My morning ritual consists of tea, an egg sandwich and scanning my two favorite blogs: 20-Nothings and Foster Dogs in NYC. I read Foster Dog entries until my eyes start to leak, and I usually X-out 20-NOTHINGS with 7 million thoughts of agreements, arguments, relationship tactics, self-improvement promises and blog entries swarming around my head. This girl gives me a run for my money when it comes to analyzing my 20-something life. Touche Jessie Rosen!
Last Friday’s entry, “Why we’re guarded, or at least, why I was,“ got me a-thinking. (Surprise, surprise!) It is a topic that I have devoted a lot of “analytical hours” to, and one that still sharply pokes my subconscious every once in a while.
We all have a guard that protects us from any number of vulnerabilities. As Rosen states, and I agree, “The way I see it you can be guarded as a result of an experience, guarded as a personality [attribute], or the very dangerous combination of both.”
I was both!
It wasn’t until I had my guard ripped off — is it “away?” not sure how to word this metaphor – that I realized I was even wearing one. I knew I had a guard up with regards to particular relationship situations (i.e. trust, honestly, blah, blah), but it actually covered so much more than that.
Yet, ever since then, allowing myself to be vulnerable is like laughing; all it takes it a little thought and I can put it out there, causing people to stare.
It feels fantastic!
What I disagree with in Rosen’s post, is knowing if someone is worthy of letting your guard down. I understand the point. However, I don’t think letting your guard down is a ‘gift’ for someone else — worthy or not. It is a gift to yourself.
Letting your guard down not only lets a piece of someone else in, it let’s a piece of you out. It’s opening your book, breaking the spine and reading aloud your story, curse words and all. Sure, there are going to be some people who will respond with a face of fear and mad dash in the opposite direction. This is when we have to make a decision: Do we close it back up and seal it tighter than before, or do we sit there and smile?
Isn’t it so much more fun to smile?!! Sealing it up is just taking that personal-self and keeping it, well, personal! And that B&Gs, is the best way to never let anyone get to know you. What do your girlfriends say when you are desperate to meet someone new but doing nothing about it? “PUT YOURSELF OUT THERE!”
My thought is that if the person runs away, it probably wasn’t a good match — whether it was the first date, fifth date or one-year anniversary. But if they sit there and laugh with you, on date one, there’s no turning back!! Doesn’t everyone deserve the chance to experience that?
What I noticed when I finally had my guard ripped away was a sense of relief and contentment. I had nothing to hide, nothing to fear and a lot more to give.
It was absolutely terrifying! And I’ll tell ya, it wasn’t a pretty ending… at first. Yet, down the road, it was a fairy tale. I discovered a way to create a sense of fulfillment that no one can provide you! It’s a confidence booster!
It’s not to say that having a safety net isn’t always beneficial (yeah, yeah, you know me, always two sides), but I think when it comes to love, it causes more harm than help!
One of its biggest flaws, in my book, is its ability to muffle communication, hindering your relationship from reaching a certain level of connection — wherever it is you want it to go! No connection and sh!t falls apart, let me tell ya! (From experience!)
I think a second flaw is the constraint it has on your ability to fulfill your own happiness. If you don’t “open your book,” no one, including yourself, is going to know what you want and need. Eh?
I think its a big cause for “settling:” It can instill a fear of moving on and not finding something/someone else. It can blind you from recognizing that you and your partner do not share the same ideals and needs. And worst of all, if you don’t know what you need, you can’t look for someone who can give it to you!
Mind over matter is apparently the key to everything these days. So I guess if you choose to see vulnerability as a positive characteristic, it will be. If not, enjoy the ride!
What about you? Do you keep your guard up? And if so, what is it protecting you from?