Vulnerability. Does it make you uncomfortable? Fearful? Do you cringe a little bit? I do. A little voice within goes “Eeeek!!! No way!” Then I realize: whatever situation is bringing this up in me, is something I should probably lean into. First, what does it mean, to be vulnerable? It is defined as “being capable or susceptible, to being wounded or hurt.”
I am quite familiar with avoiding it. We all usually have an area or two in life, where we just don’t go there. We build walls, put on our mask for the day, and clench our fists, ready for battle, right? We avoid all situations or conversations which make us uncomfortable, or bring up the root feeling we do not like to admit we have: Fear. Fear of being judged, disappointed, or hurt. We stay quiet when we should speak up, we use anger to protect ourselves, we don’t ask for that raise, express how we truly feel to a loved one, go for that opportunity, take that class, try something new, look in the mirror at our own faults, or go on that date, we simply… Stay. Safe.
What also happens is that, unconsciously, we don’t forgive, let go, grow, or expand to our highest potential. This is the real tragedy of avoidance. Vulnerability is much like Yoga, a practice. It takes commitment and dedication, to lean into those uncomfortable moments in our lives; just as it does when we show up on our mats, willing to go for that pose, knowing, we may fall…so what? We get back up. We practice again, until one day, yay…we got this!
We build strength, awareness, and confidence on our mats. It’s the same with vulnerability. The more we choose to dive in to those uncomfortable feelings, what we find is that it’s ultimately the only path that leads us to experience true joy, happiness, and fulfilment. Yes, we may be hurt, judged, or disappointed. We must be willing to experience all of life, the darkness and the light.
When we are willing, there is much to gain. We awaken to gifts we didn’t know we had. We build new relationships, accomplish goals, and achieve a lifelong dream. We cultivate confidence, strengthen our Faith, and shine our light. The more we shine, the more we encourage others to do the same. We are all worthy, to live a life of our highest potential, and the only way is to look vulnerability right in the eye, and say “I can do this.” So, let’s all, one uncomfortable moment at a time, lean in….and keep practicing.
Photo credit: Peter Sharas