Sitting in a Starbucks, writing this before my battery fails. I've been learning about vulnerability, and wanting more of it in my life. There's a really great book out called Daring Greatly, by Brene Brown.
In a nutshell, it's about: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent and Lead. It's been an eye opener. Thanks to @LisaDJenkins for recommending the book. I wholeheartedly recommend it, too.
As a single-again-single person, I'm struggling to reconcile where I went earlier in 2012. I felt truly seen for the first time ever, by eyes wanting to see the whole me. It was unexpected, and nurtured me as a newly divorced guy. I took to the reality like a thirsty man takes to water in the desert. It tasted so sweet, and I felt renewed. I valued it greatly, perhaps too much so. And now that gaze, her gaze, has shifted sharply away from me. We weren't in the same place, so it ended. Tragically, we can't even speak.
Something rare was shared in that place. Cherished by me. It's easy to go back to my safe place, one where disengaging from people, feeling defensive, and doubtful of them feels more "correct," but couldn't be more wrong. To hide and withhold again. Getting back to that realness — to total transparency — seems impossible, but if I'm to learn anything from the book, vulnerability is still the goal, and it's not a bad thing. It's still about having the courage to be yourself with whoever you're with. Friends, family, strangers, new relationships, and all the rest.
Can I truly be myself ever again with someone? I'll never know unless I decide vulnerability is worth it in the end.