Let me just say, it took me until this last year to fully understand what being vulnerable was and its importance. It was so eye opening! There is this stereotype that black women are hard to love or we are too independent and strong (eye roll); to be honest though, I had kind of become that woman (men started saying I was mean and had an attitude. I probably did though because I am not taking shit from anyone! lol). But honestly, that just may not be the case, the issue may be that we don’t know how to be vulnerable. Shit its hard to chill and allow someone in. Especially when you have let someone in and they didn’t appreciate or value it.
The word vulnerable is defined as susceptible to physical or emotional attack or harm (The fuck!). Now majority of black women I know have already been hurt, physically, emotionally, financially, and mentally by men, starting at an early childhood, beginning with their fathers, brothers, uncles, male cousins, etc; so when we start dating and men continue the hurt, a huge wall develops (Not male bashing, just saying). And with that wall, along with many insecurities and self doubt, comes the mentality, “I’m not allowing another man to hurt me!” And that “fuck these niggas” mentality is born.
Speaking for myself, I can admit that was what caused my wall to build. Being constantly disappointed and hurt by men, I loved, caused me to develop a strong ass wall. After my last relationship, I was so broken, and when I thought I was healing, I was really just building a wall. I thought holding myself accountable for my flaws and insecurities, that I took into that relationship, was healing, and it was. But, what didn’t come into realization was that there was nothing wrong with loving him, I just needed to set boundaries and use my voice. Ladies, we really need to set boundaries and speak up more.
A few years after our breakup, I thought I was so healed. I was not going to let another man hurt me like my ex. Funny thing though, is I kept meeting men who, in some way, needed something. They needed something from me! Financial help, emotional help, my positive energy. And it was so annoying! They all needed something from me, and in my mind I thought I was being tested on if I was going to be another fool, so I had nothing for them. The minute they asked me for anything, the answer was always no and I shut down. I had a dude cry in front of me, and I was just like, “Damn, I don’t know what to tell you.” (I feel bad for that, but hey, I was on my journey). Another dude confided in me that he was sexually molested by his uncle as a child, and even though I gave him advice and a little comfort, in my head I said, “oh hell no, I don’t need his issues” and I began thinking of an exit plan. I had turned into a cold piece OK. I was not available for them. All I knew was, I was not about to save him like I did my ex. My saving men days were over. They needed to figure it out on their own. I remember conversing with a guy friend and I told him, “No dude better not ask me for shit, because I no longer have anything to give him. I am not building shit with anyone.” And not only was I unwilling to be there for them, in any capacity, I developed a habit of ghosting dudes.
Ghosting dudes did not do anything but leave my phone dry as a damn desert and my bed hella empty (lol). But still, I felt like I was doing the right thing. I was telling God, I learned my lesson. Shoot, I just knew I was passing those tests and the man I was supposed to be with was on his way. HA! Little did I know, God was shaking its head at me.
Fast forward to last year, a couple years after those experiences, I had a spiritual session that involved Reiki (Reiki is a form of spiritual therapy where the practitioner places hands on certain energy channels of the body to clear any blockages that may be present. Blockages are caused by trauma and pain). And this session was when I had an awakening moment. So, the spiritual healer touched my heart and said to me, “Wow! This area is closed and heavy, there is a lot of pain here.” I am like, what? how? I am healed lady. She then went on to ask me what pain I was holding on to or what situation hurt me in the past. She asked me about my ex boyfriend, and I told her how bad our breakup hurt me. After I am done, she says, “Sometimes we think building this wall around our heart is protecting us, but it only causes us more pain.” (Y’all know what that pain is… loneliness. The pain of not having a man, lmao). She then asked me if I believed in God, I told her yes. She said, “If you believe in God then there is no reason for the wall. There is nothing wrong with being vulnerable. Being vulnerable means that you trust God to work in your favor. And if you get hurt, you really didn’t because God loves us. Instead look at it as a teachable moment and learn from that experience.” She then went on and told me my receiving hand was closed because I stopped giving and that I needed to be ok with helping, I needed to be ok with giving; but to set clear boundaries. That small part of my healing session was so big!
This happened in July 2019, here it is April and, although, I am still single, I am able to say that part of my journey was so necessary. It was necessary because I want to settle down and have a family. But because I had that wall up and my heart was closed, I was not allowing anyone to get close to me. I was not able to allow anyone into my space. I now know that being vulnerable does not make you a fool. Being vulnerable is a beautiful thing, I just need to remember to set clear boundaries and stand by them. Use my voice and don’t be afraid to let that person know they are crossing a boundary and I am uncomfortable. If they cant respect or accept it, then let them go. Also, instead of just cutting men off and ghosting them, I will use discernment. Not everyone is meant to be my man, but he can be my friend.
Let’s add vulnerability and boundaries to the list of healing ladies! Let go of fear and embrace love!
8 thoughts on “Be Vulnerable?!”
YES! Truth be told. I realized recently that my vulnerability is a part of who I am, not something bad or weak. Creating strong boundaries has allowed me to be vulnerable without feeling used or weak!
Damn. This blog was deep AF!! And I think many (hopefully, God willing, not all )of us go through this period of putting up walls and barriers. I get it, we think doing all that is smart and that we’re protecting ourselves, and I think to a degree it is, but how many of us really know what that degree is if we are left to figure out life, womanhood and relationships on our own? Since this blog is written by a woman and for women, I feel comfortable enough to say here that the generation of women before us have let us down. These conversations are typically not had. And to add to that, we do have many men (all the relations you listed) let us down from childhood to adulthood. We grow up seeing their fuckery, and in the worst cases we actually physically becomes victims of it, all while not even realizing we all mentally become victims of it. Example, seeing our older male cousins run through women, seeing those women cry, and us thinking oh no….I will never be her. But like you said, discernment is key, and it takes going through a journey to develop that. And once we go through that journey, we learn when and how to use our voice. With vulnerability I think comes submissiveness and I also think with the right man we can be both. It will be accepted, appreciated and loved, it’s in our feminine nature to be that, but unfortunately over time we’ve had to curve our inherent nature to.. basically…survive. Blessings to you and your continued journey sis .
I myself look at vulnerability as a weakness. Putting up a wall allows me to feel protected and if it doesn’t work out, he can take his ass on!! Lol..thank you for your wisdom to be brave enough to open our hearts but to set those boundaries!
Definitely had a wall up and avoided being vulnerable as a defense mechanism, once I gave God my issues he’s open my eyes to being okay with being vulnerable and not feeling like I have to protect myself or be on guard all the time
What an incredible blog, Britney! Thank you for using your journey to inspire others. I have also greatly struggled with vulnerability and feel, although I have a long way to go, I am at least learning. Hoping to open myself up to new friendships. Namaste
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Wow Britney! You have an amazing voice.
Thank you for being vulnerable and sharing your journey.
I think that sharing our stories can be part of our healing.
another beautifully written blog Brit!! Excellent work! I connected on all of the points you made 🙂