Vulnerability

I have been thinking a lot lately about friendships…connections…relationships. They are a part of our place in this world, they have a significant impact on our existence (as was demonstrated in the movie Cast Away http://m.imdb.com/title/tt0162222/ ). But they can also be the cause of significant stresses. 

We reach out. We draw back. We extend the olive branch. We pull away. 

We lash out. We retaliate. We disconnect. 

I see it all too often. 

We are a broken species. We have the capability of being morally aware, maybe more than any other creature in existence, yet we are lacking basic levels of empathy. We feel offended by the misstep of another, then we spread hate and derogatory sarcasm as a way of dealing with that offended feeling. We cut ourselves off from the potential for resolution rather than facing the source of the offense to work through it.

I’ve been there. I’ve done it, and I’ve had it happen to me. I am not immune.

Lack of resolution is frustrating. Justification of choices and temporary affirmation seems to ease the momentary trouble. But at the core, that feeling of disconnect is still uncomfortable, unsettling. So, we disconnect a little more. We pull back from social outings and individual connection because vulnerability with others is even more uncomfortable than allowing ourselves to feel the negative feelings. 

In the end, sometimes it’s just safer in the quiet of solitude.