On vulnerability

Being vulnerable doesn’t get any easier, no matter how many times we confront our fears, or are forced to.

Perhaps I feel this way because I am still new to the world of putting myself “out there.”

As I’ve written before, I didn’t grow up in a household where achievements were blasted to the entire neighborhood, although I grew up surrounded by people who did. My parents were certainly very intentional about this decision; and although I do believe it meant that I would get a late start on developing confidence, it kept my ego in check. For the most part, anyway.

I wish I could be both confident and humble. But it’s a delicate balance I think most earnest people will find themselves struggling with and through their entire lives.

How much is too much? Where do you draw the line? How do you keep your ego in check in a world that is fueled by bombast?

I know I overthink almost everything, but I do think that most people don’t think enough (and I’m not talking about the political situation here in the States, but yeah, that applies too).

Ah, the life of contemplation. In an ideal world, I would love to spend my days writing treatises on simple-yet-complex ideas and concepts we take for granted (it’s that pseudo-academic in me that will never die), but I find myself propelled into the kind of world that the theoretical me hates. The world of instant gratification. This need to be affirmed. But this affirmation for the most part only serves to boost my ego. And then I am left with guilt and uncertainty.

I’m not saying we should deny ourselves all the pleasures of this world (I love cake too much), but once you give in, is there any end to it (other than death, of course)?

But I suppose these are just my fears getting ahead of me yet again? In the past, I’ve never been one to wage battle with my fears. They were the demons that kept me in check. But what was the cost? A life very much fettered.

No. Vulnerability is a necessary component of growth. But there never was any guarantee that it would be easy.

5 thoughts on “On vulnerability

  1. Walking that fine line between humility and confidence is indeed a constant battle. Our Muslim upbringing puts the emphasis on modesty and humility, yet we live in a world where one has to assert his/her confidence by putting their accomplishments out there. I’ve often been told that I undersell my self, that I almost self-sabotage by not doing what I consider to be a form of “bragging”. I’m still trying to figure out how to walk that line. Modesty and humility are integral components of our faith after all.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Figuring out where to draw the line is so difficult but I think it’s even harder to abide by that line when you do find it (because you will).

    What you said about an “in check” life being, by the same token, a very much fettered one, reminded me of the saying, A ship in harbor is safe, but that is not what ships are built for.

    It’s like Bilbo in Bag End, before he went on his big adventure. I’m not saying you have to leave everything behind and embark on a quest in order to face your fears and thus become invulnerable. I think what i’m trying to say is that when you realize certain things about who you are, living the opposite life will no longer be enough any more. Also: how great were those books?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ah, any reference to Bilbo makes me feel like I’m doing the right thing. I was thinking about Bilbo last night. Well, Tolkien actually. How did “In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit” turn into all that it did? I was going crazy trying to think of a plot line for the book I want to write. But I just couldn’t do it!

      Like

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