In yesterday’s blog (Is Intelligence The New Sexy?) I touched on vulnerability. Its importance in the art of being sexy. Because confidence is sexy but confidence without vulnerability can sometimes border on arrogance. And arrogance is not so sexy, right?
This morning a friend reached out to me in search or words of wisdom re: his recently broken heart. Always a tough situation no matter how young or old you are and golly if there was a rule-book for getting through it the author would be a gazillionaire and none of us would suffer. But there is one thing I know absolutely: retaining your vulnerability, in fact even building on it and expanding its scope, will help to guide you. Because the only way to heal a shattered heart is to remind yourself that it is NOT in fact shattered. Battered, maybe, and bruised. Perhaps blindsided and busted up.
But still intact.
And still available for your next romantic adventure. Whenever you are A) ready and B) it presents itself.
When the “love of my life” left me not once but FOUR times (and the last one finally stuck) I was devastated. And I would think back to some of our exquisite moments and wonder how the hell he could let that go? Let go of those exquisite moments I had never known before and neither had he (so he said). But he did. And even though TO THIS DAY I may never understand it I must believe it and accept it. Why? Because I am worth so much more than half-love. Conditional love. Waffling love. Love that wasn’t willing to fight and endure. EVEN when it was exquisite.
And as easy as it might have been for me “toughen up” after that heart-smash I went the opposite way. I became more vulnerable than ever. More open, more available, more fearless.
That heartbreak made me bulletproof.
Why? Because you don’t get bulletproof from armour. You get bulletproof from owning your heart and your emotions and your vulnerability, knowing that no one can shatter you because YOUR heart is real and true and therefore strong and resilient. It WILL bounce back. And when it does you will be ready for love again. Not a love rooted in fear or fantasy but a love born of your faith in your deserving of it. And your faith in creating it and sustaining it from a place of conviction.
I learned this the hard way more than once.
Many years ago I spent a good deal of time communicating (via email) with a man I found pretty darn attractive. I mean, we had met a time or two so this was no dating-site fantasy and I knew he was nice to look at and fun to talk to but it but it was his spirit that really got to me. His intelligence, both emotional and intellectual. His sense of adventure, his desire for truth, his interest in sharing stimulating dialogue … all of these things were hugely attractive to me.
And then, after many (like 5) months of nothing but emails, we decided to meet. Have a chat “for real”. Like, in person. And it was a lovely evening in a lovely setting and there we were, FINALLY face to face and it was like something out of a fucking movie and we were laughing and sharing and smiling and enjoying and yet, as the evening wore on, I sensed that something was missing. Something big.
And you know what that something was?
This darling man was totally enjoying my company but he was in no way attracted to me. Like, you know, man-woman attraction. I was his pal. His confidante. His mate. His buddy. But I was never going to be his lover. I was never even going to be his fantasy lover. I just wasn’t his jam … on that level.
Oh I gotta tell you there is a whole lot of sting associated with that realization. A WHOLE lot.
So I cried a tear or two and then gave it a tiny bit more rational thought (not always my forte). And I realized that whatever expectation I had of that encounter was MINE and mine alone. And I had no right to inflict it upon him. He was actually in the moment AS the moment. Nothing more, nothing less. I was the chick turning it into a Disney flick.
So what did I do?
I confessed it all to him (in an email). I (figuratively) tore off all my cloaks and said “Hey. aren’t I the dummy?”
Alas I am pretty sure I didn’t say it quite so nicely. I probably tossed something in there like “I go out of my way to make YOU feel special and you don’t return the favour!”
You know. Something mature and smart like that.
Listen, the truth is I was drinking and writing long before I began wine soaked ramblings.
But the real truth is that lesson (always find the lesson!) reminded me that no matter how much we fuck up or how much life fucks with us – BE VULNERABLE!
Tell your truth. OWN your truth. Whoever came up with the expression “the truth will set you free” was not kidding. It DOES set you free. Because when you manufacture some story to suit YOUR narrative it is just that … a fabrication. But when you tell your truth and it kills you to tell it and quite possibly humiliates you tell it but you tell it anyway … well that is a liberating moment.
Because if you OWN your truth no one on this planet can OWN you. YOU already own you. Mistakes, missteps, disasters and monster fuck-ups! YOU own each and every one of them.
You’ll still get hurt and you will still suffer and you will regret saying things and doing things and you will beat yourself up, tear yourself down and maybe even put on that stupid hair shirt every single day (please Google if you don’t understand that reference).
But YOU will be in charge of your heart. No one else will usurp that power. It will be yours and (hopefully) you will be ready to move forward to WHATEVER the next adventure is.
That is vulnerability at its absolute finest. That is vulnerability in action! That is vulnerability as an art.
It’s the only armour you will ever need.