I am constantly being challenged to live outside of myself. The idea of living vulnerably is something I can’t quite grasp, yet I’m certain that somehow, somewhere this way of living is enriching and necessary. The problem lies in the here and now. I am forever chasing ghosts of who I am and who I used to be. It’s seems impossible to be vulnerable in the most real sense. Every ghost of getting played, rejected, or ignored cuts a little deeper than the last time. Each day I find myself trying to somehow remain open, joyful, and untinged by the defacing paint of yesteryear’s brushes. I feel chained by my vocabulary, and by my epistemology. I cannot think outside of the tainted definition of vulnerable. I cannot think outside of the feeling that each word’s definition creates within me. There are not enough words to describe this state of being which I so desperately want to grasp. At least, not enough words from which I maintain enough of a distance that I am able to look at them without bias. My vocabulary surrounding my epistemology has painted me into a corner from which I cannot escape. The desire to live without veneer, without masks, and without unholy shame is ideal at best… in this current state of trepidation. Time and again I challenge myself to trust, to be openhearted, to act without fear of the repercussions, and yet every time I do so, I end up facing rejection. Is this all life is, a futile experiment in emotional masochism? My theology tells me otherwise. Yet, to some extent, there is an emotional level to life that I just can’t seem to understand. The maintenance of feelings and hearts is something which I am ill equipped to handle. My own heart shatters each time I try to hold it with open palms. I’m not certain that I am able to compensate for all of the emotional intelligence I have yet to gain. It’s funny though, because for some odd reason, I always tell myself that because I’ve tried to be vulnerable before, that the next time it will be easier. I suppose I’m a pathological liar as well.