By Kenneth Stepp
We are all evolving. Or at least I believe we are. I have. I know others who have. Are we better or worse because of it? It depends on who you ask I guess. For me. I’m stronger in some ways and weaker in others. The road as single people is very bumpy and we get thrown around a lot. We give people access to our inner self, our hearts. Many times that comes at a price. Not long ago I was talking back and forth with someone special. The messages were pleasant and full of hope. One day, my friend’s tone changed. It wasn’t the first time we had been down this road. Crash and burn was our history. Yet there I was, walls down and full of hope. That one message reminded me of those crashes in the past. I felt like a deer in the headlights. Sent me back down that dark road again. Funny how we allow hope to make us so vulnerable, isn’t it?
“A person is, among all else, a material thing, easily torn and not easily mended.”
― Ian McEwan
Ian was right. Mending is sometimes something we convince ourself we have accomplished. More often than not, at least for me, mending never comes. The hurt just becomes embedded somewhere inside of me. I’ve been on this journey over four years now. I keep thinking I will turn the corner and something great will happen. Where the heck is that corner? They say what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. Well, I’m still alive, but do not feel very strong these days. Physically I do. Emotionally. I am very vulnerable. I really didn’t know how much. I’m also sure, given some conversations in private with friends lately. That I am not alone here. So many of us are wounded. And it seems in the singles jungle. They shoot their wounded. That’s a sad reality. Being vulnerable in a great relationship is amazing though. But how do we know?
“To share your weakness is to make yourself vulnerable; to make yourself vulnerable is to show your strength.”
― Criss Jami
Once again I write about something I have no answers for. It really can grind at your mind. Do we keep our walls up until we know it’s safe to lower them? Is it possible to begin a relationship with our walls up? For me, I do not think we can. Or, I do not believe I can. Maybe that’s why this road seems so bumpy to me. Maybe my walls should always be up. I just think I’d be alone forever if I did that. Although I have so many friends that proclaim they are fine alone. I’ll admit, I’m not. I partner well. And partner is what I want to be. But figuring out a way to get from A to C without enduring B, just isn’t easy so far. Again. I don’t think I’m alone here either. Revealing who I really am has always been my goal. Hoping someone likes what they see when they see the real me. Full of flaws, regrets, and other issues. That takes me back to a powerful word. Acceptance. I love that word. To be totally accepted. Warts and all. Not a bad goal. Not a bad dream.
“Courage starts with showing up and letting ourselves be seen.”
― Brené Brown
Whatever you are searching for, I hope you find it. First. I hope you define it.