Saturday, 21 July 2007

On being vulnerable (...or simply put - Pieces of Me)


I will present you parts of myself slowly.
If you are patient and tender, I will open drawers that mostly stay closed, and bring out places and people and things, sounds and smells, love and frustrations, hopes and sadness.
Bits and pieces of life that have been grabbed off in chunks and found lying in my hands they have eaten their way into my heart altogether, you or I will never see them.
-They are me-
If you regard them lightly, deny that they are important, or worse judge them. I will quietly slowly begin to wrap them up in small pieces of velvet, like worn silver and gold jewelry, tuck them away in a small wooden chest of drawers and close them away.

By Jim Messina
...........
This is so beautiful, and exactly where i have gotten to on this journey towards my true, authentic self. It's about allowing yourself to be vulnerable, taking the risk to be real and true to yourself. Knowing that, in the process, you may get hurt, rejected, disapproved of etc, etc; but nevertheless taking this risk, fully persuaded that more often than not, the fear, doubt and hesitancy you may feel will be worth it in the end because you finally connect with the world and people around you.

Over the years, i became desensitised to a lot of my emotions to the extent that they became inconsequential as a result of my failure to acknowledge them. Being the thinking, questioning, introspective person that i am, i was able to trace the origin of this back to my early years in primary school in Nigeria. I was shipped off to boarding school, where i was subsequently bullied. I won't go into the details right now, but i basically stood out as an easy target, being the girl who spoke with a british accent, and who had ideas of what and how things should be and wasn't afraid to voice them.

And so the bullying began, and subconsciously, i learnt that the best way to deal with it was to withdraw into myself, betray no emotions and just focus on surviving. Period.

Withdrawing into myself became the norm as i grew up and i got better and better at disguising my true feelings. I presented this, 'together' front to the world, but inside i was in agony because i knew i wasn't being real. I mean, if you haven't been there, you have no idea how draining and energy sapping it is to maintain a front that isn't real.

I'm a naturally caring, nurturing person so i've never found it difficult to relate to people, but i began to find that i had a lot of acquaintances, but very few people i could call true friends. My relationships lacked the depth that i longed for and it soon became clear that it was due to my need to appear in control and never be vulnerable, thereby protecting myself from hurt. Self-preservation is a very strong instinct, however, the basic human need to feel rapport, validation and connectedness with others is very strong also. So it became a tug of war between these two urges.

It's been hard. It continues to be hard, that is why i'm glad that the writer of the piece above was able to put my feelings into words better than i ever could have. I'm learning to love myself daily. And with that, i'm learning to reveal myself to others, knowing that even if they reject me, it doesn't affect the way i feel about myself. Because i love ME.

George Benson, Whitney Houston, and whoever else has covered the song got it right when they sang

'Learning to love yourself is the greatest love of all'.

9 comments:

Favoured Girl said...

Hey I just discovered your blog today and I like this post. Will be back.

Jaja said...

Wow.. is it just coincidence that we love the same artistes??
even Lizz and tramine? ha!

like this blog...

UndaCovaSista said...

I know! Even a couple of books - Catcher in the Rye, to kill a mocking bird. This is spooky......(cue the X Files theme)

pink-satin said...

hey nice post!tanx for stopping by mine once more

pink-satin said...

hey nice post!tanx for stopping by mine once more

Miss Opeke said...

Once again I am here to read what UndercovaSista has to say..."Why do I feel I am reading the story of my life???"

>>>I was able to find a book that was able to describe the kind of woman I am and I am truly learning to love ME...

Thanx for sharin'...

drJAX said...

"I'm learning to love myself daily. And with that, i'm learning to reveal myself to others, knowing that even if they reject me, it doesn't affect the way i feel about myself. Because i love ME"

Precisely the sentiments echoed by Ben Young and Sam Adams in their book "The 10 commandments of Dating". Learning to break the cycle of dependency on others for actualizing our self worth is the
first step in becoming authentic people .. Stay on the journey girl..

akin said...

Thanks for sharing this post. Lovely.

PS: On first glance, I thought the stones in the cup of hands were kryptonite! :-)

femme said...

being vulnerable or open to the world is my one worst fear.
id hate it if people really knew me. why does it sound sad here