Stay Vulnerable Even When It Hurts. To be human is to discover we can be vulnerable and still be strong. We can ask for help and still lead and we can need others and still be tenacious. It takes a strong person to live openly in their vulnerability. Vulnerability is scary. But it’s also a powerful and authentic way to live.
It’s a complicated issue, but looking at it existentially, we only have one life to live. The essential idea is to live it as fully as possible, to experience all of your emotions, all your perceptions, all your thoughts, all your ideas. But when we’re damaged, we block out a lot of our potential to realize the fullness of our existence. Early in life, we build defenses against interpersonal pain, separation anxiety, and existential fears. Yet the very defenses that once protected us as children and were appropriate to our survival emotionally are no longer appropriate and they limit our life experience as adults.
Some of us automatically balk at vulnerability because we assume that being vulnerable means wearing our secrets on our sleeves. We assume that being vulnerable means spilling our hearts to strangers, and letting it all hang out. But vulnerability embraces boundaries and trust. Vulnerability is about sharing our feelings and our experiences with people who have earned the right to hear them.
Being vulnerable takes courage. But it’s worth it. It’s worth it to be ourselves, to connect to others.