Saturday, 8 February 2014
The Power Of Vulnerability
Half the time we walk with wide grins on our faces, pretending everything in our universe is okay or indeed perfect. We laugh out loud at lousy jokes, choose our words carefully, and wear beautiful clothes. And if you're like me you spend hours in front of the mirror, fixing your hair.
Perhaps we really care about each other's feelings and about our looks, but sometimes the thought of 'being seen' terrifies us. Even though our worlds are falling apart, and are far from perfect, we walk with our heads held high, looking people in the eye, convincing them and ourselves we have everything under control. Inside, we are like a volcano, waiting to erupt.
A little prod on the right spot is all it will take for us to explode, destroying everything in our path. It is when this happens that those around us turn in awe, wondering what the hell happened. They are puzzled why a woman or a man of such a stature and decorum could snap and lose it like that. Well, I reckon it’s because human beings don't allow themselves to be vulnerable!
For me to understand vulnerability is to draw from experience and the experience of others. Making yourself vulnerable takes courage. It may be the bravest thing you've ever done. We all want to be accepted for who we are, warts and all, right? And yet half the time we hesitate to reveal our true selves to another human being. The thought of being rejected or being judged terrifies us. So, we hide behind smiles and polite conversation.
But being vulnerable isn't a bad thing.
It is loving someone with all your heart even though there is no guarantee they will love you in return. It is being flawed, revealing your true authentic self and giving someone the choice to fall in love with who you really are and not who you think they want you to be. It’s taking that leap of faith as you go after your heart's desires.
Being vulnerable is looking someone in the eye, confessing your deepest fears. Standing in front of someone, admitting your wrongs and asking them to forgive you. It is trusting they will appreciate your effort and gesture. It is just being, doing regardless of the outcome.
It's crying in front crying in front of the congregation, your friend, your wife or indeed your boss without having to worry that they will think any less of you. It's being able to turn to someone admitting that you are hurting, you need help, you can't cope, and that you've had enough. It's letting them see you in your weakest state and allowing yourself to feel what you feel without fear of being judged or ridiculed.
I reckon if we all exercised a healthy amount of vulnerability, this world would be a better place. If only we could allow ourselves to be who we are, to feel what we feel, I believe there would be fewer, no suicides, abortions, resentment, pride, anger, frustration among other things.