The risk of getting shot

I tend to manipulate my memories when I’m angry. A while ago I changed the end of a memory involving Trust break guy. Instead of watching him go, I would go up to him, spread my arms and say: “Well then, pull the trigger.”

Due to some coincidence I recently watched a TED talk on the “power of vulnerability”. I felt like this was an issue close to my heart by now and decided to give it a go. While Brené Brown was doing her talk, I started to recognise some things, and it wasn’t really pleasant. As the title already gives away, she sees vulnerability as necessary. In short her point is that we need to learn to love with all our heart even though there are no guarantees. She also said that it is important to think we’re enough.

Well, hello there, mirror on the wall!

Some of these things sounded too familiar, and I’m not talking of the ‘vulnerability is necessary’ part. I’ve always been protective towards myself. I never wanted to be vulnerable. In my eyes, vulnerable means weak. Not so much for other people perhaps, but for myself very much so. I tell myself that I shouldn’t let anyone hurt me. And by saying that, I numb my feelings, as Brené Brown states. Not only the vulnerability, she adds, but also joy.

That might be true for a part. You probably can’t have just the bright side of things. Though I must say I can still feel joy and everything, even while being overly protective towards myself. Overly?

Maybe not so overly.

You see, how Brené Brown says it, you should be able to stand in front of someone and wait to see if they will pull out their gun. It’s vulnerable, but you will be rewarded, because this means you’re alive. Every time I try this though, it feels more like I’m standing in front of someone, give them a gun and point at my heart.

Here. Aim at this.

I haven’t really experienced a happy end so far, and this brings me to the topic of ‘feeling enough’. Brené says it’s a condition to be able to connect to people. You should think you are enough. You should feel worthy of love. I must admit that I fail at this. After all the disappointments you can’t help but wonder if you are maybe just nog good enough. Not pretty enough, not smart enough, just no enough to treat well. Maybe you are not worth it. Maybe they were right to leave you behind and ignore you.

Of course there is also another side, saying that you are worth more. Blocking out the bad side is a hard thing to do though, and this way I end up not feeling enough. I don’t know if I am enough and therefore I don’t know if I can connect to people. Something keeps me from getting attached to them and expecting something from them. It’s safer.

No one can look into the future (as far as I know at least), so no one can tell me if I should take the risk of getting attached to someone again. Getting attached is after all giving that gun to someone. Giving them the chance to hurt you.

So I ask myself: am I willing to take the risk of getting hurt over and over again while hoping that it will lead to ‘The One’ some day?

And the loudest voice then answers: no. I don’t want to let it happen. I’m not even sure if it will weigh up to the promise of ‘The One’ (I don’t believe in that idea anyway). So for now I will not accept getting attached and hoping. It’s the safest bet still.

Okay, that’s all the drama for today. What do you think of vulnerability? Is it necessary? Have you felt the need to keep people at a distance?

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  1. NotAPunkRocker

     /  September 9, 2014

    I need to watch this later, but interesting that you posted this today. I was discussing dating (again) with a friend and I had the same thoughts…is it worth constant rejection just to see if there are any connections left?

    Logically, I know the answer is yes, but emotionally I can’t fathom it.

    • As you say, logically and theoretically there is always a chance it will go right. But in real life it doesn’t seem to work that way… So I understand what you mean.

  2. I always tend to keep people at a distance – because I am vulnerable but at the same time so are others – and I am capable of hurting them just like they me 🙂

  3. It only has to work once…

  4. I think despite the fact that you know it might hurt, you have to take the chance to open yourself up to the possibility. Easier said than done tho.

    • In theory I know and accept that, yes, but in reality I really, really don’t want to feel it anymore. It sounds very dramatic and I know that, but sadly it’s true – I don’t know if I could mentally survive being hurt all that well.

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