There’s a trend recently to move away from making resolutions for a new year and instead focus on a word or phrase that describes a concept that you want to focus on through the year. It’s been many years since I’ve made a New Year’s resolution, and I’ve never consciously decided to focus on a word of the year. Somehow, though, I find myself coming back to one word a lot in the last few months: vulnerability.
I’m a creature who has never trusted easily. I didn’t make many long-lasting friendships when I was young, and I was deeply hurt by other kids. It took me a long time to recover. I closed myself off all except superficially a long time ago, hoping that if I conform to what others expect or accept, I won’t get hurt again. In the last year or two, though, I’m finding that my life is somehow lesser for it. I have a community of people in my geographic vicinity whom I cherish and love, and the more I am around these people, the more I want them to know about the real me, not the me they see on the surface. The real me is so much more than what I put out there on a regular basis.
So I started pushing myself to be more vulnerable. To boldly submit an opinion piece regarding my stance on the use of coal for electricity and how badly I am affected by air pollution, then asking people who know me in real life to read it – which means learning my weaknesses when before I only let them see my strengths. This means writing about my insecurities, and my need to take care of myself, and the thoughts about Tarot and spirituality that never come up in conversation. Then putting on Facebook that Luminous Emporium is out here, that Becky and I are powerful witchy women, and I own up to that here where I can write about it. Eventually, it will mean acknowledging the power of the words we use here, and how deeply they settle within my core.
Vulnerability has been about letting the things that I hold most dear out into the sunlight for a little bit, revealing to new people the things that matter to me. It means writing to someone about something that’s been secret for a long time. It means inviting an offline friend to learn how to draw and be creative with me. It means being as true to all parts of myself as I can possibly be.
The more I unintentionally made myself vulnerable to friends, the more aware I was of my subconscious desire to break down my walls between myself and others. The more the word “vulnerable” appeared in my mind, the more I knew that this is the year to let down my guard and see what happens. I might be highly sensitive and hurt harder and longer if I get hurt, but that doesn’t mean I should shut myself down from emotions and a loving community, I figure.
Here’s to discovering our true selves!