Hiya there! Taking some time today for Lesson #7. We are just working our way right on to #10 here soon enough! So glad I decided on an individual post per lesson so that I could elaborate! Writing is not only therapeutic for me in a way, but it’s also been very eye-opening being able to see my journey all laid out before me. And hopefully, from my lessons, you’re able to learn a thing or two. Or more!
So before we hop in – here are links to all the previous lessons for you to take a peek at.
And now, Lesson #7: Recognizing I have an innate desire for human connection.
Yes THIS…coming from me. Oh, the irony. I’ll be the first to tell you that I absolutely prefer to be alone. Solitude is where I find my peace. And being at peace – feeling calm, having time to reflect, write, read, and do yoga – is my absolute happy place. For me, there’s nothing better than alone time, preferably in the very early morning when there is perfect silence. I look forward to this time every morning.
Now don’t get me wrong, I also love to be around people. But honestly, only certain people. Not gonna lie, I’m very picky. And I’m not one for crowds – they just are not my thing – but I am SO GOOD one-on-one. Crowds come with small talk and a ton of meaningless interactions that I can just do without. But one-on-one, REALLY giving someone your undivided attention and receiving the same in return, well…that’s the next best thing to my solitude. I am all about meaningful connections – the ones with substance.
I am an introvert through and through when it comes to being in crowds and around people I don’t know. I absolutely do not like being the center of attention or otherwise being put on the spot. But with people I know well, I can look like a total extrovert. It’s completely situational. And I’m sure some people find this weird, but hey, it is what it is.
You know, if I’m being honest, even after all I’ve been through, I still don’t feel like I need anyone. And I guess I don’t really know how I feel about that. For sure, it’s no secret that I’ve spent my life closed off – building walls and refusing to let others in. But, I’m really trying to change that. I think maybe I feel like I’ve been let down by those I felt should have been there for me. But there’s that all-too-familiar “should” – and well, just because I think someone should support me, doesn’t mean they will. I think what I’ve learned time and time again is to stop expecting things from those you know you cannot expect things from. A whole new perspective, right?
Here’s the thing, connecting with others requires vulnerability, and I’ve never been comfortable with that. But ever since seeing a therapist – nearly 3 years ago now – I’ve tried to analyze what is it about vulnerability that scares me. And I think it’s the level of trust. Being vulnerable requires an immense amount of trust – trusting someone to create a safe space for you, trusting someone to be there for you when things gets tough, trusting that they’ll catch you when you fall. And what I’ve always found is that most people let you down. And maybe that’s due to having placed so many expectations on them in the first place. I don’t really know.
But what I do know is that I have begun making a conscious effort to allow others into my life. And well, it’s not always comfortable or easy. Yes, I want to connect with others, I want to have meaningful relationships, and I want to be vulnerable with others. BUT, I only want to connect with those who are worthy, and only in a meaningful way. For me, this is living and loving with intention.
Let me go back for a second to connecting with those who are worthy. I think this was one of my biggest takeaways from seeing a therapist – I remember her saying to me that not everyone is worthy of my vulnerability. And it was like an aha! moment. Like – yes, connect with others and be vulnerable, BUT also know that you don’t have to be vulnerable with everyone. It’s not an either/or situation, and honestly, that was a huge relief. For someone like me, I needed to hear that it’s okay and necessary to choose who to be vulnerable with.
I’ve also come to see that allowing others into my space is a form of self-love, which I would’ve never agreed with before. I not only have immense self-love now, but I also know that I have all the love in the world to give, AND I also need to be receptive of love from others. Hey-o, that right there can be a whole separate post – accepting love from others.
Anyway, now that I’ve said all this, you might be thinking uhhh, does she talk to anyone? And the answer is – yes, I do. I absolutely connect with others, but I do so cautiously. I’m not an open book, that’s for darn sure. After a few times of talking to someone, I can tell if we’re going to connect or not. And sometimes it’s just an entirely natural connection, which is honestly what I always hope for. I’m not about forcing anything.
Okay, so this is what I can tell you about myself when it comes to my experience so far with human connection. There is exactly 1 person who has seen me with every wall and guard down, completely vulnerable and falling apart. One person who has witnessed me at my worst – and I do mean my worst – and who let it be okay. This is one of those natural connections, an effortless connection. You know, a connection that just is. One of those deep soul connections that just does not have an explanation, so you allow it to be what it is. I know these connections are rare and that I cannot expect such connections with everyone, but this relationship certainly taught me that it’s okay to be vulnerable. It also taught me that sometimes, just sometimes, that when someone says they’ll be there for you, they mean it.
I think what we’ve learned here is that I’m human, flawed, and still worthy of connection. You are also human – so don’t be hard on yourself, and make sure you’re accepting yourself for where you’re currently at. And know that you can and will grow and evolve. We all have this innate desire to connect with others – for me, while wanting to connect with others is a very natural and human thing, it has taken a great amount of practice, and I still work on it every day and will continue to. I have learned there is beauty in allowing others into your world and in letting someone see the real you that you oftentimes try so hard to hide.
Let’s all do ourselves a favor and stop hiding, and instead, connect and be vulnerable with those who are worthy of our vulnerability. Because honestly, I’ve learned that there is beauty in being vulnerable.