It can be so easy to confuse vulnerability in love with weakness, but the truth is that the two couldn’t be more different. Vulnerability takes strength and bravery — there’s always a possibility of being hurt, among other things, and deciding to put yourself out there in that way anyway is the opposite of weak. It’s difficult to open yourself up to love, but it’s worth the risk — here’s why:
Vulnerability is brave. It really is. You might feel like it’s not, but think about it. When you’re in the process of opening up to someone and showing them who you really are, it can feel so excruciating. This is because you’re letting someone see the parts of you that are special and need to be protected. If that’s not a brave move, nothing is.
Weakness is the opposite of openness. Weakness is taking what makes you special and hiding it away from the world because you think it’ll keep you safe. It defeats the entire purpose of you being you, because the point of life is being who you are is doing so unapologetically. No one else on this earth is exactly like you, so why wouldn’t you want to share your unique qualities with people?
True love always requires vulnerability. You can’t get to a deep relationship stage without vulnerability. To love and be loved, you have to know and be known. This means letting yourself be vulnerable in key moments, saying how you truly feel, and giving up evasive maneuvers to protect your heart. Unless you open up, no one else can ever really get in.
Closing yourself off doesn’t prevent you from ever being hurt. It just means you’re not allowing love into your heart. Being closed off might feel like the smart move if you’ve been hurt before, but it’s just putting up roadblocks that keep you from finding close relationships. Someone can still hurt you, no matter how closed off you think you are. Your participation is not required; people can still find a way to cause you pain.
A real connection is better than a shallow one. You might think you’re doing fine with keeping your relationships at arm’s length, but it’s really just a waste of time. Shallow hookups can be fun for a while, but eventually you’ll find yourself wanting more. If life is meant to be lived, don’t you want to spend your time living it with someone who really gets you? Holding back is going to work against that goal.
You deserve to give yourself a chance. You are worth loving and you are worth being cared for. Read that again, because it’s time you start believing it. You are worth every bit of passion and every bit of tenderness that being closed off from love has denied you for so long. You are the keeper of your heart, and it’s time you take a chance on letting your heart find true love.
Letting go is necessary. Life involves a certain level of surrender. There are so many things we can’t control. You can try to make all the right choices and still end up in pain. That’s the cruel nature of the unpredictability of everything. Letting go is a necessary step in growing up — and letting go of your tight hold on your heart is part of that.
Nothing worthwhile comes without risk. Seriously, nothing. You’ve risked failure so many times before, and you may think it’s time to stop pushing yourself to grow, but nothing that is worth accomplishing comes without the chance of failure, and that’s true in the realm of love. You’ll have to decide if the risk of being hurt is worth the shot at being loved. It’s a trade-off, but it can be worth it.
You’ll be glad you did. Once you take the scary step into vulnerability, you’ll see how things change quickly. It can take some practice, but when you start to get it right, you’ll feel it. One day you’ll be looking back on your life and see the exact moment when you decided to open up to love again, and you’ll be so grateful you tried it. Promise.