Vulnerability is a double-edged sword. Those who protect themselves to avoid getting hurt, fail to appreciate intimacy and close relationships.
The word of this season for me is “vulnerability.” I can feel this word in my bones. It’s been in my dreams and even in my husband’s dreams directly related to me. Every nudge related to vulnerability has been in a positive light. The concept portrayed in every nudge has been that it’s a necessary part of my life.
Let’s be honest. Vulnerability, being vulnerable, it can be scary. The definition in itself can be intimidating. Vulnerability is defined as capable of or susceptible to being wounded or hurt; open to moral attack, criticism, temptation. There are deep-seated emotions people experience when they reveal aspects of themselves to others. If we live our lives attempting to please “man” and our self-worth comes from the acceptance of others’, it is very difficult to live a vulnerable lifestyle.
Vulnerability is not willing 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.”
Brene Brown in Rising strong
When we build walls around ourselves to protect us from being hurt, we prevent our true nature from being known to others. In essence, we no longer become ourselves around others. We live a façade, and when we live that way, it makes it very difficult to truly allow ourselves to be loved. Walls that we build don’t prevent others from loving us. In fact, they are loving us as if the walls aren’t there; it’s our ability to receive and accept the love that is damaged. What’s interesting to me is that although the studies that have been conducted related to vulnerability focus on human relationships, I couldn’t help but recognize the correlation between living a healthy wholesome life in Christ.
It is no use erecting barricades around you while hoping at the same time others will see the blossoming flower within.”
Tony Faukry – article from mission.org
We must live a vulnerable lifestyle if we desire a wholesome life. In the book Shift into Freedom: The Science and Practice of Open-Hearted Awareness, Lock Kelly says “When we experience a great loss or hurt that feels like “broken heartedness, we now realize that our heart is not broken. It’s actually the heart’s protective shell of defenses breaking open to allow us to feel all emotions fully.”
It’s necessary to understand areas of weaknesses and areas of pain in order for us to embrace vulnerability. Vulnerability involves healing your fractured parts by merging with the wholeness of your being. What I learned from Brene Brown is that vulnerability can only be found in strong individuals; as a matter of fact, she refers to them as being whole. Her studies have found that those who live a vulnerable lifestyle tend to live a life of peace and joy. They are content and happy in life. They are not weak, but strong. They are not prisoners to the opinion of others. Wow, was that powerful. This isn’t a biblical study, yet so much of it really speaks profoundly to how vulnerability impacts not only our human relationships, but our relationship with our Creator; Father, Lord, and Holy Spirit.
There’s so much more to this, but I’ll leave a final quote and a TED talk by Brene Brown for you to listen to so that you can hear some of the study for the person who spent years studying vulnerability.
Yes, I am imperfect and vulnerable and sometimes afraid, but that doesn’t change the truth that I am brave and worthy of love and belonging.
With more to come on this topic and lots of love,