With Brene Brown’s famous Ted Talks and books about vulnerability, it has become a buzzword in the last few years. People are taking vulnerability seriously, reaching into themselves to uncover and befriend their messy beauty.
In recent years we have traded vulnerability to become fierce warrior goddesses able to take on the world. Though truthfully this inner armor has always been in place protecting our vulnerability. We are just more supported to show it in our world these days. Without the space to be ourselves we lose out on a really important part of life. Without connecting to our inner imperfections we become slaves to our inner walls and protectors. Something inside of the human psyche has always longed to be able to be vulnerable, to share more of who we are. Vulnerability is the path to inner freedom.
But let’s face it, it’s scary to be vulnerable. It takes courage to share our messiness with others. Often we feel like we need to have our shit together like we are totally ok, and if we’re not then we’d better pretend we are. Fake it till you make it right?
But what happens when you don’t have your shit together and you are sick of faking it? Who do you share your true colors with? For some of us, we share with family or friends. Still, so many of us keep it all in. We fear if we share our fuckups the world will discover that we are somehow unlovable. Little do we know that it is the very things that make us vulnerable that makes us uniquely beautiful and help others to feel more connected to us.
When we are used to pretending to have it all together it can be difficult to go out on a limb to share that we are actually having a rough time. Often times people come into my counselling practice when they are submerged in the deep waters of crisis. It seems like crises often presents an invitation to step into the messiness of vulnerability. Like we have no other choice but to move through this uncharted territory if we are going to make it to the other side of crisis. There are no other options available.
I often get calls in my counselling practice from people saying their relationship is in trouble, a family member is dying, or they are facing debilitating anxiety or depression and sick and tired of life the way it is. These are some of the things that can direct us to a more honest inner relationship with ourselves, but I want to be clear in saying that there are always opportunities for us to open to deeper vulnerability in our lives. We do not need crisis to intervene to begin to invite vulnerability into our lives.
In fact, it can be really powerful to create a relationship with vulnerability before your life is turned upside down from not doing so. Because when we avoid vulnerability inevitability something happens so that we will have to go there.
Here are 3 things you can do right now to bring in more vulnerability in your life.
- Get a journal and begin to write what is really going on in your mind. The truth of how you are really feeling. Sometimes we are so busy covering up our own vulnerability we even hide it from ourselves. When we take time to write down how we are feeling it gives us permission to be real and honest with ourselves. Being honest with ourselves is the first step to opening to our vulnerability.
- Look at the people in your life right now and think about. Who can you go a little deeper with? Who would you like to be closer with? Who feels safe to share more about who you are with? Choose someone and practice saying a little more the next time they ask you how you are. Practice reaching out to them when something small is bothering you and see how they respond. Many of us are scared that if we share with others they will judge us or not want to hear our problems because they have their own. When we begin to share and have positive experiences sharing it flexes out vulnerability muscles and becomes easier to share in the future. Also, as we share more of ourselves it opens the door for others to share more honestly with us too.
Notice what holds you back in sharing your truth with others. I often find in my counselling practice that many of us learn to stop being vulnerable in childhood. Maybe it was seen of as indulgent to speak of our feelings or maybe you were called too sensitive. It helps to understand the ways we were not given permission to share our feelings. Remind your younger self that your feelings are healthy and it is ok to feel whatever you are feeling.