On last week’s podcast, I talked about how our limitations are not something to be ashamed of, but are part of our humanity — things we need to accept or embrace. Society is often unaccepting of things like limitations.
Another unpopular trait is vulnerability. And, I believe, in order to be truly accepting of our limitations, we need to be vulnerable. It is what makes us real and authentic. It gives people a candid look into our souls, so yeah, it can be really uncomfortable, but it has the ability to enhance all of our relationships. It adds color to our experience.
How often do we say to someone, “Hey, I like you” or ” You know, today I am feeling sad. You see, my mother passed away a few months ago and I’m having a really hard time today.” How about, “I feel ashamed of the weight I’ve gained.” How many times in the past year have you told a friend or loved one that you really enjoyed their company or admire them for x,y,z? Have you ever disclosed to a trusted friend or coworker that you struggle with depression or anxiety? These things would be considered being vulnerable.
Understandably, we want to be careful who we are vulnerable with. Not everyone is a good person to reveal our sore spots to. Some people can be cruel or irresponsible with the information we give them, not being mindful of our privacy. But in general, there are many ways to be vulnerable that do not leave us open to harm…..well, other than maybe a bruised ego.
We also wouldn’t go around telling everyone our deepest, darkest secrets and feelings as it would be inappropriate to do so. Nor do we want to be “whiney” and overbearing with our emotions.
Vulnerability is like a spice. Just as seasonings bring our food to life and makes them tasty and fun to eat, so vulnerability can add zest and zing to our lives and relationships. But if we overuse it, it can make everything…”yucky.” Too much of a good thing is, well, too much.
Author Brené Brown describes vulnerability like this:
So, ask someone out, tell a loved one how much they mean to you and why, open up about your feelings and emotions to those around you. You might feel awkward or exposed, because you are — but it will get easier and it could lead to something wonderful happening.
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