“Is it okay to frown? cry? Why am I sad? Ugh why am I putting my negative feelings out there, when everyone else is happy? ” These are just some of the thoughts that go through my mind, when I feel upset or experience a bad day. This week I wanted to post a more personal blog message, because I recently have been thinking a lot more about my experiences and journey within these past few years. I hope that when I share more stories and experiences with the people on the blog, I can help others feel like they are supported and can relate.

Growing up, I was known by others to be a happy and positive individual but that was not always the case when I was younger. Over time, I have learnt to combat the negative feelings and experiences with positivity, as one way to build myself to be stronger and be immune to the outer stress. Positivity not only served as a way to cope, but also as my take on how I wanted to live life. Giving a smile or wave to someone, can have such a positive impression on others. I use words of kindness and optimism to shed a light on the dark days we all experience, but to also cover over my feelings of defeat, sadness, and fear because I was afraid to become vulnerable to the people that care about me the most. I put others’ needs before my own, and worried too much about how my own expression of feelings could affect the people around me. It became more challenging to handle the stress and feelings, because I would contain it inside rather than truly acknowledge how I feel. I felt as though I was burdening others around me with my own feelings and problems, which led me to become more closed.

Recently, I have begun to acknowledge my feelings and thoughts more often, because I have found people that I can look to for support and become truly honest with. It can be challenging to be ‘an open book’ and expose a spot within your heart that is raw and real. To every single person within my life, that has shared a story or experience with me…..thank YOU. I want to acknowledge the gratitude I have for you, when you allow yourself to become more vulnerable and invite me to become emotionally connected through what you share.

Being happy and spreading the positivity, is a great act that I encourage everyone to express when you can, but it is not an expectation that you need to place on yourself. Building relationships and happiness with others is also very important to me. I know it can be very challenging to reveal the raw and true feelings that are kept within, but it can serve as a way for closure and deeper connection with others. In the world that we presently live within, it can be hard to develop deep connections with people face-to-face. It will take time to find the people that you can be the most truthful with, but take each day slowly. Whether it takes a few days, a few months or years, you are taking a step in the right direction. I want to encourage all the people reading these blog posts…yes you! Acknowledging your feelings and building strong connections with people that you feel most real with, is the first step towards becoming more vulnerable.

Vulnerability is a word that can often be perceived as a weakness, but I think it is a sign of internal strength and openness. I have always been afraid to express sadness and frustration, but without my opportunity to be truly honest I am only hurting myself and the people around me. Having the bad days and moments of tears are completely acceptable. Happiness and sadness are both signs of being human, and by communicating them to others, you are showing the true you.

Being sad and happy is strength, and there is never the expectation that you have to always maintain a smile on your face. Everyone experiences the cloudy days and if you want to share it with someone, tell the people that you feel most comfortable with. The raw and real is what I encourage each and every one of you to do alongside me, as I challenge myself to do this.

“To show your weakness is to make yourself vulnerable, to make yourself vulnerable, is to show your strength” – your heart

If you are ever in need of someone to reach out to, I can be that someone.

Sending love and support,