Originally posted in 2013
“To share your weakness is to make yourself vulnerable; to make yourself vulnerable is to show your strength.” ~Criss Jami
A discussion in a group sparked today’s post. One of the members posted a quote:
“Believe that what makes you vulnerable also makes you beautiful.” ~ Brene Brown
The member in question felt this quote was not entirely true, and I can see where she is going with this. Sometimes, being vulnerable, around the wrong people, can make things quite challenging. Shame sets in, regret, and the feeling a being judged by others certainly doesn’t make me feel more beautiful, in fact, I tend to feel ashamed and humiliated, very far from beautiful.
On the other hand, keeping our hearts under lock and key is not the solution. This can keep us cold, distant, and isolated from others. I know, I’ve tried! Sometimes, we fear that vulnerability will make us look weak in front of others, or we think (I know I do) that if we allow ourselves, our emotions, our true feelings out in front of others, they will use it against us.
I once had a relationship like that. I was with a man who always used my fears, sadness or past against me in an argument. He did that to make me feel small, unworthy, and scared. He would take my deepest darkest stories, and stab me in the stomach with them. It took me awhile to stop sharing my thoughts with the man who was supposed to be my love, my support, my soft place to fall.
No wonder my heart shut down.. On others.. and myself.
“Vulnerability is the only authentic state. Being vulnerable means being open, for wounding, but also for pleasure. Being open to the wounds of life means also being open to the bounty and beauty. Don’t mask or deny your vulnerability: it is your greatest asset. Be vulnerable: quake and shake in your boots with it. the new goodness that is coming to you, in the form of people, situations, and things can only come to you when you are vulnerable, i.e. open.” ~Stephen Russell, Barefoot Doctor’s Guide to the Tao: A Spiritual Handbook for the Urban Warrior
Babies are vulnerable, the elderly are vulnerable, many species, trees and flowers are vulnerable to the elements, yet they trust.. and they trust without question..
In the 3 years I’ve been in therapy, I have learned to be vulnerable again, thus, my heart is opening up to receive love. It is a long process of trust, self-love, and being honest with oneself. What I learned, and now have experienced, is being vulnerable not only takes a great amount of courage, it also is a good place to be with the right person!
Your intuition is key… I like to follow those red flags!
Ever start a conversation with someone, everything is going smoothly, you are enjoying their company, and all of a sudden the person you are talking to says: “Did you know so and so across the street left her husband? Married 23 years and he cheated on her! She told me she discovered the affair not long…. ” You get the gist… I would call this a red flag. Oh, I can be friends with this person lets say, just to have wine and chat… (about the weather), yet I know, after witnessing her behavior and how she keeps secrets, that she is NOT a safe person to share my most vulnerable moments. Oh, maybe she will keep MY secret, yet, after the disclosure about the woman across the street, I am not so sure I want to take that chance.
Then, there are those you meet, which over time, you start opening up and you see how they respond.. How they react, how they keep your secrets, and never use them against you. I have decided to start opening up, take that risk, and allow vulnerability its space.. Maybe one day I will get hurt again, yet, I need to be able to be vulnerable and allow my beauty to shine.. I need to take on that challenge, and know that I have the tools to fall back on if even I get hurt again.
So.. yes to vulnerability yet no… not to just anyone… and I can continue being more beautiful than ever!
What does being vulnerable mean to you? Do you believe being vulnerable makes you beautiful?