What’s the fuss about being vulnerable?

Vulnerability is accepting that you can’t control how others respond to you but deciding to trust them with your authentic self anyway. I know it sounds scary but vulnerability is how you build intimacy and better relationships. And you want that, don’t you? Harsh truth: Every single meaningful relationship requires you to be vulnerable; that’s just how it works.

Being vulnerable is about being honest with yourself. It’s showing the people you trust who you are, how you’re feeling, and what you need. It means allowing others to see the real you without any defenses, barriers, or protections.

Whether it’s your friends, family, or even a lover, you have to give them some sort of power over you. It’s how you open yourself up to freely give and receive love.

You can’t fully experience people and get the most out of the relationship if you continue to put up a wall. This is because that same wall that keeps out grief will also keep out joy. Vulnerability is the place where love, belonging, joy, courage, empathy, and creativity all happen. Be open to all possibilities.

When was the last time you were vulnerable?

I’m not going to show how much I love or care for them, so just in case anything happens, I won’t be so hurt. You can call this ‘numbing out’. And, in the words of one of my favorite writers: When you shy away from the darkness in yourself and in others, you can’t decipher the difference between real and artificial light.

If you’ve thought the same when starting a new relationship don’t worry about it: You’re not alone. We’ve all been there. I used to be anxious about outcomes…tbh, I still am, because Vulnerability isn’t a light switch, you can’t turn it off and on whenever you choose. It’s a process, a journey, but really, what in life isn’t a journey?

In my quest to be more vulnerable, I finally understood that the need for control takes away the experience for what it truly is.

A quick story. The two most significant times when I was truly vulnerable were in high school and my first year at the university. With my best friend and my first love, respectively.

My feelings and emotions were constantly invalidated and manipulated then– not playing the victim because truly I understand that people act with the knowledge they have at the time. However, it doesn’t change how that might have affected my perspective on complete surrender.

My first heartbreaks were a friendship breakup– for my sanity and a romantic breakup I had no control over, that took me over 5 years to truly get over it– not the heartbreak itself, but the effect.

Anyway, why am I talking about vulnerability though? I realized my responses to new friendships and romantic relationships were driven by past experiences and it wasn’t normal — and, if normal to you sounds like constantly having the need to “control” the outcome, and always “preparing” yourself for the worst, then yeah, you’re overdue for some honest self-evaluation. And, that’s what this is going to help you do.

What is your idea of love?

Five years and two or three relationships after my first romantic heartbreak I was ready to love again. How did I know? I thought: I’m going to let this energy flow and if it all goes to shit, and I ended up getting hurt I wouldn’t mind because at least I was fully present. That was when I knew I wanted to be vulnerable again.

I posted on Twitter that you know you’re ready to be vulnerable when you don’t care about the outcome of a situation, you just do it, go in, open-minded.

Vulnerability is giving people the capacity to hurt you, but you’re also giving them the ability to connect deeply with you, understand you, and fulfill the needs you might normally keep hidden. But, this mindset change allows you genuinely and completely immerse yourself in the experience.

One thing about me is how deeply I feel and my biggest lesson on love with friends, family, and partners now is that you have to let things play out, you can’t control anything.

Vulnerability also goes with setting up healthy boundaries too. It’s okay to be careful about who you are vulnerable around and to decide for yourself just how much vulnerability you’re comfortable with in a specific situation.

As much as you’re willing to be open-minded and experience without fear, love yourself enough to know when a certain experience won’t bring out the best in you.

What part does vulnerability play in your relationship with yourself and others?

When I started to truly understand my emotions and navigate my feelings I realized that vulnerability wasn’t about other people alone. It was also about being able to have honest hard conversations with myself, being able to call myself out on my BS–of course with grace and gentleness.

Admitting your wrongs to yourself or others isn’t always easy. It takes a lot of self-awareness to resolve conflict with an open mind and with a willingness to see from the other person’s perspective. Vulnerability and self-awareness; that is how you grow and expand.

Opening up to others is scary, but it can sometimes be almost as difficult to really get to know ourselves. We might fear giving others power over us by becoming vulnerable, but we can also be scared of not liking what we see when we really look at ourselves.

Ultimately, we can’t open up to others and show them our authentic selves if we don’t really know who we are. Spending time on mindfulness, compassionate self-reflection, and curiosity about ourselves makes it easier to be vulnerable with others as well.

How can you become vulnerable?

Stop giving a shit. Seriously, do you and let people do them. And, if turns out good, yay you, and if doesn’t, better luck next time. That said, the first place to start is mindfulness.

Notice everything; why and when you feel a particular way and once you become more aware actively resist the urge to bring out your emotional armor to avoid feeling shame, anxiety, uncertainty, or fear.

Whenever you find yourself covering up your vulnerability try these instead:

Give yourself grace.

Focus on your opinion about yourself and let others worry about theirs.

Take it slow, you’re not in competition with anyone.

Leave room to be yourself.

Ask. Be open about your needs and wants.

Feel your feelings and talk about them too.

Live in the moment.

I hope you allow yourself to experience freely ♥️




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