We've all been there... We've all put on a mask to stop people seeing how we truly feel. Many of us (and I've certainly been guilty of this in the past) are so well practiced at faking the smile that tells the world, "Don't worry. I've got this sorted. I'm OK", that no one would ever question us when we tell them, "I'm doing just fine."
Maybe you know the feeling? "Everyone around seems to be coping, so why am I finding this so difficult? If I admit to other people that I'm hurting or need a break, won't I look weak or even a failure?"
But who are we trying to convince? Them... or us?
There's a strength in allowing ourselves to show our true feelings. Putting on a brave face and being strong for the sake of others without considering our own needs, slowly erodes away at our self-worth and damages our sense of self.
Sometimes, we only put on a brave face because we're scared that if we show the intensity of our true emotions, we'll fall apart and lose control. However, putting on a brave face for too long only makes us feel numb and life rushes past us faster and further away, somewhere far off in the distance while we're stuck on autopilot.
To heal and move forwards, it's necessary to let others know what we're really feeling and be prepared to humble ourselves enough to ask for help when we need it. Allowing ourselves to be vulnerable is how we connect with the ones we love on deeper, more meaningful levels.
To be humble, requires honesty. To be honest with yourself, requires your acceptance of your need to heal, open up and become your authentic self.
Finding the strength to admit our weaknesses and the courage to fall apart if we need to, is the beginning of a new self-awareness and connection those around us. Because when we fall apart, the barriers we put up between ourselves and other people, crumble and fall apart too. When we're honest with ourselves and stop masking our vulnerabilities, it's surprising how many will say, "Me too", "I'm here for you" and "I wish you'd said something sooner." By doing so, our relationships evolve to become much more than we ever thought possible.
When we see our vulnerabilities, not as our weaknesses, but as a source of strength, we begin to understand ourselves in a new light. We give ourselves the credit we truly deserve for making it through the tough times and we finally pay ourselves the gratitude and appreciation we deserve for surviving and making it through with the knowledge and tools we had available to us at the time.
Sometimes, being strong doesn't mean putting on a brave face. True strength comes from allowing ourselves to be vulnerable and drawing strength from our vulnerabilities. Only then do we have the opportunity to piece ourselves back together how we want to and get to know our true selves again.
So be brave enough to let people in. Be humble enough to let others help you. Be strong enough to put yourself first.
Be honest enough with yourself that you'll never compromise on who you are again.
This is how we start the life-changing journey of healing, growth and rediscovery. This is how you take your first step on the pathway towards finding the person inside who you thought you'd lost forever.
To be vulnerable takes courage. It won't make you Superman or Superwoman, but it will transform your life and has the power to set you on a path towards healing.
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