliction. Ironically, wouldn’t that be another reason to wail over. Alternatively, what one should dearly fear is ‘regret’.
None of us possess the power to specifically block out certain emotions. When we numb any one emotion, what we don’t realize is that we’re numbing them all. Even if we choose to suppress a certain emotion, it would be highly erroneous to think that it’s gone for good. It never is. It’s just brewing in the sub-conscience, just waiting its turn to run its course. It’s not madness when people say “don’t bottle up.”
It’s probably the wisest and most practical piece of advice being rendered. It’s as simple as this, there are twofold ramifications of suppressing emotions; 1) all the while, you are nothing but miserable, 2) the emotion, once finally out of the bag is much more augmented and cataclysmic. Hence, get it out of your system and get it done with. That is how it works. As implacable as the pain might seem, time is and always has been the best healer, and it heals all wounds, no exceptions whatsoever.
In all honesty, I don’t see how vulnerability can wrong any person. People might be attracted to you for myriad reasons, many of which could be superficial. What vulnerability does is that it helps in the filtering process.
When you bare your soul to another individual and that person turns you down for whatever reason, isn’t that a bullet dodged? Vulnerability weeds out all those who are incapable of handling the unapologetically (im)perfect source of sheer exuberance that you are. It’s like a litmus test to determine if a certain significant other is worthy of your unconditional devotion.
If you happen to be one of those who brag about being immune to emotions, you might want to reconsider, for you’re being so at your own peril. Next time you hear someone say “you’re weak because you’re vulnerable,” let these words that I’m about to say ring through your mind: “It is only the truly valiant who can dare to bare their raw selves.”
True, it might render you more susceptible to harm. However, the chances of you coming across an inexhaustible source of sheer euphoria or that once in a lifetime experience which is generally described as the stuff of myths, increases just as exponentially!
Life is a gamble. Quit lollygagging on the side-lines and give yourself a truly merited second (third/forth/fifth/sixth… you get the drift) chance.
DISCLAIMER: None of the above rant is backed by any research whatsoever and it is all in the personal (generally perceived as being “patronizing”) opinion of the author.