CHANGE :// how we see and react to vulnerability, and what we do with the result
The V word. Yeah, it is as uncomfortable as the other V word that might come to mind. There is no escaping that, the uncomfortable, that is.
So I feel we are, “we” as a society, taking steps to embrace what vulnerability is. What it truly is. Not a word descriptor of weakness or helplessness, but contrary, quite the different. In opposition, with the help of people like Brene Brown, we are learning to look at what that word truly means and how it can help us grow as people and a community.
It’s not a word that is uncommon to me, though it has meant different things to me during my life thus far. So I’ll share a more recent example…
You see, recently I put my neck out, and not just a little, but like a giraffe lot. I stuck it so damn far out that I really didn’t know what territory I may be reaching into. This was the only way to do what I know I need to, though, which was begin part of my journey to share. And in sharing, help potentially heal others if not educate them. So with heart racing, gut clenched, I quickly hit send before I could even think twice. Keep in mind this was not a rash decision, but no matter how much time I spent on this email, built out of ashes, fire and soul, it would never be ready to leap off the page, unless that page was turned and only by me. And so that swoosh, swooshed and I felt relief as I set it to the wind and half was dazed/glazed as in wtf have I just done?
No regrets, it was out there. I realize there is a level of vagueness, btw, in what I am speaking of. But in truth, it is more effective this way as hopefully this practice can be applied to yourself to, and well, there is a to be continued as well…
So off it went, through the cloud machine and wires, and upon receipt, a quick response. The response was…”stoic” it was “blank” it was filled with sooooome hope, and yet that felt erased by lack of human connection and acknowledgement. It is not lost on me that my eyes narrowed in on only the negative btw. The criticism is always stickier than the praise in my history. But more importability here’s the thing, I think I assumed that having bared soul, skin and bones, that in turn I would be patted on the back. Congratulated for my work. Or at the very least, expressed gratitude for putting it out on the line. I wasn’t. And I’m kind of glad for this. I learned some lessons. Knowledge is strength, it is growth. It also fuels a fire that only burns stronger when gasoline is poured on it.
So here is what I learned… Vulnerability is fucking scary shit. We know this. We also know that by expressing our vulnerability we usually are met with positive reception as history DOES continue to prove. I believe that and will continue to do so. It is the way we experience real connection, love, growth, potential. But vulnerability would not be vulnerability, without the risk of getting hurt/scolded/belittled/dismissed or just even unacknowledged. And so the risk proved a touch painful this time. But….and this is the big BUT…it was still worth it. I assumed, as most might had they known the context, that only encouragement would have been shared my way, but you know what, the passive quality of one, is not indicative of another or the next. It if anything, it is the encouragement. And perhaps, just maybe, that what I had to say made someone so uncomfortable that perhaps they in turn felt vulnerable too. Or maybe not. Regardless, after welling eyes and a gooey stomach for hours, I finally felt that my vulnerability was strength and that the bridge I was/am willing to cross does have purpose and will help others get for a to b. and sometimes that starts with just one step, not one obstacle in the way.
So yeah, phew, vulnerability, she’s a bitch. But a strong one.
This is a to be continued story… and hopefully I will have more to share as I walk slowly over this bridge.
So be vulnerable, even if it hurts. Be vulnerable even if it doesn’t. Be vulnerable because truthfully its a mixed bag you will never be able to predict, but that, that is where the magic lies.
Peace soul sisters and brothers.