You ask me about my strengths, I tell you about my weaknesses. You ask me about my achievements, I tell you about my failures. You ask me about love, I tell you about heartbreak. You ask me about what went right, I tell you about all that went wrong.
All too often, we focus on the negatives in ourselves. I suppose it’s perfectionist tendencies and never feeling satisfied with good enough. Never beautiful enough, smart enough, thin enough, or likable enough. And while it’s healthy to always be striving for your full potential, reaching for an unattainable ideal can be downright exhausting.
At times I feel unworthy of happiness. I selectively numb myself of emotion as a defense mechanism to avoid the same pain I endured in the past. The trouble is, when you mindlessly go through the motions, numbing the pain, grief and worry, you also numb the good feelings and fail to experience joy, intimacy and compassion.When you finally put yourself out there and unlock your heart, you are opening yourself up to a world of vulnerability.
Vulnerability is powerful. It is key to cultivate intimacy in any and every relationship; emotional, physical, and spiritual. Vulnerability is the core of connection and keeping the spark alive. But vulnerability is scary. It requires us to give up complete control and be seen for who we truly are – the good, the bad, and the ugly.
The word courage comes from the Latin “cor,” meaning “heart” – to tell the story of who you are with your whole heart. Vulnerability is having the courage to live in the grey area, where there are no promises for all that the future will hold. To say “I love you” first, to initiate sex, to invest in a relationship that may or may not work out, to love with your whole heart, even with no guarantee.
You will get hurt and you will get letdown, this is inevitable. We can shed this in a positive light as incompatibility in values or priorities, or we can build walls and protect ourselves from the possibility of being hurt again. But by avoiding the risks of vulnerability, we also shut out opportunity and possibility.
Be thankful you have watched people walk out of your life, for you learn the importance of making the most of what is in front of you, while you have the chance. Be thankful for suffering and heartbreak because it reminds you that you are strong enough to face the worst and still come back better than ever.
What is vulnerability exactly?
Vulnerability is uncertainty and risks.
Vulnerability is being open, honest and tender.
Vulnerability is choosing courage over comfort.
Vulnerability is showing up and being seen.
Vulnerability is going boldly and daring fiercely.
Vulnerability is admitting when you’re not okay.
Vulnerability is giving abundantly.
Vulnerability is building trust over walls.
Vulnerability is authenticity in your words and actions.
Vulnerability is practicing gratitude and grace in the moments of overwhelm.
Vulnerability is believing we are enough.
Vulnerability is the driving force of human connection.
What is vulnerability not?
Vulnerability is not a sign of weakness.
Vulnerability is not feelings of inadequacy, judgement, and jealousy.
Vulnerability is not shame and apologizing for having feelings.
Vulnerability is not constantly needing to prove our worth and value to others.
Vulnerability is not biting your tongue when you want to be honest.
Vulnerability is not perfectionism, the fear of failing and making mistakes.
“The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of the depths. These persons have an appreciation, a sensitivity, and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness, and a deep loving concern. Beautiful people do not just happen.”
Today, I urge you to realize that your happiness is fully in your hands. Never give away this power by allowing the actions of others to dictate how you feel. Learn the compassion to love and be kind to yourself first, and then to others. For you can’t give away what you don’t yet have within yourself.
Vulnerability is the place where creativity, passion, and love are born. Only if we are courageous enough to open our minds, hearts and souls to the unknown, with the bravery to be imperfect. Let go of what you think your life should embody, and believe you are enough.
I have flaws it’s true. But my vulnerability is what makes me beautiful.
What could happen if you open up, take a chance, let yourself be vulnerable?
Reflection after watching Dr. Brené Brown’s Top 10, 2010 TEDx talk, The Power of Vulnerability. I now see how owning our story and loving ourselves through that process is the bravest thing that we will ever do.