What it takes to be vulnerable
I have been exposed to the word “vulnerability” quite a lot lately. It’s an interesting word and one that often triggers uncomfortable feelings in most of us. The more I explore the meaning of this word, the more I realise that there is actually more strength in being vulnerable than weakness.
I battled to find a definition that defined vulnerability in the way I have learnt to see it. For most of my life, being vulnerable meant, to me, showing one’s weakness, being open to abuse, either physically or emotionally. However, in the last few years I have been shown that being vulnerable actually means that one has tremendous, inner strength. It means being seen by all in your true self. It means having enough faith and trust in yourself to put yourself out there.
The world is a cruel place at times and vulnerability in one can trigger fears of weakness in another. I believe this is often what causes a bully to behave the way they do – someone else’s vulnerability triggers in them a sense of vulnerability. All their lives they have been told by either a parent figure, a teacher, another bully that to be vulnerable is to be weak. How do they handle that trigger? They lash out on those who are strong enough (or naïve enough) to show the world their own vulnerability. As a result, many of us learn to hide our vulnerability even if we know, deep down, that it is not something to be ashamed of.
I encourage others to allow their vulnerability to shine through but only when they are strong enough to trust it. This means going deep inside and exploring one’s SELF It means slowly chipping away at all the “dis”-beliefs you have created about yourself. It can also mean being willing to break down the numerous walls you have built over many years as a way of creating barriers from the outside world. Often, in fact always, behind these walls live people who are unique, special and have so much to offer the world. They just need to believe in themselves.
Vulnerability takes courage. The courage to know one’s SELF. The courage to be true to one’s SELF. It can be a scary place to be but a liberating one. It takes huge courage to put yourself out there and say “This is Me. Take it or leave it”.
Vulnerability takes love. Love for one’s SELF. And, love for all others.
Vulnerability takes faith and trust. Faith and trust in one’s SELF. And, faith and trust in all others.
Vulnerability means forgiving yourself and others.
Being vulnerable allows you to understand others with a deeper empathy. It allows you to be gentle. It gives you a kind of wisdom that only comes from somewhere deep down inside of your SELF.
Vulnerability, when treated with love, courage, faith and trust and forgiveness can bring you harmony, allowing you to drop the resistance and to break down those walls of shame, anger and resentment that have held you back for so long in isolation.
When we are ready to be vulnerable to the world, we are sending out a message that says, loud and clear, “I am Me. Take it or leave it. I am love. I am empathy. I am forgiveness. And, I am trusting. But, do not underestimate my courage nor strength”.
Be true to yourself and discover your own strength through your vulnerability. Let your light shine through.