Vulnerability and the act of being vulnerable is usually defined as a state of being more susceptible to harm. But what I have recently discovered is that when we are vulnerable, we actually become more prone to safety.
Vuln-er-ab-il-ity, even the word sounds fragile. Like a tiny piece of debris skipping down an 80 foot cliff, eventually bouncing its way to the lonely surface below. Vulnerability is mostly perceived as weakness: crying, illness, children, old people. We associate vulnerability with the weakest acts, the weakest states and the weakest people. But these things aren’t necessarily weak, they are human.
In a world that perceives these things as weak, I think it takes strength to be them proudly. The kind of vulnerability I am mostly referring to is emotional vulnerability. To truly allow ourselves to be vulnerable in a world that glorifies being “strong”, is in itself strong.
In a recent session with my life coach, Olivia, we discussed the importance of creating a safe space to be vulnerable. She told me that, when we are vulnerable and true with our emotions it allows others to also be vulnerable, thus creating a safe and open space to allow our vulnerability to be worn without harm. I have noticed this myself when opening up to people about some of my deepest emotions they have also opened up to me about theirs and we have shared the rawness and the beauty of what it truly feels to be comfortably vulnerable in the presence of another.
I have struggled to be vulnerable in the past and I still do sometimes but I always try to value my most authentic states over a facade of toughness. Even if that means being slightly uncomfortable and facing backlash and ridicule, at least then I have discovered who is and isn’t safe to be my most authentic self around.
The only way to know if you can trust someone is to trust someone and the only way to avoid harm is not to avoid it but accept our vulnerabilities and be brave enough to sit with our emotions when pain takes over us. Not only will this allow you to speak your truth, it will also open you up to deeper, kinder and safer connections.