Being vulnerable can be really, REALLY hard. It is about deep honesty, taking risks and being seen in the areas where we feel weak and raw. When we come from a place of vulnerability we frequently fear that we may be hurt or rejected, yet when we are coming from a place a vulnerability we are truly operating in our strength and practicing self-care in an authentic way.
Vulnerability can come up in personal relationships, work and family, among other places. We continually have the choice to open up to that deeper place of honesty and transparency or we can choose to close ourselves off from it. Part of allowing ourselves to be vulnerable is taking responsibility for our feelings. In relationship, being vulnerable may look like admitting feelings and reactions to things we would rather keep hidden and to ourselves, as well as asking for the support and love that we need. Being vulnerable can also include admitting something you have done that you don’t feel very good about. Either way when you are vulnerable, you give others the opportunity to see you for who you are and that leads to the ability to get the support you are seeking and truly deserve.
I am not always good at being vulnerable (blogging makes me feel very vulnerable). It means that I am putting myself out there to people in a real way and when I am vulnerable and asking for something? It feels even more dangerous. What if I am rejected, what if I am not supported, what if the person just doesn’t care? What if I am criticized?
Even in my marriage I am not always great at being vulnerable. We have been married for 14 years and sometimes my walls are too high to let my husband see over them. Because of this there are times when we are not as connected as we would like to be. Even so, I remain steadfast in my own commitment to this process and was intimately reminded of its importance and beauty just the other day,
A long-term friend of mine called me recently and explained that she had put herself in a situation where she needed to “fess up” to something she had done. She was wracked with guilt and fear yet she knew the right thing to do and she knew she would need to be vulnerable to do it. So she came to my house, we talked, hugged and she got the support that she needed. She was off to her work to let them know what she had done. Scared and shaking she owned her behaviors and was vulnerable with her bosses. She told them what she did, why she did it, how she felt, made reparations and a new plan for moving forward. She was a bright shining example of vulnerability and humility. She could have been fired and belittled or shown compassion and supported. Thankfully she was shown compassion and grace. By making the choice to be vulnerable she was able to put down the heavy weight of guilt and allow the support to come in.
When we choose NOT to be vulnerable we:
– Isolate ourselves from others
– Carry the burden alone
– Spend energy hiding our truth
– Prevent growth
– Carry guilt/shame etc.
– Remain stuck
– Perpetuate old stories
When we choose to be vulnerable we:
– Allow ourselves to be seen authentically
– Allow others to support us
– Connect with others more deeply
– See others more clearly
– Feel more fulfilled in our lives
– Practice self-care
– Know ourselves more deeply
Vulnerability is not easy but is a worthwhile process that we can practice. Being vulnerable calls on us to be open to others, whether that means being open to receiving support or possibly being open to not getting the support that we need. Being authentically vulnerable with others is a real risk but it is one worth taking! Remember it can be easier to begin being vulnerable with people you love and trust and know being vulnerable is acting on your own power and you can do it any time. Either way, you are worth every step you can take toward your true authenticity! For, when we show up in our vulnerability we can be assured that we will be seen, and that we will be clear in our authenticity, which ultimately leads to our ability to support ourselves, others and to evolve. Vulnerability is the opening that allows us to practice radical self-care, and it is a worthy endeavor!
Contact me to begin your journey into true vulnerability and authenticity!