Vulnerability.

We are inherently self-destructive creatures, causing ourselves pain upon pain, heartache upon heartache, and sorrow upon sorrow. Happiness is easily attainable, yet we squander our chances at it. Something about the aesthetic of pain draws us in; we write about it, talk about it, and think about it with a hunger and reverence which we don’t apply to positive emotion.

It’s odd. We all have our little secrets, deep and dark; they’re the things that speak in the back of our minds through every hour of every day, haunting, jeering. We rarely allow others to see those demons. We hold them closer to our hearts than anything that brings joy. We share our joy, but we hoard our pain.

If we talked about our sorrows, would they weigh less?

Do we find value in our suffering? Do we want it, as something precious, to belong to us and us alone?

Is judgment the thing we fear? Is vulnerability? Would we risk our relationships and friendships if we found a way to be honest?

Why is it that we’d rather live a lonely lie than to work together to overcome our fears, flaws, and faults?

Do we really value ourselves so little that we think we are deserving of other people’s criticism?

Do we doubt other people’s ability to grasp our feelings? Do we see them as undeserving of our honesty? Are our emotional barricades another manifestation of our selfishness, our egoism, our inability to see other people as worthy and capable?

There are so many layers to silence; more, in fact, than there are to verbal expression. Maybe our lack of communication is actually more expressive than our words.

Maybe some kind of depraved masochism tells us that we deserve to feel our pain, that it is ours alone, that we must not waste one drop of that precious agony.

There’s really no practical reason for us to keep our own secrets, yet we do it. We fear vulnerability, although vulnerability is perhaps the bravest, noblest act to which we can aspire. We seek acceptance, and yet we’re happier to be accepted for the fake front we put up than for who we really are at our deepest, truest level. It’s sad, really. We’ll be lonely for all our lives, but loneliness is not imposed upon us. We force it on ourselves.

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