Why I Should be Vulnerable
Watch it here! https://youtu.be/DXL2w3KN36I
Vulnerability, it’s a nasty, horrible word that conjures up pictures of weakness and pain.
The dictionary puts it like this: ‘the quality or state of being exposed to the possibility of being attacked or harmed, either physically or emotionally.’
When we open up to being vulnerable with others, we open ourselves to the possibility of being attacked, to suffering harm. But being vulnerable is important. Why? Because trust requires it. Imagine for a moment that you’re a mighty general, sent out by your king, and you’re trying to make negotiations with the ruler of a fortified city. That ruler doesn’t want to open his doors or come out to meet you, and all your conversation is yelled over the walls. Negotiating like that would be kind of hard. At some point, if there is to be any trust between the parties and for those negotiations to go any further, someone must make themselves vulnerable - probably both sides.
The same is true with us and the relationships we form. The level of relationship we have will be determined by how open and vulnerable we are. We can choose to hide behind our walls or to open our doors and let people in. The more we choose to open the doors, the better our relationships will be.
Again, imagine that you’re sitting in a dark room, no visibility, can’t even see your hand in front of your face. You’re all alone, not sure where you are or what is going on around you. What would your first reaction be? Would you call out, see if someone else was there with you; or would you stay still and silent? When we call out, we make ourselves vulnerable; open ourselves to the possibility of being attacked or harmed. We let someone, or something, know we are there. Or maybe we give ourselves hope. Maybe by calling out, we hear the voice of another person and suddenly you’re not alone any more. And despite the deep darkness and the fear, you have something you can cling to, someone to share your pain with.
By being vulnerable we let others know they aren’t alone, that what they are going through is not unique to them and it gives them hope. For those of us who have been through a situation and come out the other side, sharing our stories shows them that there is light in their darkness and they can find a way out from where they are currently trapped. But only if we choose to call out, choose to share, choose to be vulnerable.
Ironically, in both situations we are still vulnerable. We are still open to being attacked and harmed. We are still open to the pain that we are desperately trying to avoid. But what drives this desire to hide behind our walls or to stay quiet in the dark? The fear of the unknown. In the darkness we can’t see, our ability to know has been taken away from us.
The thing is, until we actually put ourselves in a situation we’re never going to know. Unless we put ourselves out there, we’re not going to know how people are going to react. We make judgements and assumptions about how people will react if they knew the real us, the one hidden behind all the walls and masks. But we can’t know for sure if that is the truth until we test the waters. Being vulnerable opens us to the truth: that we are all broken and needy people who are desperate to be accepted. Desperate to feel safe.