What does it mean, really mean, to embrace your vulnerability; to allow yourself to be seen and understood, as you truly are, in any given moment; through any given experience? And not the prettied up you either; not the made for mass consumption you, but the raw and unfiltered you – the you without the make-up, without the cover, without the mask — the not so pretty you. What would it mean for you to embrace the vulnerability of that you and allow that you to be seen, understood and engaged with by the world?
Despite the fact that vulnerability is as common to the human condition as the need to breathe air, very few of us willingly embrace our vulnerability; and fewer still willingly allow others to see or experience them when they are vulnerable – a time when our deeply common human need to be seen, understood, experienced and embraced is at its greatest.
Why is this so?
Well, we’ve all been taught the same lesson, implicitly and explicitly, from messages we’ve received (directly or indirectly) from our families, our communities, our institutions, and our societies: that the rawness, the exposure and the fragility inherent in being vulnerable, in showing our vulnerability and allowing the world to see and engage with that deeper part of who we are, is synonymous with being weak, with showing weakness. We’ve all been taught to hide that part of who we are, put her away, deal with her on our own by ourselves and only show the world the prettied up, made up, easy and more comfortable to consume you – so much better for all involved, of course (except, not so much). We’ve all been taught that to present ourselves to the world as strong, as always having it together, as always having all the answers, as always knowing exactly what is next and what you’re going to do to get there and making it all happen on your own is powerful; that those who ‘strong’ their way through life alone, by themselves, are the epitome of the rugged individual ideal and are to be admired and emulated. We’ve all been taught that to be, embrace and engage the world through the truth of your vulnerable self is to show up as powerless, weak, even a failure.
We have all been lied to.
The truth is choosing to ‘strong’ your way alone through life gets very old, very quickly and is simply not healthy or sustainable – and the sad thing is, it’s also simply not necessary. Why go through life avoiding feeling or showing one of the few traits as deeply common to the human experience as vulnerability? We don’t hide our need to breathe air from everyone else – so why hide the fact the we experience vulnerability – just like everyone else? The truth is, your vulnerability is your strength. And the more you embrace your vulnerability, the more you allow the world to engage with the truth, authenticity and power of vulnerable you, the more you and the world to come to know how strong you really are.
Why keep trying to ‘strong’ your way through life when needing help only reveals your Divine humanity, which you share in common with everyone else; when asking for help only reflects your authenticity, which is your greatest power; and when inviting others into your experience to support and encourage you only shows your vulnerability, which is your truest strength?
Because the reality of all our lives teaches us, again and again, that:
Strength can weaken us.
To be in need is Divinely who we are.
Asking for help is our authenticity.
Authenticity is our power.
Vulnerability is our strength.
It takes real courage to allow yourself to be seen in your truth; to be authentic enough to your Divine humanity to surrender to the strength of your vulnerability. ‘Strong’-ing our way alone through life is a rigid existence that confines us to a limited experience of ourselves and of Life; of being seen in part, never whole; of isolating ourselves out of fear of what others may think of the fact that we, too, are the perfectly imperfect Divine humans everyone else is; of hiding the fullness of our authentic selves, our truth, our experience, behind so many masks even we begin to lose sight of who we really are in our wholeness and truth – where each individual mask, and all of them collectively, can very easily and quickly become to heavy and burdensome to bear; where we end up hiding so well behind the masks we put up, people and Life engage and respond to our masks rather than to us.
Vulnerability allows for a very different kind of strength: the strength of being seen and loved, whole – in the fullness of the truth of who we are; the strength of letting go and release; the strength of openness and receiving; the strength of connection, intimacy and community; the strength of authenticity and truth; the strength of creativity, visioning, seeding and manifestation; the strength of options and opportunities; the strength of freedom.
The journey to creating and living your ideal life…by design, to manifesting the life and living you truly desire, often requires along the way deep dives into your vulnerable self in ways you may never expect, may not feel ready for, may truly jar you, but will always support you in your growth and expansion into more authentic expressions of your truest self; and greater, more meaningful, more purposeful and more joyful experiences of your life and living … but only if you’re willing to take the dive and embrace your vulnerability!
Vulnerability is your Divinity. Vulnerability is your humanity.
Vulnerability is your truth. Vulnerability is your authenticity.
Vulnerability is your power. Vulnerability is your strength.
Vulnerability is your freedom.