I posted a short video last week on my love/hate transformative relationship with the trait of “vulnerable,” to which I received numerous comments as well as calls. Most were overjoyed to step into a new viewpoint…others remained “stuck” and committed to the point of view that Vulnerable = Weakness. With this noted confusion, I immediately decided to blog on the topic as it deserves clarity…if you, of course, desire to create phenomenal relationships and results in your life!
First, does vulnerable mean weak? No! It does suggest that you are open to the potential harm that could come your way if you get locked into the Webster dictionary. Yes, vulnerable does have a meaning that allows one to be open to whatever might come their way. But the “whatever” is what is essential. You see, if you are so opinionated about “being right” such that you could not be open to hearing with a new set of ears, then your program of “need to be right” will forever deny you greater personal growth and understanding. That is an option. I lived there for years as a very learned lawyer with “massive schooling” to prove just how knowing I was.
What does this “need to be right” get for you? You repel others around you as you lack an open mind, a “green and growing” spirit that allows you to expand your thinking. The reality is we only become the aggregation of our own experiences if we take that very limited view of life. Once we look around and understand that every human being grows up having different experiences, different learning processes from which we collect different conclusions, is it not possible that ours are not “right” but just ours? In order to broaden our horizons, we could be open to understand others, weigh their experiences, and enlighten ourselves to “different.”
Writer Dr. Brene Brown was insightful in her book, “Daring Greatly”:
“Vulnerability isn’t good or bad. It’s not what we call a dark emotion, nor is it always a light, positive experience. Vulnerability is the core of all emotions and feelings. To feel is to be vulnerable. To believe vulnerability is weakness is to believe the feeling is weakness. To foreclose on our emotional life out of fear that the costs will be too high is to walk away from the very thing that gives purpose and meaning to living.”
“Vulnerability is the birthplace of love, belonging, joy, courage, empathy, accountability, and authenticity. If we want greater clarity in our purpose or deeper and more meaningful spiritual lives, vulnerability is the path.”
So, let’s just suggest that building awesome relationships is a criterium of your definition of “living the fullness of life.” It is mine due to my desire to be an influencer, but I agree that it may not be the choice of everyone. Assuming it is yours as well, vulnerability is a must as any and every relationship has vulnerability at its base. We are open to grow with another human beings, allow their experiences in life which we cannot possibly have as we only live one life, provide us lessons as to why we might be right or wrong on the conclusions we have mustered along the way. I prefer having the opportunity to live 1000 lives before I transcend in that each and everyone’s experiences shared merely enlighten me to another life I did not live. Welcome to a fulfilled life and one of a greater level of awareness! And with that, people everywhere will enjoy your company as you will be open to understand their viewpoint and offer a greater depth of understanding.