I have recently been listening to a series of talks about vulnerability by an American Researcher named Brené Brown. Now this word vulnerability has really struck a chord with me.
What does it really mean to be vulnerable? Why are we so scared of being vulnerable? What is the gain from vulnerability?
Now, when I am talking about vulnerability, I must make it clear that I’m talking about emotional vulnerability. As far as I can see there is no advantage to making yourself vulnerable by putting yourself in unnecessary danger.
As I continue on my quest for wisdom I am uncovering more and more ugly truths about my personality, repressed emotions, core beliefs and roots for toxic behaviour. As I dig deeper, deeper and deeper I inevitably end at a string of negative fears or core beliefs.
- Fear of failure
- Fear of rejection
- Fear of not being loved
- Fear of not being accepted
- Fear of being ridiculed
- Fear of not being attractive, funny or clever enough
All of these toxic beliefs that cause us to retract from the world and seek pleasure from external sources. We medicate, self-sabotage, escape, anything to avoid the feeling of being vulnerable, of having lost control.
To be vulnerable is to step out of your comfort zone, to experience new things. To try to fail, to scream and to wail. Being vulnerable is taking that leap of faith and opening up your heart despite the risk of potential pain and heartbreak. Opening your mind to the beauty of the world as well as the horrors.
You see without darkness there is no light, without sadness no happiness and without hate no love. A lot of us try and mitigate the pain from the darker side of life and opt to cruise through the middle feeling a numbingly average mixture of emotions.
We choose apathy, we choose to live an apathetic life. A pathetic life
We deny ourselves of true love, joy, compassion, ecstasy (the natural kind!), and empathy because truly experiencing these emotions requires a level of vulnerability that scares people.
Vulnerability is picking apart your brain and analysing every part, trying to improve in any way possible. Laying your flaws on the floor and painfully scrubbing each one until it is clean. Vulnerability is removing your mask and trying to live an authentic life. Saying yes when you mean yes and no when you mean no. Being open and honest regardless of the consequences.
Vulnerability is empathically sharing anothers pain, not just giving a sym-pathetic smile. Vulnerability is letting go of control of your environment and trusting that everything will be alright.
Putting your faith in a power greater than you is vulnerability.
Most people have been hurt at some stage in their life and it can be very hard to bounce back. Arguably the two most important things in life – love and creativity – are the two things that make us most vulnerable. Creation and innovation of things that have never been seen or heard before is vulnerability. The word vulnerability gives the negative connotation of weakness. This couldn’t be further from the truth.
Vulnerability requires bravery and the more vulnerable we make ourselves, the more we open ourselves up to the possibility of love, creativity, and authenticity.
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