You know this moment when a song comes up in your music app you wouldn’t have come across? One year ago, I discovered this experimental song by Falling In Reverse. I don’t usually listen to the band, but this lyric immediately stood out to me:
Your love is not a sin.“Coming Home” – Falling In Reverse
Why does this song touch me so much, I asked myself then. It wasn’t so much because of the actual message of the song, but much more the way it made me feel. The song is about the singer and his daughter and “[his] never being around” (Ronald Radke). He is reaching out to her by assuring her that he will always be there, no matter how far away he is. However, rather than looking at the literal meaning of the song, I am choosing to take a broader approach with my interpretation and look at the lyric in a more global sense:
In today’s world, many people, if not all of us, are taught that vulnerability and true authenticity is a weakness. Therefore, the majority of us is at war with themselves, unable to accept themselves or parts of their history wholeheartedly. Maybe we went through something traumatic or challenging in our past or childhood that taught us that we weren’t worth it. That there was something off about us, something broken, when in reality there wasn’t. This can leave us feeling anxious and numb, believing we don’t belong. These feelings of inadequacy can not only cause wars inside of ourselves in the form of bad self talk or neglecting of emotional needs, but also lead to wars outside of ourselves, as we can see in the world today. With so much hate in this world, many of us feel lost, unable to find true meaning.
So we learn to hide ourselves. Over time, we create facades and armors because we are scared to show our true selves to others. Because we haven’t been taught to allow ourselves to be vulnerable, many associate it with weakness or shame. We don’t want to get hurt (again) and learn to “keep a straight face” when it comes to our emotions. In a sense, this may protect us from getting hurt, but it also prevents us from living our true authentic truth. Because vulnerability is actually a sign of courage and part of being human. It helps us to better empathise with the people around us and build deep connections based on trust and mutual understanding (Eugene Therapy).
If you are experiencing a hard time, going through a loss or strong emotions, know that it’s okay to let it all out, to feel the depth of your emotions. Your emotions are there to help you. So how do we get comfortable with being vulnerable? A book that is very helpful is “Daring Greatly” by professor and vulnerability researcher Brené Brown. In her book, she explains why vulnerability is so important, as it is “the core, the heart, the center of meaningful human experiences“. It may help to work out on your feeling alone first. But if you find yourself still feeling lost or alone, try confide in someone you trust and show them what you need. You don’t have to deal with it all alone. It doen’t matter how many people are close to you, only one person is enough. Whether you like them to hold you, to tell you it will be okay or just to listen to you, let them know. They will understand. Here I have created a list of tips and things that helped me to accept me and my sensitive nature:
- Journaling (letting go of overthinking)
- Talking to trusted ones (connection -> “I am not alone”)
- Learning about yourself (understanding your psyche and reality; finding your deeper meaning with spirituality)
- Listening to music (emotional release)
- Breathing techniques (calming stressful thoughts and anxious feelings)
- Yoga (feeling and listening to your body)
What’s important is that something might work more for you than something else does. What helped me the most is talking to trusted ones. They gave me advice and new perspectives but most importantly, they understood me. This can be an immense and relieving feeling when you experience it. About the fourth tip: I actually created a playlist with songs for emotional release. It contains music from Sleeping At Last, Keaton Henson and Jonathan Morali. Feel free to have a listen: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dzNvk80XY9s&list=PLLd4I-cFAblhrjrpBFFpQcsFWcLFMiuhT
And if anyone around you is going through a rough time too, let them know that you are there for them. Show them that it’s okay to show your feelings by living it out yourself. This world needs more people who wear their heart on their sleeve. It is scary to put yourself out there. Yes, you may get hurt by people, too. But over time you learn that these probably weren’t the people you could flourish around. The right ones will never give you the feeling that you had to change yourself in order to “fit in”. Every time you show how you feel you learn that it doesn’t make you weak.
It makes you alive.
– Eugene Therapy. (2021). Why Vulnerability Is A Strength. URL: https://eugenetherapy.com/article/why-vulnerability-is-a-strength/
– University Of Minnesota. (2016). Daring to be vulnerable with Brené Brown. URL: https://www.takingcharge.csh.umn.edu/daring-be-vulnerable-brene-brown