We all avoid it but we all crave it at the same time. What is vulnerability exactly? Most people would say it is what we don’t have now at days in our generation. Others would say it is the ability to speak our truth and show everyone exactly who we really are (But is that even possible? Do we really even know who we are exactly?) and finally, “the dictionary says vulnerability is the quality or state of being exposed to the possibility of being attacked or harmed, either physically or emotionally.”
I don’t know about you, but that sounds scary as fuck. Let’s me say that again: “The quality or state of being exposed.” When you’re vulnerable in a physical situation it means, someone can literally harm you because you are smaller, less strong or it is harder for you to defend yourself. Emotionally, it is similar. It is putting yourself in a position where you can get harmed. So, let’s say, sending a text to that guy/girl you been thinking about or even better, asking them out, or saying to a friend/family member how you really feel about something, those are all examples about being vulnerable. About setting ourselves for possible disappointment/harm.
In the “Gift of imperfection,” Bene Brown says “To love someone fiercely, to believe in something with your whole heart, to celebrate a fleeting moment in time, to fully engage in a life that doesn’t come with guarantees – these are risks that involve vulnerability and often pain. But, I’m learning that recognizing and leaning into the discomfort of vulnerability teaches us how to live with joy, gratitude, and grace.” She puts it beautifully, vulnerability to her is the ability to do stuff with your whole heart at the risk of losing quite a bit of your heart, or even yourself, in the process and then having to pick up the pieces. She writes so well that it sounds super easy but we know this can’t be one of the most difficult things to do. I often wonder, has anyone died from saying how they really feel? Does it even matter after I while? Because sometimes (most of the time if we’re real) we don’t even remember what happened after we did something that scared us and if we do, we see it as something that taught us a great deal. So, what’s the fear? What’s the rush of showing everyone how much we don’t care?
Image taken from https://brenebrown.com/books-audio/
I’m asking for myself. I chose a profession where I require a lot of vulnerability and most of the time I have to be real with myself when my inbox looks like rejection city. Am I doing the work? Am I telling the stories that matter to me? Does someone care? To be honest, I don’t know the answer to this questions besides that I hope I am doing the best work and that I am telling the stories that matter the most to me. I do hope that eventually, someone cares. But putting myself on the page every day is exhausting. These months I’ve lost a little bit my faith in things, my faith that things will eventually work out or that everything happens for a reason. I’ve lost even a little bit of my ability to believe that dreams do come true.
But lately, something is shifting. I believe a little bit more in myself. I’m learning to trust what I have to say and I even began trusting my work a little bit more. At first, the shift happened without me even noticing and then, I realized I was tapping into something much greater: my vulnerability. My ability to be real with myself and letting myself grief about all the lost opportunities. What has helped me? It’s hard to say, I’ve been going to a lot of readings, I’ve started drawing again, and I’ve even begun pursuing more seriously my interest in astrology. I’ve also reached for help a lot, in the times where I felt the weakest or the saddest people have always had a wise word or even a hug. I now have less shame in admitting that writing is going badly, that I am super distracted or that I’ve gotten X number of rejections in a week. Recognizing these truths has helped me to be okay with myself, and it also helped me to keep going when I thought the only option was to stop writing.
We all know that we all live times where everyone wants to be “cool.” Whoever shows the less interest, wins. Whoever seems the less disturbed must be the most exciting person. If you show that you care, you lose, period. And to be honest, this doesn’t serve me well because it goes completely against my personality: I care too much, I’m super honest, and I’m an eager person, about everything. I can’t pretend to go against who I am is doing me any favors, quite frankly, is exhausting.
So all of this to say, that maybe we should be more vulnerable with our dreams. We should accept failure and talk about it. We should be more vulnerable with our emotions. Who cares about being cool when you know you only have one life and you’re not even saying what you want to say?
I don’t know if living authentically is entirely possible, but I do know we can try our best not to live afraid. In the end, the only path to being able to connect with people and our dreams is to be who we are and to be honest, who can even be themselves when we’re too busy being cool?
What are your thoughts on vulnerability? Are you also thinking a lot about it these days? Comment below!