Vulnerability

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A friend and I have been having an open conversation on Facebook this morning about vulnerability and its role with the artist. Vulnerability is an important asset when communicating, creating, or acting out a part or role. It allows you to reach an emotional depth that you cannot reach by being too safe or avoiding thinking about uncomfortable things. Vulnerability helps us delve into those areas of self that we might not want to explore, but that help us understand ourselves better. Sometimes exposing those vulnerabilities, and embracing them even is the best form of therapy. 

Somewhere along the lines in our society we have been told that vulnerability is wrong, weak and not something we should project to others. Perhaps it was your parents or your grandparents who told you to never show your weaknesses. Maybe you received that message from society or indirectly from the people in your life. However you received it, you are not alone. I would say the majority of people on this planet do not want to show their vulnerabilities. Often when you look at the most popular bloggers, business leaders, and public figures they like to present themselves as being in control, having it all together and being very confident (sometimes overly so).

But why can’t we admit when things are going wrong in our lives? What is so wrong with that? It is through the honesty of vulnerability that you find the most support and compassion in others. And it is through the honesty and vulnerability of others that you are able to connect and offer your compassion to them. We don’t connect to positivity robots and artificial confidence. We connect with what’s real, that is why we come together so strongly and profoundly through times of hardship and change. Pain has the ability to heal us, and allows us to embrace our vulnerabilities, together as human beings. 

So instead of thinking of something awesome to post as your next Facebook status about how wonderful your life, job, clients, kids etc are… Why not post something honest and vulnerable. Just watch what happens. It will resonate more with your friends than “I am so lucky to have the best life ever”. It is great to express gratitude for your life and be happy (that’s the sweet spot), but dont forget that the vulnerabilities are necessary too. You wouldn’t truly be able to appreciate happiness in your life without knowing the contrast of pain.

Here are some of my honest vulnerabilities:

I have struggled with my weight for the last several years and can never seem to lose more than ten pounds or so. The way I see myself in the mirror is not what others see.

I have horrible self-esteem and often feel like a failure. It prevents me from putting myself out there a lot.

Social situations often make me very uncomfortable and I need to have a drink or two just to be able to talk to people without panicking. 

If I am too happy in my life, I cannot be creative or write. I become blocked. So I need a certain amount of vulnerability and hardship for my creativity to thrive. 

Unhitched

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I always thought I wanted to get married… When I was little I fantasized about my wedding day. Not so much the man standing beside me (he was more of an accessory), but more what I would wear, the artistic inspiration for the event, where it would be, what we would eat, how many people would be in attendance. That sort of thing. So, I guess it had nothing to do with love, and everything to do with wanting to be the belle of the ball by having my $30,000 day like everyone else.

As I got older, I just figured I would be fine with marriage, since it was a concept that I have been relatively comfortable with since childhood. After all, I am a woman. Isn’t that what we are supposed to do? Meet a man, get married, pump out a kid or two, then spend the rest of our days with a nasty little martini habit and a really great vibrator. That’s why we’re here right?

Then… why did I want to vomit and run when he got down on one knee? Why did my surroundings begin to spin like a merry go round, while flashes of dagger glares, back handed compliments and 30 extra pounds played through my mind like a never ending nightmare.  I thought men were the ones who were supposed to freak out about losing their freedom, identity and sexual prowess.

Suddenly I began questioning my beliefs, my morals, myself… My place in this world.

I knew I had gently allowed things to move in this direction, and by gently I mean actively. But now that it was here… I wanted to abruptly shove it back the other way.

Return to sender please.

I like my last name. I like not knowing what tomorrow brings. I like being a free agent, and not having a dog leash attached to my neck while some man shows me off like a cheap Armani suit. This has nothing to do with love and everything to do with fear. Marriages fail, people cheat, get bored, and quietly resent each other until one of them has the balls to leave. Women stare at their husbands while they’re sleeping at night and secretly plot their deaths.

Who was I kidding… I have the attention span of a gnat and (in case you didn’t notice) a bit of an anger problem. I’m not marriage material. I’m reality TV and front-page scandal material.

I guess I surprised him by saying no.

Maybe he was only asking because he thought that’s what I wanted. Maybe I was only making him think I wanted it, because I thought I SHOULD want it. Maybe neither one of us “really” wanted this at all.

Maybe none of us should want this.

My sex life had come to a screeching halt, which was nice.. Because my dog had become a little too comfortable watching us go at it every night.  I was expecting to see him with a pair of 3D glasses scarfing down a bag of popcorn with his tongue hangin’ out of his mouth. And nobody wants their pets watching them shag. So the mental and physical break was sort of welcome.

There was this lingering feeling of “what next… what do we do now”… But I never really owned those feelings. Those were the feelings of decades of repressed women, media empires, and religious tradition leaking their way into my unconventional psyche.

I think it’s an inherent flaw in myself and others to assume that in order to have a successful relationship, marriage is the next logical step, when statistics shout loud and clearly quite the opposite. I am the confused result of 30 + years of classical conditioning, media, bad 80s sitcoms, and drunk abusive neighbours who really had WONDERFUL marriages (I swear). I’m like a post-apocalyptic outlaw trying to sit down to a nice wholesome dinner with the Cleaver family. I mean really… What the fuck would we talk about?!

I can’t help but admire people like Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russell, who have been happily unmarried for years. There are lots of examples of unmarried couples who somehow manage to dodge the dismal statistics that marriage seems to thrust upon the rest of committed society.

Then there’s the ones with balls. The free spirits, the anti-conformists, the ones who dance to the beat of their own drum. They go out; fuck and love freely, accept experience and variety into their lives, and often later the companionship of many cats.

Either way… Isn’t it better than snickering in bed every night while you imagine your husband choking on his dinner and dying?!

My Friday Variety Show

Today’s Friday. It’s a good “shoot the shit” kind of day. So I thought I’d outline some of my opinions, which I just LOVE to do being the opinionated super bitch I am. 😉

My viewpoints aren’t always as obscure as people think, but then my opinion doesn’t really count when it comes to analyzing how normal or obscure my own opinions are…does it?

So here are some random opinions, beliefs, and viewpoints I have on various things in life.

Eating: Must eat. No time for taste.
Sex: Just take your pants off
Work: As little as possible
Drink: My fucking face off
Smoke: In one breath
Gym: 30 Min circuit
Wake: Pop tart out of bed
Sleep: Not now
Parenting: Sucks when bribes don’t work
Weight: Fat or thin… no such thing as “healthy”
My art: Never meets my expectations
My writing: Not published… not worthy
Men: Easier to deal with than women, but too horny
Women: Complicated, beautiful, powerful bitches
Religion: Causes too much war, therefore evil
Spirituality: God is within yourself, so stop looking up
Our World: Thanks Bush. You’re a god damn rocket scientist!
The Environment: Recycling… it’s a very simple concept!
Humans: More community… less tanning
Politics: Aren’t always bad…
Race: Need not be identified
Meat: Why don’t you google where your food comes from
Love: The most frustrating thing we do
The Office: Breeding ground for passive aggressiveness
Technology: Making us relate more to a machine… and less to a person
Television: Is going to be extinct one day (replaced)… Bye bye Seinfeld reruns ((shudder))
Vanity: Is going to become disgusting… So get in that botox while you still can
Drugs: Open your mind, as long as you don’t stay on them
Family: People who teach you the value of differing opinions
Reading: Keeps your mind alert, stops you from having a panic attack
Anxiety: Far too prevalent in today’s society… too much choice, pressure, and stress
Pets: Should never watch you have sex… it’s just weird okay.

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