Yes, I am vulnerable. Yes, I cry.

I cry when I’m alone. I cry by the sound of the monologues in my head. I cry when nobody is watching, when no one is around. – Yes, I’m vulnerable. Yes, I do feel hurt.

I smile a lot, I do. In general, I can say that I’m a happy person. I love life. But despite all my happiness, I’ve developed a defense mechanism, because I grew up with the idea that vulnerability means weakness. I’ve pushed myself to be strong for everyone else, to appear strong to the world. In situations that bring tears to someone’s eyes or are emotionally stressful, I’ve learned to shut down my feelings and to focus on being a pillar to everyone else, a shoulder to cry on or just not to show that something hurt me.

I was hurt many times. I’ve cried so many tears that I stopped counting along the way. It also breaks my heart, when I see people close to me getting hurt. Of course, I’m referring to the emotional pain.

In every situation that brought tears to my eyes, I’ve turned around for a brief moment and stopped myself from crying. In this particular moment, I swallowed down all my sadness and felt numb. Now I know that this was a wrong thing to do because the sadness stays in your body and it slowly turns into anger. It’s eating you from inside out. That’s why we need to let our emotions out in the open, to express them in the right way. Otherwise, they start to eat away our body and soul.

I didn’t allow the world to see me hurting. I literally hid my tears away. Eventually, I’ve started to ask myself how do I appear to other people. Did I sometimes come around as emotionless or as a total phlegmatic? But being a hard rock didn’t prevent me from getting hurt. I had breakdowns, when I was alone I’ve cried, I was confused about my feelings. You know, the thing about me is that my emotions are extremely strong. I don’t do things halfway. If I love, I love with all my heart and soul. If I put my head into something, I put a large piece of me in it. If I feel hurt, it tears me apart. If someone needs my help, I’ll do anything, even if it means putting myself second. For my loved ones, I’ll move mountains if I have to.

Here’s the catch. I put someone else’s needs before my own. I wanted to be strong for someone in need. I wanted to be a punching bag or a shoulder to cry on. I was like: “You can feel hurt as much as you need to. I’m here for you. I’m strong. I can take it.” And I was to proud to show pain. When I was alone, with no eyes to see, I’ve cried. I’ve cried because some situations broke my heart or I felt offended. I’ve practiced this for so long that sometimes I really was numb for things that should have made me feel sad, angry or loved. I’ve even prevented myself from getting too emotionaly involved with someone. And when that time came, I’ve started to realize that I have to do something about it.

I took it step by step. First, I had to admit to myself, that I was in denial about my feelings. The second thing to do was finding love for myself and accepting me exactly as I am. The hardest thing, with which I’m still struggling now and then, is to allow myself to feel hurt, to show my emotions.

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Photo: Iva Kjaer Photography

I grew. I’ve reached the point where I can say to myself: “It’s absolutely okay to be vulnerable. You don’t have to be strong for anyone but yourself. Show your feelings and don’t be afraid to cry.”

Don’t be afraid of being hurt. Give your emotions a free flow. Don’t be afraid to show how you feel. Be true to your feelings, because only one hurting in this process is you. Be sad, if you feel sad. Cry, if you feel like crying. Scream, if you feel the need to. Get it out of your system and then take a step forward. The funny thing is that getting hurt makes you stronger.

Showing vulnerability takes courage.

 

• Stay inspired. •

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