Being Vulnerable is Powerful.

By Avilasha Sarmah in Editor's Pick 13/05/2019

“Baring our souls is a lot like getting naked; and when we get naked we expect people to look at us, at the very least.”

 

Being vulnerable is hard, is what comes to our mind the moment we think of being sensitive, opening up, living our truth and being emotionally expressive. We attach shame to being vulnerable. We feel exposed and it is the least attractive feeling when parts of us, parts we fear most is being susceptible to other’s judgment.

 

But vulnerability is actually beyond that, it is the ability to be and accept despite our fears. It is the ability to be despite judgment. It is hence very powerful.

 

Often when we say or do things that make us feel vulnerable, we do feel imposed, unwanted and taking up space. But when we choose to be vulnerable despite, we open up the opportunity to also feel joyous, loving, creative, strong and beautiful all at once.

 

Author and Researcher, Brene Browne talks about vulnerability as being the most powerful asset. She talks about our generation as one losing our “tolerance for vulnerability” and goes on to highlight the signs of invulnerability which against growth. The signs include:

 

1.Joy is foreboding.

2. Disappointment as a lifestyle.

3. Disconnection

4. Perfection (not healthy striving)

5. Extremism

6. Numbness.

 

She stresses on numbness as the most excruciating aspect. She describes that we live in a culture of “not good enough”. We hence fail to find meaning in our ordinary lives because while in our strive for extraordinary we fail to recognize the moments of joy in our ordinary leaving us disappointed, sad, angry and no space for growth. She talks about how we hide behind busy lifestyles, addiction and substance abuse to “selectively numb the pain”. But in truth, pain can’t be selectively numbed – in doing so we equally lose out on the good, trying to run from the pain. The only way out and into the good, is practicing gratefulness, she claims. Before we delve into it lets figure out how we can recover power by being vulnerable.

 

To be vulnerable is to be authentic.

 

What happens when we dare to be truly ourselves? We fear that we will become susceptible to judgment. We are conditioned to think that when we are not going with the flow, we are not talking, seeing, wearing, believing in and being what the rest of the world is, we are not acceptable. Why is standing out so fearsome? In our society being vulnerable is treated as a sign of weakness. Don’t love so hard, following your passion is not safe, don’t be honest always, etc are catchphrases that debar us from being vulnerable. Why? Because we fear losing ourselves. But the funny thing is we can’t really lose what we already are.

 

Vulnerability is acceptance.

 

The moment we accept our bad along with our good, growth happens. Acceptance is like a soothing balm to our wounds. We are not supposed be beating ourselves so hard for the mistakes we made. We will make mistakes. But we only have to learn from them, accept and move on.

 

Being vulnerable is being wholehearted.

 

When we live whole-heartedly, we allow love into our lives, regardless. We give space for ourselves to breathe. We make space for good regardless. It comes from a space of believing in worthiness – when we allow ourselves to believe we are worthy of love.

 

Vulnerability is being enough, just the way we are.

 

Vulnerability comes from a space of self-love. Vulnerability is not avoiding rejection but rather facing rejection with the notion that I am more than that.

 

Being Vulnerable is courageous.

 

Vulnerability is a sign of courage and not weakness. When we go beyond our fears and open ourselves to the world and accept ourselves regardless, it is a great act of courage.

 

Vulnerability is growth. 

 

By being vulnerable we are actually moving forward. We choose to move beyond and despite fear and criticism and it is an act of strength. Furthermore, when we are in touch with our emotions and are self-aware, we are no longer avoiding pain but accepting it, hence we live healthier. It is striving for the best despite the flaws.

 

In all these ways – Vulnerability is powerful.

 

It is acceptance of the self regardless, it is acceptance beyond fears. It is acceptance of the insecurities that are tongue-bitten, toe-curling hard, yet looking at them and accepting – I am enough. I am not perfect but that’s okay. Powerful in the sense – telling the world, I don’t care what you think of me. This love then echoes with showing the same acceptance of others around us.

 

Vulnerability unites, it builds connection, it practices compassion and understanding. Often we practice, blame, anger, friction because we are at war with our own selves. But when we are vulnerable we are accepting of those parts of us that we are most embarrassed about, and hence we become compassionate and full of love and we automatically give out the same.

 

Finally, just as Brene Browne explains, the best way to let go and practice vulnerability is to practice gratitude. We ought to start being grateful for what we already have and when we do that we live whole-heartedly and practice love. When we practice love, we give ourselves the space to be open, expressive, acceptable and hence vulnerable. When we choose to be vulnerable, we become self-aware of the power within us. 

 

Currently curating a creative team for Feministaa! Apart from that I am a wanderer who loves to write. Places call out to me and I enjoy making poetry out of moments. Do check out my book – “When the Cuckoo Called”.


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