According to Brene Brown, “Vulnerability is the birthplace of love, belonging, joy, courage, empathy and creativity. It is the source of hope, empathy, accountability and authenticity.” Apparently to be vulnerable takes great strength and is strewn with rewards. To be vulnerable does not make us weak like many people believe – it is instead the key to living a full life.
Regardless of the benefits, the crawling sensation that often begins in my stomach, and spreads up to my throat and around my body, encapsulating me in a seemingly paralysing fear does not feel like a feeling that I want to invite into my life.
I have run away from opportunities to be vulnerable again and again and again, but over the years it has gradually dawned on me that alongside running away from those horrible feelings I was also running away from myself.
Given the choice between a life lived in fear and a life un-lived, I’m not sure what is the brighter option … but somewhere along my way I made the decision that I am here to live my life – so here I am.
Vulnerable, uncomfortable and afraid …
In being so, I recognise my strength, and I know that I’m open to those wonderful, fleeting experiences of love, belonging, joy, courage, empathy, creativity, hope and authenticity.
It is from a place of vulnerability that I am able to connect with my most difficult feelings – the ones I pushed away as a child, and spent many years running from since. I am at my most vulnerable when I admit to myself where I have been and how I have felt.
I also feel incredibly vulnerable as I reach for words to turn my old feelings into relatable ideas and concepts. I am vulnerable when I press ‘publish’ and share these words with you – and anyone else who choses to read them. I am vulnerable when I choose to talk and share my words with others.
I am vulnerable now. It is scary to admit the truth – but in doing so, something magical always happens.
My words take me into a place of calm and peace. Writing helps to soothe my fears, and the words mould themselves into pictures and feelings that somehow transmute my most difficult experiences into places of power and incredible meaning.
Vulnerability gives my life meaning and purpose. It urges me out of bed each morning, and challenges me to be all I came here to be. It is scary, but it is hopeful, and I often wonder about the places it might take me, as I slowly but surely put one foot in front of the next.
Does reading this awaken a desire inside of you? Do you feel vulnerable? Afraid? Exposed?
I agree – it is scary, and it scares me every day – but I daren’t even think about where I might still be if I hadn’t taken that first step into the unknown. Little steps in the right direction will take you far … what will you do today that scares you?