The Power of Vulnerability

The Power of Vulnerability

Pull up a chair, sis. (And fellas too) This is exactly what it sounds like.  Let’s get right into it.

Vulnerability. Man, look.

The simple mention of that word is enough to make me shift my weight and squirm in discomfort.  
Allow me to explain:  I consider myself to be, pretty much, an open book. Folks know that I share my experiences online—that I can be super transparent and often use my daily situations, accomplishments and failures to both express my humanity, and to encourage myself and others on this journey called life. Even with all the perceived negatives of social media, I’ve come to find that shared experiences make one feel less alone. To know that you’re not the only one going through life’s challenges in the way that you are, can be a huge relief. At any rate, even with all of my so called “openness”, I still have the tendency to distance myself from certain situations that call for just that.  What are they? You guessed it; matters of the heart.

First, let’s look at the definition of the V word. I can barely say it without flaring up my acid reflux.
Vulnerable: adjective
susceptible to physical or emotional attack or harm.
 

 

Bruh. Who the HELL wants to be that?

It is simply basic human instinct to strive, at all times, to protect ourselves. Even the homie Sigmund Freud said, that “the deepest essence of human nature consists of self-preservation.”


What a mind f**k.

How in the hell am I supposed to self-preserve and seek love at the same damn time?  And that, my friends, is the question I ask myself every day.

I have literally ruined great potential partnerships by my unwillingness to open up completely, in that regard. As caring of a person as I can be, when it comes to dealing with relationships with men, I have only allowed them to get but so far, until I feel myself falling. Then, I take a lap and trap myself behind this extensional, proverbial wall.

Now, this wall? It’s not like Cheeto Satan’s alleged wall, but it might be just as absurd. In my mind, it’s made of glass, so technically, I’m able to see bae on the other side, and he can see me. (hey boo!) We talk to each other, we send cute gifts and exchange texts and calls. Every now and again, I come out from behind it when it’s time to be intimate, but I always return to my side, and he’s simply not allowed to cross the line.
Not only can that make one look emotionally unstable and partially insane, it can also be truly exhausting for the other person to think for example, that he’s getting ready to play basketball, and then I show up with a hockey stick, some cleats and a relay baton, smiling.  Girl, get your life.

The truth of the matter is, in order for me to truly love and be loved, that wall must come down. This is also not just a woman thing. I recognize that male vulnerability is a unique nuanced experience, that can be beautiful and just as difficult.

So, what does it ultimately boil down to, friends?

Fear.

Jazmine Sullivan said it best:  *sings* ‘’I’m not scared, of lions and tigers, and bears, but I’m scared of loving you.”

I feel you, sis. It be’s like that. We all know that when you lend your heart to another person, you’re essentially giving them the ability to break it into a million bite sized pieces. One day, I’ll tell y’all the full story. but basically– many moons ago– a bright eyed and bushy tailed Grace entrusted her heart to someone. Needless to say, brotha man violated in the most horrific of ways, and I haven’t quite been the same since.

Therapy? Yes. I go. But a decade later, I realize that I am still subconsciously fearful of the possibility of being hurt to that degree ever again. That said, a more recent romantic situation has taught me how much I can lose if I don’t overcome this obstacle.

I’ve come to understand that you have to harness the power of the V. (no, not that V. Nasty… Although, that post may soon come) and let it work for you. Understand that:

1. Great things are on the other side.

You might get hurt, granted. That’s life. But you also might flourish and find the great love that you’ve been yearning for. Discernment is key to deciding who and what to expose yourself to, but completely guarded emotions, cannot and will not work.

2. Self-Sabotage ain’t cute.

It doesn’t look good on you. Why push yourself further away from the things and people who are beneficial for you?  As ambitious women especially, I have no doubt that we will go for the jobs, apply for the promotion– but with love, we hesitate. Emotionally blocking yourself for the sake of safety is natural, albeit. But it can also be unproductive.

3.  You’re worth it: Say it with me. Vul-ner-ability. You will literally get nowhere from behind a glass wall. In order to move forward in love and in life, you have to open yourself up. It might not always get you the answers you want, but you will have the ones you need.

Trust yourself.

If for the first time, or like me, again.  

After all, Freud also said, “out of your vulnerabilities, will come your strength.”

It’s about time for me to take his– and my own–advice.

 

By: GraceOnTheMic
Twitter & IG: @GraceOnTheMic
Previously posted on: http://www.thegraceperiod.com/
#AreYouVSOP #TheVSOPLife
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I Love Him Because I Hate Myself pt.1: “So Many People Use Your Name in Vain”

I love him because I hate myself..

The calm appears in the sky
After the night cried
She sleeps

Like a thief in the night
The ground creeps of lost whispers and hints of treason
As he returns being missing for weeks
She holds him

Opening up the doors of lustful penetration
Hastefully ignoring the misrepresentation of misguided erections
While dying in his lap shes neglecting
The truth in her heart that her mind is forgetting
She protects him

He rolls over
And the door closes
And despite her good hand she folds them
Shed rather lose herself than play to win
She loves him

Allow me to introduce my opinion to you in a series that I have entitled “I love him because I hate myself.” Over the next few weeks I will share the development of my emotional theories , as it relates to the concept of women, love and self hate. My opinion regarding love and sexual relationships between man and woman have all come from several sources and personal life experiences. So let us begin this journey by exploring the genesis of my thought process:

“LOVE. So many people use your name in vain. “

Dear Ladies:

To me there is no greater representation of life than that of a “woman”. The mystery of “she” and all that becomes her was specifically crafted not only to compliment “him” but to empower her riches. As I sit back and digest the ideals of “woman” I seek adjectives that speak life, create beauty, manifest power, and instill value. Acronyms and adjectives that would be sought to create a portrait of a woman, would leave an artist like Michael Angelo breathless, after creating a visual masterpiece. The elements of this world would not be enough to articulate her life or value to man. To me she is a silhouette of a sweet dream in the spirit of the almighty God. She is the perfect gift to the rightful rulers of this planet as men attempt to fulfill our ordained destiny to love, honor, uplift and cherish her. For she is a rose, with many thorns, in a garden full of weeds. As a man, we must tend to our garden.

The true understanding of self requires a source of knowledge, truth and understanding. Love is defined as a strong or constant affection for a person; attraction that includes sexual desire; the strong affection felt by people who have a romantic relationship; the object of attachment, devotion, or admiration. On the other hand Sex is defined as the state of being male or female; physical activity in which people touch each others body, kiss each other; physical activity that is related to and often includes intercourse; the functional behavioral characteristics of organisms that are involved in reproduction.

Now that we have a clear representation of what we seek and engage in as humans, allow me to take this definition and sprinkle an essence of forgotten spirituality in this disastrous recipe. When I contemplate about love and what it represents I must first recognize that it is a form of energy that is charged by a source and transferred into another person. We all learned in grade school that energy can never be created nor destroyed; it is simply transferred from one object into another. GOD is LOVE and the ultimate source to manufacture the greatest emotion that we are permitted to express to a person, place or thing. One can-not express an emotion unless they are “FILLED with it.” Hence the expressions “filled with love, filled with joy.” In the same manner we have all at some point claimed to be “IN LOVE” with someone in a particular phase of life once upon a time or in your current situation. Many of whom have no source to manufacture, harvest and nurture this vivacious ball of energy. So we throughout our lives we transfer these out of control, hormonal, irresponsible, overflowing charges of energy from one spirit vessel to the other. Ladies maybe you can relate to this this experience, think about that one girl friend in your circle that seems to have found love from a different male every 6 months. “GIRL I THINK I FOUND THE ONE. THIS MAN IS SO DIFFERENT. HE CALLED ME TWICE TODAY IN THE MORNING AND IN THE AFTERNOON JUST TO SAY HE WAS THINKING ABOUT ME.” As matter of fact there are lyrics to a song where the hook identifies a need to transfer an empty emotion into a male that is lost. “Been around the world and I can’t find my baby. I don’t know where and I don’t know why.”

Backtracking a bit, we define the word “source” as a place, person or thing from which something comes or can be obtained. God being the source and true definition of Love, I have to ask how will a person filled with such a thing without being hard wired into the core power. If you believe that Man were made in his image, it is safe to say that we were born to love, adore, worship and acknowledge the source as the primary vehicle to achieve a matrimonial destination. Men were made to worship the Good Lord with spirit, love and truth. As man began to worship him in the beginning, God gave him a gift far greater than the riches of this world. He created an equal support system for us to TRANSFER that energy source of LOVE that GOD is into HER. WOW. Fellas we have to understand the power that was bestowed upon us. Our responsibility to love a woman correctly shall break the evil cycle of hatred that plagues this world. “When women are happy the world is a better place” as Pres. Barack Obama once stated.

My message to you women is simple. Know and understand your worth and value to a man. You should know that you are his rib, a breath of life, a restoration of peace and cohabitant of LOVE. When seeking a male counterpart, look to your source and rest IN his LOVE. You have to know who you are, where you come from and how you are supposed to be loved. (Read Proverbs 31~)

The truth of the matter is, many of you are just plain old bored with life. You’ve survived that feeling of acceptance of who you are when no one is around, for quite a while now. Many of you travel with your baggage of lies, manipulation and confusion walking around aimlessly looking for something to do. The more time you spend with yourself, the more you realize that you can-not stand the feeling of self -pity, lack of intimacy and helplessness. You begin to fill that void with someone who is the perfect compliment that feeds your inner hopeless romantic with temporary fixes of sex, excitement and “potential”. Men are not projects, crossword puzzles, or any other form of architecture that requires a woman to build him up into that great blue print that you envision for YOUR life. God has already ordered that step and laid out the perfect guidelines specifically for man to follow because we were made in his image. Don’t miss that. How often do you exert energy and waste time trying to “groom” the male persona so that he fits into your perfect bubble of expectation? This form of overcompensation and confusion masks the feeling that you are settling for someone less than what you feel like you deserve. Don’t believe me? Consider times when your excitement for something new allows your mind to gather all your likes for this man, processing those feelings into an artificial set of emotions. Doing so you are connecting an unstable bridge from the mind to the heart. You begin to compress those core ideals of “likes” into a snow ball and create a temporary solution to fulfil that missing link of self-hatred. But that snow ball is only cold and has no real substance to survive the changing seasons (Cuffing Season). When things start to heat up in the relationship, all those likes that you formed into a snow ball begin to melt away and you are left alone in another season of hatred, bitterness, frustration and loneliness. The funny thing about hate is, you can be that primary source of energy all by yourself. When you continue to add these simple Simons in that circle of yours you just dig yourself deeper into an abyss of hatred.

The problem as I see it is the obvious disconnection between God, Man and Woman. How a man treats you at times can be a direct reflection of how you feel about yourself. If you look into the eyes of your significant other and you do not see the better half of yourself then something is wrong. Ladies do you even know how you want to be loved? My question is what has the world taught you about love? And when seeking love how closely does the love you seek align with your self esteem? Where is your source of love coming from?

Stay tuned for next our next installment as I look to expand on the idea that to many of our queens are “Drunk In Love” wherein no sanctuary of truth there exists…

Written by: Mr. Nice Guy