Body Armor

As I sit here to write, I honestly don’t even know where this post is going to go today.  I have only posted once this week so far because it has just been a stressful week and things have been out of sorts.  No, I take that back. It isn’t that things have been out of sort…it is that I have been out of sorts.  There have been many things that I have been worrying about, and it seems like they all just came crashing in on me today.  All that I have been holding in is flowing freely this morning.  I almost didn’t even sit down to write today again, but writing out my feelings has always been therapeutic for me so here I am.  I tend to bottle things up and not let my true feelings emerge.  It is super hard for me to be vulnerable.  I have always had that tough girl mentality where I don’t let others see me struggle. Ever.  For so long, I have been the one that has to be strong for everyone else that it has just become a part of who I am. I take on everyone else’s struggles and problems but never share my own. I am the strong one…at least, that is what people always say because that is the persona that I put out there.  In all honesty, I am just good at hiding it from everyone else.  I hold things in until I can’t hold it anymore and then it all comes crashing out like today.  The thing is, though, that even when I am having these kinds of days, I still hide it from everyone else.  I don’t let others see me cry.  It is a very RARE occasion when I open up to someone else and allow them to see me vulnerable, but even then, I still hold back.  I have always viewed that as a sign of weakness.  I don’t see it as a weakness in others, but I definitely do in myself.   I know that this thinking is wrong and totally messed up, but I don’t seem to have any control over it. I honestly don’t even know where it comes from.  It is this weird idea I have put in my head.  As far as I have come in working on myself over the last couple of years, it is days like today when I realize I still have a long way to go.   I know it isn’t healthy to keep things bottled up. Seriously, I even tell this to people all the time.  I encourage people to open up to me or their loved ones and to let it all out.   I just can’t seem to follow my own advice.  

I know that there are many women that feel the same way and look at vulnerability as a weakness.  I see it in several of my friends as well.  I don’t know if it is a woman thing or a human thing to think that others can’t see us struggle, but I know that so many of us as women feel this way.  We put forth this strong facade and don’t let others truly in, all while we are crumbling on the inside. I know I personally even struggle with providing a balance in what I let my daughters see.  I want them to see me as a strong, independent woman who can take on the world, but I also want them to know that they can be vulnerable and that it’s ok to have fears and weaknesses.  The truth is that I never let them see me cry either.  They don’t know the struggles I face because I hide it from them just like I do from everyone else.  In the back of my head I know that this is just teaching them that they have to put on body armor like me and keep everyone out, but I don’t want that for them. I don’t want them to bottle up all their emotions like I have for my whole life. I want something different for them.

It is time for me to break down the walls and strip myself of the heavy body armor I have carried for so long, but I have no idea how.   This is a piece of the puzzle that I think I need the most work on in my journey to becoming the best version of myself.  I am really trying to at least give it all to God and be vulnerable before Him.  I think that is the best place for me to start. Hopefully, He can give me a different kind of armor that will give me the strength to be vulnerable in front of others.  The armor of God is definitely lighter and more powerful than the clunky one I created for myself. I encourage all of you to join me in taking off your body armor and allowing yourself to be vulnerable.  


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