Trust and Vulnerability

Week 62 – May 23, 2021 – To what end

It’s frightening to think that I am writing about trust and vulnerability. For most of my life, I trusted nobody and I never wanted to be seen. There are very few people I trust. Sometimes when I think I trust someone, I doubt the trust and relationship. I can’t help but question it because trust is so hard to come by. I have been betrayed and hurt so many times that my naive mindset often lends itself to want to believe that I can trust in others, but then in return hurt so deeply that I just can’t do that again. I just can’t. Trust is not a commodity that I want to give away too easily. When I do, I question myself when expectations aren’t met, promises are broken, or secrets are made. I can’t stand betrayal, but who does? Trusted relationships are hard to find.

I will admit, I am so grateful to have a few critical friends who I can share who I am without feeling threatened or belittled. They listen to me, offer honest feedback, and I can do the same in return. I feel blessed to have these people in my life and I am not sure where I would be without them. Some of them I’ve been friends with for a few decades while others I’ve just met in the last few years. I find solace in these people. It’s easy to be vulnerable with those you trust. I can be myself. I can be seen. This is a challenging feat especially when I spent most of my life hiding and trying to “fit in” to what I thought people wanted me to be. I call it blending, while others might call it belonging. What I do know is, I was protecting myself from really being seen.

What I learned growing up is to go with the flow. I’m not great at it. Keeping with the status quo has not been a strength of mine. I would speak up or question, but then be “put in my place.” I always thought I must be wrong. Few could see my point of view, so I stayed quiet. What do I know? I did that as the youngest child in my family, I did that in my work, and I did that in my marriage. I would have good moments, but then I always self-doubted and regretted my actions. Being vulnerable was not my preferred modality because I was too scared to be in the ring, standing up, alone.

Belonging and acceptance mattered to me. I was taught that it mattered. They are primary needs next to food, shelter, and safety. What I am learning about myself and what my purpose is, I am “that person” who says things and questions the status quo. I am “that person” who pushes back, problem solves, and brings forward ideas that may tamper or provoke. I am “that person” who will have their voice, take risks, and then walk away. I can have those tough conversations. I can ask difficult questions and listen. I can speak my truth and be vulnerable. I just can’t be silent anymore.

I need to proceed with deliberate action and intentionality. I need to be strategic and thoughtful. I need to act in ways that are wholehearted, authentic, and aligned to my why. I have integrity. I will take care of myself as well as others. I will be persistent and patient. I will always get up when I’m knocked down. My anger always informs me. I am focused on justice and doing what’s right. I have not changed. I can see who I am.