Embrace vulnerability. Allow yourself to feel exposed to the possibility of letting someone in, of having your opinions or feelings hurt. That's exactly what vulnerability means, it's the state of being exposed to the possibility of being hurt, attacked, and potentially temporarily knocked down. The state of being open to injury, or appearing as though you are. Vulnerability isn't a weakness, in fact it takes strength and courage to allow yourself to be vulnerable.
Recently I've allowed myself to be vulnerable, I've opened up about my struggle with endometriosis, but more-so my desire to be a mother, and in my mid-thirties being told by my doctor that my window to do so is very small. Talking about the decisions I have to make, on my own, regarding my body, my wellbeing, and what will allow me to live life to the fullest. Doing this considering all factors, and talking about it. The amount of support and people who reached out in a positive way when I allowed myself to put it all out there was incredible. I've also started letting my guard down with new people. Which means putting my heart on the line, allowing others the potential to hurt me. Vulnerability is a catch 20/20, see, you can try to protect yourself, however you put a wall up from allowing true intimacy and the ability to get close in any relationship.
So many things deter us from being vulnerable, the thought of rejection or judgment from others. Fear, that others won't understand, that it will be too much for them. Even that even though it's a big deal deep down, we are fearful that it's not worth talking about. We minimize important things, we worry about others reactions, which stops us from being open, honest, and vulnerable. Part of it is about mindset, if I believe that I will be judged, misunderstood, or treated unfairly, then there is a bigger problem, perhaps those I am surrounding myself with aren't healthy for me. Having the right people in your life is important, those who love you unconditionally, understand you, or at least try to even if they have never experienced what you have or are going through. In allowing ourselves to be one hundred percent open, honest, and vulnerable, we find those people who truly value us and bring value to our lives. In opening up, in finding our tribe, it is likely that they will also learn to be vulnerable with us, and allow a deeper connection within the relationship.
I ask you to consider taking time to be self-aware. To learn yourself, to truly understand what you like, dislike, what makes you tick. Become aware of the things you do, your actions, the things you say. What is your attitude doing for you? Is it helpful or harmful? Becoming self-aware can be scary in itself, but it's more than worth it. If you aren't in tune with yourself, it will be extremely difficulty to embrace and accept yourself and to allow yourself to be truly authentic, and vulnerable.
Within accepting ourselves for who we are, and who we aspire to be, we are allowing ourselves to also be honest with who we truly are. Being honest with yourself is the first step. Notice how you feel, how and what you think, and be aware of your responses and reactions. You will notice that as you become more comfortable with vulnerability, as you expose your true self to the world more, you will experience more joy, you will continue on your journey to finding happiness. It is fear inducing, yes, but I guarantee if you ask those closest to you if they experience fear or doubt they will also say yes. They are also fearful of the very idea of being vulnerable. Similar to when you give a speech and someone tells you to picture everyone in their underwear, except everyone else is dressed, and you are the one exposed in your granny panties.
At some point we have to throw in the towel, to break the mold we have been stuck in, let the guard down. If there is something you have been meaning to do but have told yourself it's not the right time, or it doesn't matter, challenge those thoughts. It will never be the right time unless you allow it to be. Ask for the raise, the promotion, the day off, invite your crush on a date, apologize even if you believe the other person should be reaching out first. Dive right in, I guarantee it won't be as bad as you predict, you don't have a crystal ball, therefore you can't predict the future. There is power, strength, and courage in embracing vulnerability. Letting go of the past, of relationships that didn't work out, ideas that fizzled out, opportunities missed, anything that left you feeling less than in the past, it's time to let go. Remember, you don't live in the past, you can't change the past, and you can't predict the future. You can however work on ensuring that the present and the future move in the direction you wish to see your life headed. In finding happy we must learn to forgive, let go, take chances, and be vulnerable.
We are all vulnerable, no matter how hard we may try to avoid it. It's in our DNA, we are born vulnerable, yet somehow as we grow up, we are taught that vulnerability is weakness. You can't both keep a wall up, and grow at the same time. The walls we put up prevent us from being our authentic selves thus preventing others from truly seeing us as we are instead of the image we wish for them to see. In order to live authentically, in order to live a wholesome life, it's important to accept and embrace vulnerability. I choose not to hide behind any adversities, struggles, chronic illnesses, not to live behind a facade, and to share my story with others. Part of vulnerability involves learning how to heal the parts of yourself that have been fractured. It allows you to truly connect with your whole self. Once upon a time, in the middle of your story, it's likely that you, disowned your fractured parts. It's time to embrace them, and put yourself back together. I'm imperfect, I'm flawed, but I'm also brave, strong, passionate, dedicated, I love deeply, and I'm worthy of love and the life and future I desire. Allow yourself to be raw, to be real, and to feel deeply. Embrace yourself as you are, and let your inner light shine.