“In our culture we associate vulnerability with emotions we want to avoid such as fear, shame, and uncertainty. Yet we too often lose sight of the fact that vulnerability is also the birthplace of joy, belonging, creativity, authenticity, and love.”
Dr. Brené Brown
Very few of us choose to reveal our vulnerabilities for fear of being judged, misunderstood, taken advantage of or simlpy to avoid being rejected by our peers. Being vulnerable is often touted as a sign of weakness, insecurity and fragility.
I’m certainly not here to disagree with that notion however; I can also see that being vulnerable opens us up to a variety of experiences that often bring purpose and meaning back into our lives. Those experiences can certainly be confronting & allowing yourself to take that first crucial step is often the most challenging obstacle to overcome.
Being vulnerable enables us to get in touch with our truth, with our authentic self and find an inner strength we may never have had the courage to discover.
When we’re hurting and at a low point in life, somewhat forced to re-evaluate and question who we are and what our soul purpose is, we often come face to face with a harsh and brutal reality… A reality that we’ve hit rock bottom, we’ve been cheated on, walked over, manipulated, lied to and taken advantage of.. We’re lost and what confronts us is a sense of ‘nakedness’ after being completely stripped bare of all the things we once held onto so dearly. There’s a sudden reality that “what was, will never be again” and we have to dig deep into the darkest depths of our souls to find a way forward.
Its a scary path to tread and the moment we come face to face with our naked reflection in the mirror, staring right into the heart of who we truly are, can often be confronting and somewhat frightening. We are forced to face our truth, our hurts, our fears, our struggles and ultimately the reality of our circumstances.
Being vulnerable is not a sign of weakness, it is a sign of honouring your soul’s purpose and having the strength to say:
“I’m a little broken, I’m a little raw, but I had to hit this point in order to find the courage to make changes, to rebuild and honour all that I am. There’s no where to run, no where to hide, it’s time to step out of the darkness and into the light.”
Being the ‘tough, nothing will ever break me’ type of person doesn’t always allow you to honour who you really are. What it does do; is mask your emotions allowing you to walk through life avoiding relationships, avoiding feelings, avoiding conflicts and all the things that actually make you the unique authentic person you were born to be.
Initially, being tough and wearing a mask allows you to deflect your feelings in an attempt to avoid being hurt and betrayed again. It is a very natural and immediate response that protects us from enduring further suffering.
Eventually though, someone will see through the cracks in your ‘Game of Thrones Armour’ and the mask will slowly fall off. This person will start chipping away at the walls you’ve fought so hard to erect and eventually, as you begin to let go, the walls will come tumbling down. Most likely all at once and this is when you are at your most vulnerable point.
Suddenly you’re pain is exposed and you may feel naked, raw and utterly broken however; this is the pivotal point when you begin to heal.
As difficult as it may be, its important to embrace and understand that although you may feel at your absolute weakest in this moment (vulnerable and afraid to feel again), that you are in fact being incredibly courageous. You are accepting your circumstances, your truth and discovering an element of strength that will enable you to move forward and shine your light again.
“You can’t get to courage without walking through vulnerability”
Whilst it isn’t easy to deal with painful memories, it is better to confront your hurts than it is to internalise them.
Use them to become stronger, kinder, wiser and more resilient.. Use them to embrace every element of ‘you’, knowing that life isn’t always smooth sailing & there’ll be many occasions where you’ll be forced to adjust your sails to suit the conditions.
Remember, vulnerability is not a sign of weakness, it is a sign of authenticity, of strength and of self preservation.
“Breath in your Courage and Exhale your Fear”