Vulnerability is such a scary word, isn’t it? Putting yourself out there in such a raw way, allowing whatever may happen, to happen. Allowing yourself to feel your emotions in such a deep way, not only with yourself but whomever you chose to share that vulnerability with. It’s a moment in time where things are actually authentic. That’s such a rare thing in our society these days, where we have social media and all that comes along with it. You can’t be sure what’s real or true these days through the lens and filters of Facebook or Instagram. People love to show their highest and most proud moments, but usually don’t dare to show their moments of being human- full of emotion, insecurity, or authenticity with others.
A few years back, vulnerability wasn’t even in my vocabulary. In the midst of my divorce at 23, I had learned a skill that I thought was very valuable at the time. I had put up such high, thick walls around my heart that I barely showed any emotion at all. I wanted to be invincible to all those emotions that come with being a single mom, and a newly divorced woman. When I began dating again, it took on a more extreme version of defensiveness. I could go on dates, meet people, talk, share fake physical “intimacy” but I refused to get to know anyone beyond that. It took years, meeting my now-husband, and a lot of soul searching along the journey of becoming who I am now. Im still in the process of being open with vulnerability, though. I still have those walls. They just have a few holes and are crumbling slowly. Some people have even successfully climbed them.
A few days ago I posted a photo on my Instagram that was all out there, full of vulnerability about my struggle with body image. I took it to show that I am full of insecurity, and that whatever you may see floating around the social media world may tell you otherwise, everyone is full of insecurities. We are all in that same boat. This sparked an idea, and with that a new project is born. I am launching the Raw & Real project. A photo art project where women (or men) submit their most raw and real photos, taken in the midst of being their authentic self. I’ve already had a handful of submissions of photos from followers, all in the midst of their own vulnerability. Whether that extends to body image, depression, motherhood, womanhood- you’ve all shown your true, authentic self and it is oh so beautiful. Check out the gallery of submissions, and if you would like to participate, get in contact with me on Instagram, Facebook or email firstname.lastname@example.org
The Gallery: You, Raw & Real
Love and Light.