Ugh, I’ve never liked being vulnerable. It’s like being a little baby again, completely helpless and at the mercy of whoever is taking care of you. It means opening yourself up to hurt, or maybe being naive when you feel like you should be wise.
But now I’m reading this book called Daring Greatly that was recommended to me by a friend, and the author claims that the only way to embrace your true, authentic power is to grab a nice, cushy seat in the land of vulnerability. And stay there for a while. Get to know those fears and embrace the fact that you can’t control what happens, and that’s…ok. Preferable, even.
Yes, apparently this is the case. And if you’re like me, i.e. always wanting to be in control, this seems counter-intuitive. Against the natural order of things. Because if we really wanted to be strong, then we’d stand up for ourselves, right? We wouldn’t allow ourselves to fall in love unless we were absolutely sure it would work. We’d learn from our mistakes and not put ourselves in danger of being hurt again. What does being vulnerable prove except that I’m an easy target?
But this is not what happens. Contrary to the controlling psyche, vulnerability is the seat from which real change happens, like falling in love, carrying out your true purpose, or anything else you consider important. It requires great risk, because we don’t know the outcome. It takes the most courage possible, because we’re willing to bet on something that’s not a guarantee.
So, vulnerability=true courage.
I’m sitting with this one for a bit, because I think it’s profoundly true. No matter how many times you think you’ve been taken for a sucker, you’re not a sucker at all. It makes you that much more courageous when you decide to go for it again – having the courage to take that leap when you could get hurt, when you’ve already been hurt before.
“When we spend our lives waiting until we’re perfect or bulletproof before we walk into the arena, we ultimately sacrifice relationships and opportunities that may not be recoverable, we squander our precious time, and we turn our backs on our gifts, those unique contributions that only we can make,” says the author. “Perfect and bulletproof are seductive, but they don’t exist in the human experience.”