Thoughts on Vulnerability

I’ve been doing a lot of thinking on vulnerability lately… Actually I’ve been doing a lot of work on vulnerability for a long time, but this is the first time I’ve gone this big with it and it’s been really powerful.

I’ve entered into this space with a commitment to myself to show up with vulnerability. I’m talking a lot about my divorce – something that some might tell me I should be ashamed of. Something that some HAVE told me was a sin. I’m speaking very openly about a pretty polarizing decision I made in my life and I’m choosing to claim worthiness and belonging in the midst of it.

And you know what I’ve noticed? Time and time again, hand over fist, I am seeing that my willingness to open up and show my soft spots brings connection. Almost every time. It’s wild. And connection is so powerful! It’s what gives purpose and meaning to our lives, is it not? I’m learning that in order for honest connection to happen, we have to allow ourselves to be seen, really seen! We have to allow ourselves to be vulnerable.

“Vulnerability is not winning or losing; it’s having the courage to show up and be seen when we have no control over the outcome. Vulnerability is not weakness; it’s our greatest measure of courage.” – Brené Brown

If you follow me on Instagram, than you know that I posted a little video that kind of blew up. The footage isn’t great. I could have chosen a more attractive typeface to write the words that appear on the screen. It’s not an amazing video, in other words. But I told a little piece of my story in it. And even though it was imperfect, it had a big impact. There is power in our stories. I made a commitment to myself to show up authentically, I let go of who I “should” be in order to be who I am. I told my story and it resonated with a lot people. I showed my soft spots and connection was born. I’m using this merely as evidence that what all of us want is connection and if we’re willing to be open we can find it all around us!

I really like that quote from Brené Brown. And it got me thinking about the word courage. I did a little reading (honestly, I just read more Brené) and it’s about to get nerdy here for a second – she taught me that the English word that we know is derived from the Latin word cor, meaning heart — and the original definition was to tell the story of who you are with your whole heart. That’s pretty cool, right? When someone shows up with vulnerability, they are showing up with the courage to be imperfect. They’re showing up with the compassion to be kind to themselves… which allows deeper compassion and kindness towards others… and in turn offers connection.

It’s a cycle. Or a waterfall effect. One act offers space for the next and so on and so forth. I know that vulnerability can feel like the place where all of our shame and fear and unworthiness live, but in my experience, it’s also the birthplace of joy, and creativity, and belonging, and love! My hope is that we can all find the courage to step into vulnerability, no matter how small. I hope that we can become kinder and gentler to the people around us as we’re kinder and gentler to ourselves.

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