Friday, January 24, 2014
Vulnerability is a Bitch
I'm still often tempted to avoid letting others see that which makes me feel vulnerable. I see that struggle in the poems I'm compiling for my upcoming book of poetry, Vulnerability in Silhouette: Poems, due for release in early April, if all goes to plan. I read poems where I start out wanting to hide what I fear others knowing about me only to find it seeping into the later lines of the poems refusing to remain hidden.
Reading these poems reminded me of the year I spent purposely doing things that made me feel vulnerable. Man, what a year that turned out to be! I met new people and reconnected with old friends. I discovered some people felt uncomfortable with my raw exposure while others marveled that I was no longer holding back. You can read a little about the experiment in this blog post, Vulnerability, I Once Considered You a Curse Word. (Sorry about the nonexistent links in it. I was using a different blog host that is no longer operational... Perhaps I'll eventually add those posts to this blog and link to them again...)
As I continue to read through the poems choosing the ones to include in Vulnerability in Silhouette: Poems, I realize how I still struggle with allowing others to see my vulnerabilities. Yes, there was a time when even admitting that would have have felt like revealing too much. See, in those days I thought vulnerability was a bitch in every bad connotation that word can hold. And yet each poem exploring vulnerability brings me around to a sense of empowerment.
But today as I redefine so much about myself in order to be more genuine, to stand in my truth and to move forward, I realize that I've embraced my inner bitchiness, my vulnerability, my strength, my ability to love, and my ability to stand up for myself. While I can still go silent when someone pushes me too far, and that silence kills relationships, I'm much more likely to reach out once or twice or even thrice before I shut down communication. And, I no longer do it because I fear the person will have ammunition against me. These days, when I step away it's because I know I deserve relationships that are strong, loving, caring, and mutual.
So today when I tell you that vulnerability is a bitch, I'm not insulting vulnerability... I'm embracing the power within I've discovered by embracing my own vulnerability even it means I risk getting hurt. We only get one life and living it in protective mode just doesn't bring the rewards as risking that which opens us to new experiences... At least that's how I try to live my life...
So, yeah, today I proudly assert Vulnerability is just like me, a Babe in Total Control of Herself, aka a Bitch in all her glory.
T. L. Cooper grew up on a farm in Tollesboro, Kentucky. She earned a Bachelor of Science from Eastern Kentucky University. Her poems, short stories, articles, and essays have appeared online, in books, and in magazines. Her published work includes a novel, All She Ever Wanted, five books of poetry, and a book of short stories. When not writing, she enjoys yoga, golf, creating plant-based recipes, and traveling. Currently, she resides in Albany, Oregon.