Sharing Your Weakness / Exposing Yourself / Vulnerability / The Vulnerable Student
When I was applying the training offered at the FA, I learned to open up. As did a number of others, people like Ben, Draeth, Luciana, and Ashton. The whole time period really embodied the stage I was in as a student and practitioner of the Sith: the stage of vulnerability. The stage, and the insights, suggestions, and advice I could garner and put to use as a result. I wrote a little about it at the time to, but previous writings don’t really capture what I would want to say about it now.
Consider this question: why would you open up, expose yourself to possible attack, allow yourself to become invested with people on an online forum, to care at all about what they have to say, or allow yourself the kind of transparency that would make their insights and guidance meaningful? I myself don’t set an example of it anymore, many of the people that interact with me don’t know my age, my occupation, or the current affairs of my everyday life. They rarely know what I’m feeling, thinking, or aiming to acheive, but at one time folks at the Force Academy knew a lot about all of these things. And the question is: for what? I’ll tell you…
A thing doesn’t have value for you if you don’t invest yourself in it. The inherent risk is that pieces of you will be chipped away, broken off, or lost. But that will happen as you go through life anyways, and to sacrifice those pieces of yourself deliberately, intentionally, mindfully… That makes those sacrifices more worthwhile and more fulfilling. With a purpose, you know what your paying such a high price for. In order for training of any kind to impact you signficantly, the cost is in the caring, the investment, and the inherent risk that both of those entail. If you want to get anything out of the FA or the people there, you’ve got to allow yourself to get attached to it, to them, instead of hiding behind the excuse that it’s just names on a screen. Because while that’s perfectly true, it’s a safety net that assures you of something: at the end of the day, nothing anybody there say has to mean a fucking thing to you. But taking that to an extreme closes you off from the benefit of letting those people matter, lessens how much you can use them for your own growth, and becomes an excuse to stay comfortable with your life, however dissatisfied you mighy be, however mediocre you are, and regardless of how close to the mark criticisms or snide remarks might be when thrown you’re way.
would encourage any would-be student to sacrifice the comfort of a convenient excuse in favor of the oppurtunity to invest yourself a little, to admit that certain people – and what they have to say – matter to you. Forge some connections, take some emotional risk… if you invest yourself (deliberately) instead of hiding behind a veneer of apatthy, you might just get a return on that investment. The reason I’ve seen people use to brush things off, that it’s only the internet, is the reason you should open yourself up and let yourself care a little: at the end of the day, it’s only the internet, and names on a screen.
I no longer open up about myself, my life, progress, achievements, or failures… because I’m well past the need to build the foundations within myself that form the basis of what a Dark Knight can truly be. I hardly even log anything the way I used to, in a structured, streamlined, easily measurable manner. But that doesn’t mean I can’t help you to create your own foundations, whatever form you choose to build them in, and it doesn’t mean you should use my experience or choices as an excuse to hold yourself back. Because make no mistake, that’s the only one being held back by it.
The reasons people come here are often different from the reasons people stay. I am no longer here for the reasons that once attached me to this place, my role has changed through the success I’ve had and the choices I’ve made and one facet of the motives that have changed and tranformed along with me – is that I am now more selective in my tansparency. But if you’re intention for yourself is anything like what Draeth once described…
“Understand, come here to grow as a person, and I have found that, by making myself vulnerable, by exposing my core in an environment where the actual risks are controlled, I become stronger so that I can face the challenges in environments where I have no control over the outcome. It seems to me that my peers, Victorus and Draconis to name a few, share the same goal and methodology.”
~Darth Draeth (aka Nale)
If you’re looking for ways to explore yourself, and expand, grow, and evolve, you’re going to have to suck up the fact that you need to open up, and embrace vulnerability as a path of strength. You’re going to have to set aside your instruments of safety if you really want to become a stronger individual – when or if you pick them up again, they will not need to be used as instruments of safety; instead, they will be instruments of your will, plain and simple.
(Orginally written November 19th (?), 2012 // Last Played with December 28, 2012)
(Extremely Early Version/Attempt/Efforts of and toward this (click here to read))