"Vulnerability is the glue that holds relationships together." - Brene Brown
Let's be honest. No one wants to hear about vulnerability from anyone who isn't Brene Brown. That's fair. But if you would, humor me and read a few brief things I've felt are worth sharing. Also, not only feel free to, but please comment on this and let me know your thoughts on vulnerability. I really want this blog to become a conversation.
1. We All Have Blind Spots
Being vulnerable doesn't (for me personally) mean sharing every detail of your life with everyone you meet. I can be a pretty closed-off person, and I am very selective of the people I let into my "circle". The problem I found was that I wasn't being open, or vulnerable, with even those few. At some point, you'll have to recognize that the people you've chosen to surround yourself with have your back. If you don't have people that you can be real with, then you don't have good friends. It's that simple. I've been discovering more and more the importance of community and it's changing my life for the better.
When you have people in your corner who want the best for you and want to see you succeed, they'll speak into your life and make you aware of things that you otherwise would miss. Since letting people in, I've found that I'm more willing to fight for myself. If all you do is ignore how you feel, good, bad or indifferent, you'll never see you own worth and value. Sometimes it takes a bird's eye view from someone else to see what you've been missing all along.
2. Let The Light In
I've been more vulnerable and have had more difficult, yet necessary, conversations in the last two months than ever before in my life. I rather dislike confrontation and have managed to avoid it for most of my life. The problem is that avoiding something doesn't make it go away. It most certainly doesn't resolve anything. For a long time, I held this belief that time heals all wounds. Unfortunately that isn't true. If left untreated, time will only cause a wound to fester and become far worse than it was to begin with. What heals wounds is light and air. I feel like this is best summarized by John Green in his book Paper Towns...
"When did we see each other face to face? Not until you saw into my cracks and I saw into yours. Before that we were just looking at ideas of each other, like looking at your window shade, but never seeing inside. But once the vessel cracks, the light can get in. The light can get out."
Of course it's uncomfortable, but so is never being able to be a whole person. I've learned the hard way not to shove down your emotions. Eventually it builds up and becomes fear and discouragement and animosity and pain. So do yourself and everyone around you a favor and allow trusted people to see you. I mean really see you.
3. Vulnerability Is Not Weakness
This is something I've wrestled with for a long time. I grew up with a mother who cared too much, and a step-dad who didn't care enough. What I witnessed from a young age is that when you care, when you're vulnerable, you allow yourself to be hurt. You open yourself up to disappointment. You open yourself up to heart-break. By age 10, I'd seen my mother weep more times than I could count. I think subconsciously, I'd begun to close myself off to people because I didn't want to be hurt. What I've come to realize, is that if you close yourself off to other people, eventually you'll begin closing yourself off to your own self. This is such a dangerous place to be. Sure, you avoid being hurt, but you'll eventually avoid being cared for as well. You have to decide if it's worth it.
I feel like I'm in a place now that I'm able to talk openly about how I'm feeling with people. Not a lot of people, but ones who I know truly care. This certainly has not made me a weak person. In fact, I've never felt like a stronger, more wholesome person. Vulnerability is not for the weak, it's for the humble. it's for people who come to a crossroads and say, "This isn't working. I can't do this on my own." My hope is that you are able to find community with people who are willing to fight for you, and who will challenge you to fight for yourself.
Below is a section for comments. I'm curious to know your personal journey involving vulnerability. You can comment anonymously if you'd like. Just know that I am for you, and I am here for you. We can let the light in together.