Why Vulnerability Is So Important To Your Mental Health

Up until fairly recently I had been struggling with where I was in my life. My family is amazing, I’m crazy grateful to have the home that I do, I’m healthy, and I have the freedom to do just about whatever I would like…what else is there you might be asking yourself?…I’m honestly not quite sure what my issue is but I know that I has been in a slump and it needed to get the hell out of my life. Maybe it was the weather changing, or the fact that I had fallen back into the old routine and had been putting as much effort into building myself up; whatever it was, I didn’t like it.

I’m not sure if many of you have ever had this but I sometimes feel like I have so many ideas that I just want to do everything and yet I end up doing nothing, it’s kind of depressing. Even as I’m writing this post, I feel like I am being pulled in 10 different directions wanting to talk about so many different things. So I will say now that I apologize if this doesn’t flow very well and hopefully my vomiting of thoughts onto the page won’t be too confusing.

I had actually written this post a few months back and didn’t end up taking the opportunity to finish it, until now so a few of things mentioned had actually happened a while back. As a side note, I’m no longer in this slump and have since jumped back into trying to become the best version of myself that I can be, but I think that the message will still stay the same. A week or two ago I had started posting on social media about vulnerability and thought that this would be a great post to highlight those posts.

I started with current struggle because I feel that I need to be as open I can. Vulnerability has become a large factor in my life because I have seen first hand how powerful it can be. Recently I had posted a video about my struggles with depression and loneliness. Since then I have had multiple people express to me how it was beneficial to them to see myself being so open. See there is currently a stigma in our society that is only now slowly starting to be deteriorated, but it prevents people from being who they really are and talking about how they are truly feeling. So many of us have some sort of pain inside that we are scared to death to talk about for some reason. It’s so rewarding and healing not only for ourselves to share but for others to listen the problems and know that they aren’t alone. Other people share some of the same pains and issues as us, but its not until we are willing to speak our truth that they know that it’ll be okay to let their guards down.

Just the other day, I was lucky enough to attend a dinner of mostly strangers, where vulnerability was encouraged and was able to be shared genuinely around the table. A dinner that might usually only take 2 hours or so, quickly turned into 5.5 hours of sharing stories, experiences, lessons, and some tears. These are the types of interactions that we need to incorporate into our daily lives with the people who we care about most. There is no reason for us to be so secluded from the people that we love, when it’s so simple for us to open up to people who we have never met before.

I’m going to take a minute to talk about something that I have been carrying with me for about 15 years now and that I have felt  somewhat ashamed of since the day that it took place. I’m not sure if I have told anyone of this besides possibly my wife but other wise the only people who know about it are the couple that there with me at the time…

Myself and a couple of friends were 18 maybe 19, bored on a Saturday night and decided to just go for a drive, I was driving. We had made a stop at the grocery store and my friends went in to buy a dozen eggs, at the time I didn’t know what the plan was but I think I just figured that they would egg a few cars. As I drove down one of the main streets in the city, they had seen a guy walking and decided to throw a couple eggs at him. He was hit by 2 of the 3. We continued to drive around for a while, and later we ended up seeing the same guy walking… more eggs were thrown, hitting him again. I quickly did a U-turn and my friends once again threw eggs at him. This person whom we had never seen before, was doing nothing wrong was punished and humiliated for absolutely no reason. Although I didn’t actually throw any eggs at this man, I hold myself completely at fault and ashamed that I would have been a part of such a grotesque act. I think about the night often, and beside a fight that I had gotten into while in high school, it is the only thing in my life that I truly regret.

I’m sharing this story with you simply to be vulnerable. To put it out there and show you that we all have something inside of us that is hurting. I have many other pains inside of me but this is something that I had made a decision to be a part of and must deal with it. There were no physical consequences (on my end) to my actions but it has stuck with me. I often wish that I could speak to that man and express how sorry I am.  Hell, for all I know he, nor the others involved have even thought of this ever again, but I have and I know that it was wrong. Looking back, I know that I was a stupid kid, who got caught up in the moment of trying to “have fun” with his friends and I very well may be carrying this with me unnecessarily. But it is something that I am not proud of especially since I pride myself in wanting to help and give back to others as much as I possibly can.

Vulnerability doesn’t have to mean sharing something that you are ashamed of, telling a secret, or even going in the opposite direction and telling someone that you love them. Being vulnerable is simply allowing others to see who you truly are. Letting down your guard and just being yourself. Not trying to impress other people be doing something that isn’t cohesive to your true self. Too often we spend so much of our time and energy hiding who we are so that we can make other people happy. Every time that we put ourselves on the back burner, we close a door to experience happiness. Happiness is what everything in our lives comes down to. The work that we do, the people that we surround ourselves with, and even the food that we eat, everything comes down to wanting to be happy. So if we aren’t allowing ourselves to be who we want, and are just living to please everyone else, then being happy will never be an option and our self image will only ever be through other peoples eyes.

If we can continually stay open to experience who we are inside, instead of the often fake facade that we put on, then so many of the stresses and frustrations of our day to day lives will go away. Share your feelings, do the work that you want because you love it and not just for the money, play games, have actual conversations with people and just stop hiding who you truly are. With that being said, I can almost guarantee that there will be people who dislike your true self, and will do or say negative things to have you be the person that they want you to be, but those people do not matter, even if they are your “family” or “friends” and if they aren’t going to support you for who you are and what you want then they don’t deserve to be a part of your life. You are worth so much more than any one persons opinion and you need to make your life about you and the people that truly care about you.

I hope that you will take this and run with it. I hope that you will use this as an opportunity to grow into the person you were meant to be. I hope that you will begin to do everything that you’ve ever wanted. Leave no regrets behind when your time comes to an end. Live this life to its absolute fullest for yourself. “Get comfortable being uncomfortable” because once you can allow yourself to be completely vulnerable, then there is nothing that can hurt you or prevent you from having the very best life possible.

 

 

4 thoughts on “Why Vulnerability Is So Important To Your Mental Health

  1. Very well said Lee. You are right in that vulnerability is the key to our happiness and without it we live our lives as a lie.
    We will NEVER please others no matter how hard we try.
    Vulnerability, the hardest thing to accomplish yet so rewarding when we do.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You nailed it right on the head. Unfortunately too many people these days don’t understand how important it actually is… Thanks so much for taking some time to read my post. I really appreciate it.

      Like

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