Meghan Bowman

 

7 Things I Learned About Vulnerability

Hello all. It's been awhile. 

Things are rapidly changing. My life is changing. I am changing. 

I have spent the last few years of my life practicing vulnerability. What is vulnerability? What does it look like? Is it good? Bad? What does it feel like?

I was sure that vulnerability was what the world was looking for... I was sure it was what I was looking for. Therefore, I released my most vulnerable work to date: The Watchmen. This album was/is a lot of things. I'm still not sure how I feel about it. I wrote it about a weird thing I experienced on a bus one day with a stranger. 

I have told this story a handful of times now and you think it would get easier. You think once you release an album about a certain thing and have processed the thing more than you have processed greater tragedies in your life, that it would get easier. 

But basically, the dude on the bus said some aggressive things to me. He scared me. My body and mind and voice reacted in strange ways. Then his hands were on me. 

I don't want to say anymore about it in this moment. It still makes me feel weird.The police got involved and called it an assault. I can assure you... I didn't want it be that. That's what you call something after someone has a mark or a scar or blood on them right? I didn't think I had any of those things on me.

But my life was affected in ways greater than I care to admit. I am still affected. I experience all sorts of reactions from people. Some don't know what to say to me, and some think I should get over it. 

Anyways, I am in a time in my life where I am questioning the level of vulnerability I want to be with people. Can you be too vulnerable? I'm not sure. But that's not really what this blog is about. It's about the things I have learned the past few years as I have been practicing vulnerability.

 

1) It doesn't feel how you think it's going to feel. The idea of vulnerability is romantic, but it often feels terrifying. 

- I remember getting ready to tell my story in front of rooms full of people this year. I remember standing in front of my stove one time wondering how in the world I was going to get through it. I remember feeling weak in the knees and even somewhat dehydrated. I wasn't sure if I could go through with it. I didn't want to be that exposed. But then I always got through it. I told the people. Sometimes I cried, sometimes I didn't. And afterwards, it felt different then I expected too. I felt strong and weak at the same time. I feel like people knew my weakness, and that was a scary thing. Sometime I felt super connected to people, and sometimes my vulnerability made me feel more alone. Which brings me to #2

 

2) There is no guaranteed outcome with vulnerability.

- this is actually the definition of vulnerability. The whole point of being vulnerable is to let someone see you... the real you. And you hope to be accepted and appreciated by them. But there is no guarantee that they will accept you.Which brings me to #3

 

3) Vulnerability is risky. 

4) Vulnerability is a gift to others.

- we live in such a shallow world. At least I think so. We are connecting via social media, and we are putting our best pictures forward. I consider it a gift when someone is willing to show me their true self.

 

5) Vulnerability is a gift to yourself. 

- don't waste your time being someone else. Learn the art of being vulnerable so that you can be truly known.

 

6) It hurst like a bugger to be rejected in the midst of being vulnerable.

- If you put your honest self forward, show your heart, and are rejected, it's going to sting.

- Like I said, there are no guarantees. You may be rejected. I have been rejected. And it's ok. Rejection can be a gift too. It certainly doesn't feel that way. But when someone rejects you, consider it an opportunity to find your worth in yourself instead of finding it in what that person thinks/feels about you.

 

7) Vulnerability needs boundaries. 

- Brene Brown talks about this. Look up some of her work. She'll explain it better. But basically, I'll just say... that being vulnerable isn't just about spilling your garbage everywhere for everyone to see. Vulnerability has boundaries, there is balance to it. And that is beneficial for both you and the person witnessing your vulnerability.

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