To love is to be vulnerable

There's such power in unity. Positive and loving wishes towards others can impact our lives more than we'd think. It's almost cliche to talk about "positive energy" and "good vibrations", but that isn't what I'm referring to. I'm referring to genuine love and respect. True appreciation for one's success and accomplishments, and understanding of one's troubles and failures. 


Women often get a negative, catty and competitive attitude towards other women. I think a lot of it has to do with society and the way we are wired to always try to get ahead. The other part of it may be because we are emotional beings, more so than men, and because of that, feelings of envy, jealousy and insecurity have an interesting way of creeping in and getting the best of us. 


I've struggled a lot in life with the way I've thought about women. Growing up in New York and being around such competitiveness, being exposed to such backstabbing and getting hurt so many times, caused me to shut down towards female friendships and relationships. It became much easier to just be around the boys, they seemed much more direct and easier to deal with.. Yes meant yes, and no meant no. Easy. 


I always had a tendency to guard myself towards men. We learn early on, that in order to not have your heart broken you need to be careful, put some walls up, play your cards right. However, with the girls, I guess I just expected to have some sort of a girl code of trust and courtesy that somehow was never met at the end of the day. So I got hurt, over and over again, until I decided to cut the women out of my life altogether. Girls are always out for themselves... Or so I thought...


A couple of years ago I started to feel really strongly that I had to break that mentality, I needed to give women a second (or 15th) chance. Not because of them, but because of me. I had built walls greater than the Great Wall, and as I result I ended up alone on the other side. I had lost trust, lost faith, in not only women, but in people. 

I made a conscious decision to just choose to trust, choose to love, choose to accept, choose to be vulnerable. You can't really have love without being vulnerable, and thats where society tricks us. We try so hard to keep up appearances, to keep it together; try so hard to be the ones who came out on top, who "won", that we end up skeptical, numb, alone.. We lose by trying to win control, fail by trying to stay strong. By no means am I saying that we shouldn't be strong. My question is, at what cost? For what reason? Lets not forget that, at the end of the day, we are all in this together. Its better to have been hurt than to never have known love and friendship. 


Here I am now, on a different season in life, but still on this journey to empower, place value on and encourage women. Remind others as I keep in mind that the old-school "inner beauty" is STILL more attractive. That we can be beautiful, fashionable and stylish... Relevant, important and driven… Kind, generous and secure… Wives, mothers, friends and daughters… It doesn't have to be one OR the other. Its all the above. There are no limits to what a woman can do, and even more powerful than that- there are no limits to what we can do together.


I can't even begin to explain how much I have gained by giving, how much stronger I've become by being vulnerable, and how much more love I have felt by allowing myself to feel pain.


All that being said, I leave you with this thought:


“To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything and your heart will be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact you must give it to no one, not even an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements. Lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket, safe, dark, motionless, airless, it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable. To love is to be vulnerable.”

― C.S. LewisThe Four Loves