Vulnerability scares us, and it scares us to see it in other people because we weren’t raised to be vulnerable, we were raised to view vulnerability as a weakness, not a strength. Yet to show and see vulnerability in yourself and others is one of the most beautiful things. To be open, to fully expose yourself to another takes an enormous amount of strength. We are all we have ~ eachother. How many of us want and crave more intimacy, joy, and love? But yet we can’t have that unless we expose our vulnerability and allow ourselves to be seen. Vulnerability is the path back to one another, but we’re so afraid to get on that path that we ultimately destroy the one thing we crave the most ~ love! So we end up hurting one another…a lot! We want it SO bad, but to afraid of letting ourselves be seen, and it scares us to see it others, but it truly is the only way back to one another. Even if you show complete vulnerability to another and they in turn do not, at least you had the strength to do so.
Why do I want you to be vulnerable? And why should you show your vulnerability to others? I know you don’t want to be vulnerable and I know you want to armour up and stay protected. But here’s the problem with not being vulnerable, you’ll never get to the birth place of love, belonging, and joy. Vulnerability is an uncertainty and we don’t like uncertainty, it scares us. We want to know everything that’s going on in our life and we want to have control of all our circumstances and situations, so the idea of being vulnerable and inviting uncertainty is very scary.
Vulnerability is giving someone your heart. But look at it like this, have you ever loved someone? Are you one hundred percent sure that person will always love you back? Will never get sick? Will never leave? How about burying someone you love? Have you lost someone you love? So to love is to be vulnerable. To give someone your heart and say “I know this could hurt really bad but I’m wiling to do it, I’m willing to be vulnerable and love you.” There is an unsurreal amount of people in the world today that are unwilling to take the risk and they’d rather never know love than to know hurt or grief and that’s a huge price to pay. We’re wired for love and belonging, it’s in our DNA. We’re currently in a cultural nightmare with relationships. With online dating and the dating apps, everyone just looking to hook up in hopes of a moment of feeling loved and accepted only to have it banished. Of course we also want belonging amongst the vulnerability and don’t confuse belonging with just trying to fit in by doing what others are doing, belonging means belonging to yourself first! Telling your story and speaking your truth, not just making up stuff to others in order to belong, and never betraying yourself for the sake of others. True belonging doesn’t require you to change who you are, it requires you to be who you are and that’s vulnerable!
Let’s not forget joy, joy is the most vulnerable of all human emotions. The idea of feeling joy is a scary thing for so many of us because if we feel joy, we’re so afraid something or someone is going to come along and rip it away from us and we will get sucker punched by pain, trauma and loss. So in the middle of things, we self sabotage some of the greatest things we could experience in our lifetime.
Have you ever been so in love with someone, you just stare at them and think “how did I get so lucky?” then in a millisecond you picture something bad happening to them or the thought of them not returning your love or them leaving you? Majority of people in relationships do this. When we start accessing our life and all that’s going good in it, we start to panic, waiting for the ball to drop! The ‘this is too good to be true’ story we tell ourselves. So we literally start to rewrite our story, not the story we want but the story we believe is protecting us, which in reality is the story destroying us, our love, our belonging and our joy.
When we lose our capacity for vulnerability joy becomes foreboding. It scares us to feel it. Yet those who lean fully into joy, without practicing doubt, without rehearsing a new terrible story, were those who had gratitude. They practice gratitude. Vulnerability has a real physiology. It’s something inside of us and when we feel vulnerable we can feel it in our body. Some people use this feeling to prepare themselves for bad things whereas some use it as a reminder to be grateful. But gratitude is also vulnerable, we’re sometimes afraid to feel it because we start feeling ‘is it dangerous to be grateful for something but someone could take that away’. Even if you know your God doesn't work that way we still fear it anyway. Sometimes it’s hard for us to be grateful for what we have, especially if we’re in a great relationship and we see our friends struggling in their relationships, so we hold back our joy because we think it’s insensitive, however, you not talking about your relationship doesn’t allow them to talk about theirs either. Gratitude is healing for people and unfortunately we don’t think about it that way. Showing your joy and gratitude especially to those struggling, helps them!
When we rob ourselves of love, joy and gratitude and later on experience a loss we then realize we missed some of the most precious moments, even missing the most simple, ordinary things. Like getting annoyed at a love ones over use of emojis over text message, then losing that loved one, you’d do anything to see those annoying text messages again, no matter how many emojis they used, you just want them back.
We get so busy chasing the next big thing that we’re missing the ordinary moments in our life, and in our loved ones. So just choose joy, just choose love, just for the hell of it! Just do the joyful thing without expectations, without a payoff or upside of some sort and be vulnerable!
Just play ~ a time spent without purpose (quote by Stuart Brown)