Vulnerability is a word that scares most people. Being vulnerable is equivalent to putting yourself out there, sharing a part of yourself that others can’t see by just looking at you, or expressing your own pain, fears, and passions. Vulnerability undeniably opens the door to a part of you that others could judge or reject.
Yet, I still believe that vulnerability is an opening for greatness. I believe that vulnerability is real and raw and a part of every human. I believe that without becoming vulnerable we can’t truly create, express, or build relationships. Vulnerability allows us to release our humanness and gives others the opportunity to either grab it and hold on tight or run away. It’s the possibility of running away that scares us. What if you’re trying desperately for that person to stay? Becoming vulnerable doesn’t seem like the way to do it. But I say that if you can’t become vulnerable around someone without them running away, let them run. Your vulnerabilities make you, you. What you’re passionate about, what you’re scared of, what your opinions are, what in your past has changed you, what you struggle with, what you’re thinking about at 3 am, what makes you sad, what makes you truly happy, what makes you feel weird…those things make you the exact person that you are. 1 in 7 billion.
I’m not sure why we deny vulnerability so much because everyone has something that makes them feel vulnerable. But we do. I can think of countless times where I feel vulnerability every day. We don’t want to appear weak or unworthy of belonging. I fear that my vulnerabilities could potentially connect me to a series of adjectives that I don’t want to be associated with.
If we could push past our vulnerabilities, imagine what would result. Just saying “I’m me and you’re you and we’re both struggling with something now and we’ll continue to have struggles in the future but that’s okay. Let’s just go get some ice cream.” That’s a world I want to live in, a world with more truth and openness about what makes us vulnerable and a world with more ice cream.
Vulnerability is not winning or losing; it’s having the courage to show up and be seen when we have no control over the outcome. Vulnerability is not weakness; it’s our greatest measure of courage. -Brené Brown