“Vulnerability is the birthplace of love, belonging, joy, courage, empathy and creativity. It is the source of hope, empathy, accountability and authenticity. If we want greater clarity in our purpose or deeper and more meaningful spiritual lives, vulnerability is the path”
-Brene Brown, Daring Greatly
I think one of the best gifts a person can give to you is to let you in into their world, their pain, traumas, insecurities and things that are difficult for them to share even with themselves
I got introduced to someone I would call the mother of vulnerability last year and I became absolutely obsessed with her
My friend, Arafah, felt it was time to introduce me to Brene brown after several bouts of discussion that was definitely filled with that very word “Vulnerability”
It is so weird how you go around your life not really being aware of a certain word that has so much influence in your life
Then you do and that just takes your life into a whole different trajectory
that word for me was vulnerability
I only got to be aware of it in 2021
I wonder if before then I had even ever used the word.
One of those things that you don’t even remember who you were before it and all you are now is it
So what exactly even is vulnerability?
In another one of her many books-the atlas of the heart mapping out meaningful connections;
“Vulnerability is the emotion that we experience during times of uncertainty, risk and emotional exposure”
In my opinion, a lot of relationships that we may term to be superficial might actually be due to lack of vulnerability.
One of the many misconceptions we tend to have about vulnerability is that it is a weakness. When it takes a lot of strength to tell someone about the things that are hard for you without really knowing how the person might receive it
Sometimes they do receive it well
Other times you feel worse than you did before.
It is all part of the risk involved
Vulnerability fosters more authentic connection I believe.
To quote one of my favorite Instagram account-the secure relationship coach:
“becoming more vulnerable, authentic and assertive in relationships means having the bravery to face feelings of rejection… we cannot find safety and connection in relationships until we can first find bravery within ourselves”
Some few examples of moments of vulnerability in my life:
Opening up about difficult emotions like shame to my friend
Opening up about my traumas and insecurities to my friend
Telling someone you just started talking to about your attachment style and why you might come off more clingy to them than the average person
Communicating to a loved one from a place of feelings and core wounds
Speaking up about ways your family or friend’s actions might be hurting you
Here are some examples of vulnerability from Brene’s book
The first date after my divorce
Talking about race with my team
Trying to get pregnant after my second miscarriage
Talking about my feelings
Starting my own business
As you can see here there are various ways in which the opportunity to be vulnerable shows up
For some it is easier to be vulnerable and for others it is harder
Being vulnerable takes so much courage, contrary to popular belief of seeing vulnerability as weakness
What vulnerability is not, however, is oversharing and also sharing things with the hope of manipulation
As much as we advocate for vulnerability we also advocate for discernment in knowing when is the right time and with whom to be vulnerable with
Another example of vulnerability is actually deciding to make that first call to book a therapy session http://www.calendly.com/therapysessions
Also reaching out to a counsellor(or a friend) in times of crisis is also an example of you being vulnerable: 08008002000