The Art of Being Vulnerable
If you have been visiting my website, you know I am a strong advocate for the practice of vulnerability. I believe being vulnerable is an essential skill that can make the emotional bond you have with your loved ones become stronger. Being vulnerable can help you connect with your significant other on a deeper, more satisfying level. Yet, when we talk about this skillset, we often associate it with fear and uncertainty.
As I set my quest to find some of the popular definitions of vulnerability out there on the web, this is what I came across at vocabulary.com: “Vulnerability comes from vulnus, a Latin word for “wound”. It is used for someone who is easily hurt or likely to succumb to temptation. It’s best used for a person whose feelings are so delicate that they can’t withstand any criticism or pressure.” When you read the description above, what do you hear? For me, I hear fear, weakness, and pity. No wonder why many of us are so afraid of being vulnerable even if it is with someone we love and care about most.
It is not my intention to say that the above definition is wrong in any way. My point is that this culture teaches us to be prone to the negative side of the coin. It teaches us to be afraid of pain and to take extreme cautions to disown our vulnerability. When we focus on avoiding pain, we tend to forget that it is also the place where growth occurs. It is true that being vulnerable means facing the risk of being emotionally wounded. However, it also means giving yourself the permission to be truthful of what you feel or experience in the moment and be brave enough to share that experience with others. When you choose to express your true needs for connection, you allow yourself to be seen in the most genuine way. It is like telling your partner “Hey I am scared but I want you to know what I really feel and I hope you relate to me in the same way. Are you with me?” Can you imagine how empowering it can be for you and someone you love to share your sense of belonging in the deepest way.