“Contrary to what we may have been taught to think, unnecessary and unchosen suffering wounds us but need not scar us for life. It does mark us. What we allow the mark of our suffering to become is in our own hands.”
― bell hooks, All About Love: New Visions
Recently, I have been thinking about vulnerability, emotions and the need for connection. I have also been having some thoughts about remaining soft.
I read something on Instagram the other day that gave me pause: I have a right to be unavailable, unreachable, uninterrupted, leave you on read, be by myself regardless of who you are or what you want from me.
And yes, I get the message, and you obviously have the right to do as you want and the meaning behind the post. What gave me pause is how often I have started to see these kinds of messages. And especially for women who have for so long always prioritized other people before themselves. I don’t know what to call these kinds of messages but sometimes I feel like they are intended to harden us.
It is a truth that humans want to connect. I think also there is a messaging that is passed on how when we are hurt, the reaction must be to fear, not communicate, mistrust, close off etc. It doesn’t work because we are wired to want to connect but I get it. The messaging also extends to keeping friendships that no longer serve us as an antidote to creating new friendships. Because we already know what we are getting, right? It is the larger “better the devil you know than the angel you don’t” mantra. In some cases, I find it sad but I’d like to think that I understand because I have been there before. You know, for the most part it’s about self preservation and whatnot. Becoming/Remaining hard to me is about familiarity, we do it because it’s a comfort zone of sorts.
I think what makes the becoming hard seem disingenuous to me now is for one, we basically convince ourselves that we made the decision as though we uniquely experience what is happening to us, as if we are the first to ever experience pain. It is also projected that we came up with the idea to harden ourselves. And that self sufficiency is an attainable goal. *whisper* it’s not
Yes, humans are fickle, mean, untrustworthy, selfish – and they backstab us, hurt us and we get played and they break our hearts. And still – there are people who are lovely and awesome and who make us smile and laugh, who make us feel light and loved. Being soft, being part of a community, having a community is not easy I am aware.
In this dreary world, which asks so much of us, I would be lying if I said that it doesn’t feel good to have people in your corner. And to truly enjoy this, you have be soft. Or at the very least have people with whom you can be soft.