“Being vulnerable is the only way to allow your heart to feel true pleasure.” Bob Marley
One of my biggest emotional breakthroughs began long before it actually happened. To be exact, 13 years of playing it tough and strong and “I got this” type of attitude. I am about to tell you what happens and how it can benefit your life if you struggle with being a tough cookie as I did.
I was 14-years-old and outside was a beautiful summer day. All kids from my neighborhood were playing and having a blast. In a meantime, I was at home, washing tiles while my mum spent 2 months in the hospital. She was diagnosed with severe depression and she struggled with overcoming it.
At that time, my mum ended up at the hospital several times a year. We weren’t living with my dad anymore and I started to understand that I was the one who needed to handle the situation around the house and keep it all together.
There was only one rule I began to live by: “To be strong at all times.” Therefore, I promised myself that I will be there for others, I will support them and I won’t break down no matter what. Admitting that I was feeling weak meant being weak so accepting vulnerability was out of the question.
I know, sounds dramatic, but if you are one of those people who “don’t do vulnerability”, I recommend that you keep on reading.
My idea of a mentally strong person was wrong. Strong meant weak and weak meant strong. Total emotional mess.
As years went by, anytime I was faced with a challenge, I just brushed it off and tried to move on as soon as possible. However, this concept of rejecting any of my problems was damaging. As I was “brushing it off”, I wasn’t resolving my pains, I wasn’t facing what hurt me and I wasn’t healing myself.
The only thing I was doing was pretending that I can handle anything. For me to admit that I was feeling weak or hurt meant failure to handle the situation.
Eventually, my real emotions started to show up. I was having anger issues, mild mental breakdowns, I was getting very emotional because of some trivial problems. After an emotional outburst, and those were quite a few, I felt ashamed and stupid.
“Dearing greatly means the courage to be vulnerable. It means to show up and be seen. To ask for what you need. To talk about how you’re feeling. To have the hard conversations.” Brene Brown
One moment I felt strong and in control but within a very short period of time, when someone approached me with a strong or cold attitude, I felt apart and took it very personally. This emotional imbalance drove me crazy and it certainly lowered my self-esteem because I didn’t trust myself anymore. I was getting very confused about my mental or emotional strength which I tried to maintain so hard.
Finally, the day of my huge emotional breakthrough came. I was browsing the internet when I discovered a person name Brene Brown. I started to follow her online and intensely study her work because there was something deep about her research. She was talking about vulnerability, shame and all those uncomfortable feelings I didn’t want to accept as a part of my life.
What followed were moments of awakening, lots of “Aha” situations and a huge sense of freedom. I suddenly realized that all those years I was bullshitting myself and that I had nothing but a false interpretation of my strength. Being a tough cookie 24 hours a day didn’t mean I was strong, it meant that I was wearing a mask. Period.
I can’t begin to tell you how much self-respect I gained. Reason? I became real with myself for the very first time.
The truth is that people who deal with great struggles or pains adopt this misconception that they can be nothing but strong old the time to avoid more hurt. But I learned through work of Brene Brown and my own experience, if we deny those hurtful feelings, we also numb those good ones like love, compassion, and empathy.
“I found that the more truthful and vulnerable I was, the more empowering it was for me.” Alanis Morissette
Toughness is good. It gives us a sense of strength, protection which helps us in those tough times. But doing vulnerability will prevent us from becoming bitter or feeling that the entire world is against us. We’ll gain strength, but we remain human.
To sum up this post, the most important thing I learned during my recent emotional breakthrough which is still in the process is this: A vulnerability is one of the highest forms of strengths which pushes us to exercise our courage and allows us to face true emotions with bravery. It contributes to our worth and builds up self-respect. It gives us the opportunity to reveal our most authentic self.
I talk more in-depth about the vulnerability in one of my LIVE videos on Facebook. Click HERE and check it out.
P.S. School of Courage is now open where the question of vulnerability is a big topic. Click HERE and find out more.
My name is Silvia and I teach people how to turn their pain into power. My personal struggle inspired me to help people in living a powerful and fulfilling life which they create and control. You can find out more of my story by visiting my personal page www.silviaturon.com. Also, there is a FREE gift waiting for you. See you there!