Being vulnerable with others isn't easy. We are opening a part of ourselves and trusting another to take care of it. When vulnerable, we are taking a risk. A risk at being rejected, punished, shamed, dismissed or ignored. Most people refrain from being vulnerable because there is a slight chance of being emotionally bruised. We would rather keep in our secrets, our thoughts, or needs because somehow that feels safer then the potential greater reward of being seen, validated, and truly heard. When we feel seen, our bond with others deepens, we trust just a little more, and our connectedness to others strengthens. What happens when being vulnerable doesn't seem to pay off? Unfortunately we cannot control how others receive us. The expectation, although valid, in most respects, only sets us up for further isolation, disconnectedness, and unhappiness. If we cannot change the way others behave, what is left? YOU. We must give ourselves the very thing others cannot give. If you are seeking acceptance, have you really accepted yourself? If you want empathy, how do you console yourself. We often search for the very thing we are not giving ourself. As the sole creator of how you perceive and experience the world, what can you start gifting yourself?