“How does one be vulnerable?” I constantly ask myself this question every day.
According to Dictionary.com, vulnerable means to be “susceptible to physical or emotional attack of harm. It could also mean a person “in need of special care, support, or protection because of a abuse or neglect” (Dictionary.com).
Based simply off of the definitions associated with the word, one could take away that being vulnerable means being weak, helpless, and an emotional burden.
This is not the case, however.
Being vulnerable allows those around you to truly understand you, get to know you better, and most importantly, allows more love into your life. Similarly, the more vulnerable you are with yourself and with others, the more you get to know and understand yourself.
The saying “wear your heart on your sleeve” can be directly associated with vulnerability, as those who wear their heart on their sleeve do not put up the emotional walls. These emotional walls and barriers do not allow you to be vulnerable or experience vulnerability.
Expressing yourself vulnerably allows truth and honesty to enter into your life. Truth and honesty is what our soul craves. To live a good, truthful, meaningful life, one must allow their vulnerable side to show.
It truly does not matter how many people you express your vulnerability to, as this does not dictate anything. Similarly, your intentions behind sharing your vulnerable side should always be taken accounted for. Some people only show their vulnerable side, when they need something or are in the works of manipulating someone emotionally. Sharing a part of yourself may make you susceptible to harm or attack, as people may use the information you disclosed privately as ammunition against you. Do not let that discourage you from showing what is beneath your skin.
How you choose to show it is up to yourself, but being vulnerable allows you to connect with people on a much deeper level. Levels of compassion and empathy will also increase with a more vulnerable take on life.
It is not all comfortable, however, as you may let pests into your vulnerable heart and end up getting hurt for being so honest and raw. In fact, being vulnerable at times can make you feel naked and afraid, but embracing the idea that humans as a whole need to let down their guards to find meaningfulness in their life.
When you are in touch with your vulnerable side, you feel inclined to share parts of the ugly, the raw, the happy, and the sad sides of your own life. Being vulnerable allows you to share with others things that allows others to understand why you are the person that you are today, and how you became this way. In fact, vulnerability is the only bridge to build connection with yourself and others.
There are intelligent ways of being vulnerable, as we are most vulnerable during times that we feel low, lost, and afraid. Especially when something monumental happens that changes the very circumstances of your life situation, or something or someone is taken from you, people often find themselves feeling vulnerable. Intelligent ways of being vulnerable include, disclosing information to others, crying, seeking and asking for assistance, filling your day with productive things, etc.
Actions, such as crying, yelling, screaming, or anything malicious and malignant, can be as a result of one who is going through a vulnerable time. They may feel stripped of everything, including their pride, joy, and feel as though they have nothing left.
Even when nothing bad has happened, individuals can still exude vulnerability. Vulnerability is not only shown when things are going south. Sometimes when things are going too well, we also feel vulnerable and uncomfortable.
Dr. Brené Brown says, “vulnerability is the core of shame, and fear, and our struggle for worthiness. But, it appears it’s also the birthplace of joy, of creativity, of belonging, and of love.” Of course, there are always upsides and downsides of being vulnerable, as it can be extremely uncomfortable.
It is very important for your own emotional well-being to become connected with the side of you that is not weak, but courageous. Being vulnerable shows that an individual is not only courageous, but it shows that one is aware of their current reality.
Small things, such as changing schools, graduating school, starting a new job, having a new school schedule with different classmates, moving to a new town, can force the vulnerable out of you, as these situations are morbidly uncomfortable. Things more extreme, such as death, abuse, etc. will also force the vulnerability out of you.
Allowing your vulnerable side to show may seem more frightening than the actual act of being in denial. In order to make connections, and raw, and real friendships, vulnerability is vital. At some point, after spending so many hours with a person, you show sides of yourself naturally being vulnerable, without even taking it into account.
Most often, we are completely unaware when we are being vulnerable, unless we are bawling uncontrollably. Unknowingly showing sides of yourself to others allows for an intermediate connection, as a person may disclose more vulnerable information as a result of you sharing vulnerable information. This is always a good feeling! In order to feel comfortable, both parties will feel the need to disclose more and more about their life once a sense of trust is built.
Living life vulnerably allows for more hurt, but tear down your emotional barriers and let yourself feel life, just as it is supposed to be felt. Do not be embarrassed, as there truly is nothing to be embarrassed about. Secrets do not make friends, and friends make secrets. It is very healthy to express vulnerability to those around you, as you will often feel a weight lifted off your shoulders.
Audre Lorde says, “…and that visibility that makes us most vulnerable is that which also is the source of our greatest strength.” You are no longer considered weak for being vulnerable, showing pain, etc., in fact, being vulnerable is the most empowering thing you can do for yourself.
Empower the courageous!
What does therapy mean to you? To me, it means making and creating art.
The cheapest form of therapy is art therapy. Art therapy, includes crafting, coloring, drawing, painting, pottery, etc., and is one of the most beneficial hobbies you can pick up.
Inspiration is everywhere, if you just look hard enough. After looking hard enough, I discovered my vivacious enthusiasm for the art of coloring.
To this day, I own about 12 coloring books and am in the works of finishing a full coloring book. I find that through coloring I am calm, cool and collected; much cooler than a cucumber.
Coloring simply allows me to be mindful, and allows me to zone in on the art at hand, rather than the extra white noise happening all around me.
When I first began coloring, I found it extremely difficult to stay on task, and I also found myself frustrated by how long and intricate some of the coloring books were. Since then, I have noticed my senses heightened, my attention span lengthened, a better attention to details, and an increased awareness of mindfulness. It also has helped me quit some of my bad habits! After about six months of effortless coloring, I am finally proud of where I am at with my own new set of creative skills. Slowly, but surely, I found myself coloring quicker, much more intricately, and much more detailed. It was not an easy feat! In fact, picking up coloring as a hobby was one of the biggest challenges I faced this year. Now, I color every day and make it a goal to finish at least one of the mandalas that I color every day.
There’s also something about shading, choosing a color scheme, and the feeling of accomplishment after choosing something to color, that allows me to release any sort of pent up anxiety, stress, panic, etc.
Similarly, coloring allows individuals to connect back to their childhood, something that I have realized has helped me in many ways. Channeling your childhood, during your adult life, helps keep things light and fun. Coloring has become fun, because I remember how much I enjoyed coloring, and just making art in general, especially as a kid. Your childhood is something that can be taken away from you, or maybe you just got old, however, it’s never too late to uptake your childhood hobbies.
I believe that your childhood plays such an important role in your growth, biochemical makeup, standards, values, etc. This is where you learn how to be a human, how to be good at being a human, societal rules, etc. Most people always complain about how they want their childhood back and want to be younger, but do NOT let age stop you. No matter how old or young, understanding the joys of being a child is something one will never forget. This is because every day is an adventure when you are young. For some reason, incorporating one’s childhood into their day-to-day lives has served a higher purpose and allowed many adults to have a creative outlet, which is something society rarely offers.
Similarly, coloring has been said to have many benefits as an activity, including increased mindfulness, heightened senses, increased attention span, increased attention to detail, overall emotional well-being, increased attention to detail, decreased anxiety, utilization of both the right and the left brain, assists in memory retention, and the ability to channel creative energy. It has also been said to help mood swings.
Not only does coloring have the benefits listed above, but it is also said to heal and assist PTSD patients, ADD patients, ADHD patients, OCD patients, and any average human being. Generally, coloring serves benefits to anyone who partakes in the activity.
Adults should not feel embarrassed to try this new hobby out, as they have come out with coloring books specifically assigned for adults. Lately, you can find coloring books at local grocery stores, gift stores, retail stores, book stores, and even boutiques everywhere. Places, such as Target, Walmart, Walgreens, and Barnes & Noble, sell an assortment of coloring books.
If you are looking for a way to kill time, a new hobby, or just a way to release some creative energy, pick up a coloring book from your local store.
Prices typically range from $4.99 up to $30.99, depending on which retail outlet you decide to purchase your new hobby. The prices on supplies vary, depending on whether or not you are using different mediums, and whether or not you want quality products. Colored pencils, markers, gel pens, and crayons are fun utensils to utilize when coloring. Of course, if you are willing to spend the money, mediums, such as charcoal, acrylic paints, oil pastels, or chalk, may cost a little more than usual. To keep it under a budget, King Soopers, Target, Walmart, etc. have fun, cheap colored pencils that should service those who are in need.
Wondering where to begin? Simply buy yourself a coloring books and some gadgets. If you would rather be with company, try a wine and paint class. Wine and paint class includes people of age coming together and painting, while casually drinking. As if coloring could not be more fun! While these wine and paint classes are not free, it offers a way for adults to connect with other adults and create art. A form of therapy that is underrated and underappreciated.
Art soothes the heart, soul, and mind, as it has helped me slow down my thoughts, and take a break between my busy life.
In this fast-paced society, it is hard to take a minute out of your day to just color for a while, as it is even harder to even catch your breathe. We are all so busy doing whatever society tells us to do. Well, this is society telling you that coloring, and/or art therapy, is the best solution to all your stressors and your problems. It is cheap, easy, and lots of clean fun.
Finally, remember, it truly does NOT matter what your age is, just keep creating and art-ing!
Being alone is amazing sometimes, am I right? Sometimes, an excessive amount of alone time is good for the soul. At times, however, it can be detrimental when you forget about the people who are constantly surrounding you and neglect them.
PEOPLE NEED PEOPLE.
That’s final. People require the support of others, especially the nurturing side of other human beings, in order to find solace and inner peace.
We all pretend to hate people or constantly complain about not having enough friends. Additionally, we also find ourselves repetitively stating the fact that we do not have friends nor do we need them to survive.
Our bodies crave the attention of others and constantly are feeding off of the energies of others around us. In order to maintain a peaceful state of mind, and a healthy one at that, one must have a support system, or a proper group of friends.
We also need negative, toxic people in our lives to constantly remind ourselves that even the negative energies that we are exuding towards each other are necessary in order to live a purposeful life.
All human beings need one another not only to learn lessons, grow, mature, but also to maintain stability. Anything in excess, including being with friends, is detrimental to one’s health.
If you are a social butterfly, like I am, it is incredibly important to find time for yourself. However, I crave the energies of my friends and love being around others, constantly learning and finding the good in all people.
All people survive off of each other, and we need each other more than we think we need. It goes beyond getting test answers from each other, working as coworkers, and technological forms of communication.
The livelihood of human beings are dependent on others, so challenge yourself this month to meet new people, ask how their day is, and exude the utmost kindness to everyone, including strangers.
Ask them what their dreams are, what their passions are, where they are from, etc. It does not matter.People can be both a negative and a positive aspect of your life, however, they are fundamental and a necessity in order to live a life full of happiness, wonder, and love.
Let love in and let love out. People, even the ones who do not vocalize it or think about it, are relying on you more than you know. We all need each other, simple as that.
Whether you choose a crowd that is unfavorable or a favorable crowd, it is up to you. Protect yourself from the inevitable people, such as bullies, toxic humans, those who bring you down, however, show them happiness, love, and kindness.
Those who are unhappy are not the only ones needing extra love and kindness, sometimes human beings can be gifted in hiding their sadness, and lack of love, so naturally, show love and be the love you would like to see in the world. Or, as Mahatma Gandhi says, “Be the change that you wish to see in the world.”
Without others guiding us or misleading us in different directions, life would be boring, meaningless, unstimulated, and impractical.
Do not forget how many people are counting on you EVER. Constantly remind yourself of this every morning, not everyone vocalizes their need for others and their need for love.
Support your own species! Join the movement in building a community filled with love, happiness, and joy.