Vulnerability Defined: the quality or state of being exposed to the possibility of being attacked or harmed either physically or emotionally.
It’s a scary word really. I wanted to stop writing at ” the possibility of being exposed”…. but in exposure the latter is true as well. There’s a possibility of feeling attacked or even harmed in vulnerability. Maybe not outright. Sometimes the harm creeps in subtly when someone simply doesn’t totally understand where we’re coming from. Sometimes you feel attacked when people second guess your deepest thoughts. But, nevertheless if we are to get anywhere in this life we have to be true to who we are. We have to be vulnerable to other people’s opinions of us. The antidote to harm in a vulnerable position is confidence met with courage. Brene Brown defines Courage as: “telling the story of who we are with our whole heart. Courage is the ability to show up imperfect. Courage is kindness and compassion first towards ourselves and then to others. Courage is connection as a result of authenticity. Courage is the willingness to let go of who we think we should be in order to be who we actually are.”
Vulnerability is a thing to be embraced. We have to be so very confident that our voice, our opinion, our process of thought matters. We need to know deeply that whatever is slung our way will burn up in the fire of our truth. When it burns up it either produces something valuable that sustained the heat and is worth taking in or it disintegrates into thin air. That’s not to say that other people’s opinions don’t matter. I’ll be the first to admit that they do. There are a billion people smarter, wittier and wiser than myself. But, that doesn’t disqualify my voice, or my thoughts, or my state of being.
Vulnerability is powerful. According to my hero Brene Brown, “Vulnerability fosters connection and belonging which gives purpose and meaning to our lives. In order for connection to happen we have to be seen…. really seen.” Vulnerability can feel like standing naked in a field with only a towel of honesty wrapped tightly around you. Vulnerability and truth however are the gateway to your soul. It’s the gateway to true love. It’s the gateway to sustained growth. It’s the gateway to learning and perceiving. It’s the gateway to you living out your best you.
“Vulnerability is the birthplace of love, belonging, joy, courage, empathy, and creativity” -Brene Brown
I believe in us and the ability to enact the courage to be who we truly are.