I am pursuing vulnerability this year. I am trying to be vulnerable this year and nothing is as scary, nothing is as terrifying. Yet it also comes with incredible relief.
In this process, in trying to be vulnerable I have discovered certain truths.
If you open up and allow yourself to be vulnerable you will discover that you are not alone.
I cannot tell you how many times I am in a room, or having a conversation or in some sort of relational scenario and you open up about something that you think no one will ever get. You open up about a struggle or a sin. You open up about where you really are at the moment.
Suddenly, in that moment you discover that you are not alone. So many times one of us will share something that they thought they were the only one who has ever experienced it or struggled with it. Then we realize that everyone in the room has that same struggle. We were all just too afraid to say it out loud.
I was thinking about this in terms of mental illness. We all know that things like depression are isolating. Yet anyone who has ever experienced depression or knows someone who has will tell you that the gut reaction for those with depression is to hide it. To pretend that it is not happening, to hide the struggle.
I think sometimes that is half the battle. You have to be willing to let someone in. Willing to let someone see your struggle and your pain. You have to know that you are not alone. Brene Brown talks about how as humans our deepest desire is to be connected.
Yet we are scared of that very connection. We cling to superficiality instead. We chose to pretend. We are all better actor’s and actresses than we realize.
Only it gets us nowhere. Being open, honest and vulnerable is scary. It is scary because we have all been hurt. We close up because we do not want to get hurt again but in doing that we close ourselves off from connection. Which is one of our deepest desires (if not our deepest desire).
We desire connection. But we have to be willing to be vulnerable. Someone has to open that door, or start that conversation. We have to be brave. We have to be willing to take risks. To truly connect we have to risk it all. But really we are risking a superficial, surface relationship. We are risking being hurt but difficult things are worth it.
Being open and vulnerable is scary. I wish I had some of the answers. I wish that it was not so hard to be open. Only without it we lack real connection.
If we want real connection. We have to be willing to take risks. We have to be willing to go deep.
It is not easy. In fact it might be the scariest thing that you will ever do but it is worth it.