“What makes you vulnerable makes you beautiful.” – Brene Brown
Many people feel that vulnerability is a weakness. Some believe it is a liability. “You always have to be strong, you need to be.” I know that. I say that, to myself, and others. But the truth is we can’t always be strong. Worse, we should not pretend to be.
It is okay to be vulnerable. It is okay to be live life loving who you are, rather than battle yourself and what makes you, because being vulnerable doesn’t mean that you are giving your strength up.
I get that when you’re vulnerable, your heart is wide open. You put your trust in somebody in the form of giving them the most precious thing you have – your heart. When you’re vulnerable you leave yourself available to be hurt, and people hurt people.
But do you know what happens when you tell yourself that strength opposes vulnerability? I can tell you: Not a whole lot, at least not when it comes to pursuing love.
Who wants to be with someone that doesn’t think they need anyone?
If any of us are to be truly strong, we have to be willing to expose ourselves and put ourselves through the greatest risk of all – which is love. Mind you, vulnerability is not only a part of relationships to others; it is also a part of learning to love you.
In order to be vulnerable, you have to be okay with all of you. That’s the thing about vulnerability that no one tells you about.
Being vulnerable is not just about showing the parts of you that are shiny and pretty and fun. It’s about revealing what you deny or keep hidden from other people. We all do this to some extent. I bet you’ve never said to a friend, “Oh my god, I just love that I’m insecure.”
Most of us have probably experienced vulnerability through default. More often than not, we are either forced into that state through conflict, or we are surprised by it after our circumstances feel more comfortable.
Few of us consciously choose vulnerability. Why? The stakes are too high.
If we reveal our authentic selves, there is the great possibility that we will be misunderstood, labeled, or worst of all, rejected. The fear of rejection can be so powerful that some wear it like armors.
How can you go through life without presence and life, without living fully, without expressing yourself when you need to, when you have to? What is the essence of life if there’s no truth in it?
Vulnerability is so much easier when you love yourself. Think about it. When you don’t love all of you and are afraid to show people the less than stellar parts, the space between you and vulnerability is like the Grand Canyon. You will need all the courage you can get to make the leap across.
But when you love yourself, and I mean all of you, you don’t worry so much if someone else doesn’t. And when you’re less afraid of rejection, you step right into that place of openness.
With vulnerability, you experience true connection—true love for yourself—and you begin to attract people to you who are inspired by your openness.
While it’s not easy to be vulnerable, you’d be surprised how loving all of you and then sharing it with another can help you to connect with anyone.