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On Learning Vulnerability



I don't like looking foolish. 

I go to great lengths to avoid it. But unfortunately I was gifted with a large dose of naivety and gullibility which often works against my anti-foolish campaign.

Friendly foolish is different than failure foolish. When I fail at something big (like relating badly, costing someone lots of time or money), I feel especially vulnerable. My instinct is to try to hide it or better yet, blame someone else. 

In those moments I'm caught at a crossroads, I must attempt to lie my way out or put down my armor and get real honest.


I wish I could say I always chose the latter; I don't. I find myself wanting to take the easier way out. But I've been practicing vulnerability (as Brene Brown says) and learning how to de-activate the walls that spring up in the moment of naked truth.

When I feel that surge of panic, the "I'm going to die if someone sees the real me" feeling, I stop. Then take a breath and ask myself what's going on.

Most often the root of my terror is based in old lies.

The lies of "I'm not good enough" "No one will love me" or "I will never be understood or listened to".  All of those lies get bigger when I believe them. But when I'm able to address it and trace it back to one of these wrong beliefs, I can start telling the truth. I am good enough. I am loved. I am understood and listened to.

But I still have to face consequences of disappointing the people I've failed. 


I have to take ownership of my wrong choices. I have to realize the ones I disappointed might even choose to leave me.

But to believe that I will never be good enough or loved, or understood or listened to is a big jump from disappointing someone.

So I am practicing vulnerability. 

It has been excruciatingly hard, but I'm learning the more I do it, the less hard it is to do. I'm finding that being vulnerable when I fail helps to heal those relationships better than blame or denial. The truth is, they could see my bologna a mile away; I was fooling myself to think otherwise.

Vulnerability is beautiful because it offers an open hand of relationship to someone, allowing them to take it, and honestly...it's totally worth the risk.

What do you think, is vulnerability worth it?



6 comments:

  1. I love how you shine with this post! Yes, vulnerability is worth the skinned knees, tears, and ruthless resistance to my old belief system. It is hard work, not everyone likes the fact that when they ask me "How are you today?" I no longer say "good". If I am having a crappy, sad day, guess what cashier, that is what I am going to share!

    I love your beautiful raw self.
    StudioJema

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    1. Thank you, Jema! I love the way you put it, "skinned knees, tears and ruthless resistence", so true.

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  2. What a beautiful post. I think you're brave and courageous and beautiful. :)

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    1. Thank you, Esther, that means a lot. :)

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  3. love this post
    this is the real deal and i feel your every word
    how many times i have found myself at the same cross roads....
    let the truth be seen or "white lie" mt way out of it
    ...and for the record i do not subscribe to white lies but somehow in those positions i suddenly bring them to life!!!!
    it is a continual practice to make the best choice for my spirit
    thank you for this reminder today to stay in vulnerability...not for the other person but for myself
    i dont want to live a life of lie....not matter what colour they are!

    love and light

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    1. Thanks for those words, Cat. I love that, "don't want to live a life of a lie...no matter what colour they are!" I agree 100%!

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