The act of vulnerability is one of the most difficult things a human must do. That along side being able to say “I don’t know,” and not go immediately searching for the answer(s).
I’ve had my fair share of toxic relationships: platonic and romantic. I do believe there is a time in one’s life where self-awareness and the love for yourself trumps the need to continue relationships that are unhealthy or unyielding.
To be your authentic self in love means that you are authentically vulnerable with your partner. This is absolutely utterly terrifying for most everyone I know. But it’s especially terrifying for the people that have been through a traumatic heartbreak (or 2…or 3). Because the idea of moving on is difficult enough, the idea of truly being vulnerable and revealing the wounds–some still gaping, some scarred hideously–is one that is intimidating on all fronts. Plus, who’s to say this person won’t do the exact same thing.
I once read that vulnerability is accepting of the uncertainty of the human condition and of life itself. Here’s an excerpt:
The hope for unconditional love is the hope for a different life than the one we have been given. Love is the conversation between possible, searing disappointment and a profoundly imagined sense of arrival and fulfillment; how we shape that conversation is the touchstone of our ability to love in the real inhabited world. The true signature and perhaps even the miracle of human love is helplessness, and all the more miraculous because it is helplessness which we wittingly or unwittingly choose; in our love of a child;, a partner, a work, or a road we have to take against the odds.
In essence, because we live in a conditional world, the concept of unconditional love is an inherent risk we are taking on and moreover an unrealistic expectation. This conditional world in which we live in means there is no possible path where we will not be met with some kind of heartbreak, difficulties, and joys that is under the great umbrella of “love” (and subsequent vulnerability). We must embrace helplessness with the condition that we are choosing to do so to give ourselves the chance of experiencing authentic love.
So, all of you, love without regrets, love fully, love freely, love authentically, love mindfully, and above all, just love.