On Being Vulnerable

When we were children, we used to think that when we were grown-up we would no longer be vulnerable. But to grow up is to accept vulnerability... To be alive is to be vulnerable. - Madeline L'Engle

Being vulnerable is hard for me. I expect that it is hard for everyone, but I could be wrong.

But, for me, every time I open up and say something or write something that is personal or that I know people might not like or even that I am really proud of, I get the nervous butterflies in my stomach.

I worry that I will be rejected. Or that people will say something mean. Or that people will think differently of me.

Even though so many times, I have opened up, I have been vulnerable, and people responding in kind and amazing ways. People reminded me that it is okay to be vulnerable and it strengthens friendships. But not every time. Sometimes you are vulnerable and the worst happens.

But the reality is that there is all some part of us that we want to project. That we wish to just hide away from everyone and keep it only for us. And it’s okay to do that, there’s certainly nothing wrong with that.

And then, this is even before including the vulnerability that being a parent has brought to my life. You have these little people and you have so many hopes and dreams for them. And seeing them hurt or sick or disappointed, it’s a little bit crushing. This is not even mentioning the vulnerable feeling of your kids misbehaving in public. Nothing like feeling the whole world is watching and ready to tell you that you are doing it wrong.

“To be alive is to be vulnerable.” I think about that last part and I think, yes, I understand what it means. Because, when you’re vulnerable, you’re showing your heart beat to the world. You’re saying, here is my heart, on the outside of my body, please don’t crush it.

So yes, being vulnerable is a risk. Pain is always a possibility. But maybe if we were all a little more vulnerable with each other, we would remember that everyone has their own fears and insecurities and we could be kinder to each other.

How do you feel about being vulnerable? Does it come easy to you? 

Picture edited from a photo from Barn Images

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