What if I say this?
What if I go there?
What if I do this?
What if i befriend this person?
There’s vulnerability in all of these.
We have to let our guard down – like the Starship Enterprise has to drop shields if someone is to beam aboard. It then becomes vulnerable, but there’s no other way.
I read Richard Rohr this morning, exhorting me to embrace the negative, to avoid a dualistic view of life, including facing my shadow side.
So, every day, I face the monsters within; if I miss the subtlety of their constant hunger, I’ll end up feeding them – with some pride or greed or foolishness – when I ought to be battling them. I cannot wait until the battle is over. Each day you meet me and my monsters.
Brené Brown adds more to this for me when she describes how, for wholehearted people, ‘Vulnerability is the core, the heart, the centre, of meaningful experiences.’
‘Those who feel loveable, who love, and who experience belonging simply believe they are worthy of love and belonging. They don’t have better or easier lives, they don’t have fewer struggles with addiction or depression, and they haven’t survived fewer traumas or bankruptcies or divorces, but in the midst of all of these struggles, they have developed practices that enable them to hold on to the belief that they are worth of love, belonging, and even joy.’**
I was reminded of when I shared with a group of people, some of the struggles I’ve gone through over a number of years, and how these have defined me. Their response was to criticise me.
Being vulnerable is risky and it doesn’t always work. Do I regret sharing the things I did? It was unpleasant for a number of months, but, no. The things I shared define me, are part of me, there can be no dualism.
Most importantly, I find there are more possibilities for creativity when I explore through vulnerability.
‘Vulnerable is the only way we can feel when we truly share the art we’ve made. When we share it, when we connect, we have shifted all the power and made ourselves naked in front of the person we’ve given the gift of our art to. We have no excuses, no manual to point to, no standard operating procedure to protect us. And that is part of our gift.’**
(*From Brené Brown’s Daring Greatly.)
(**From Seth Godin’s excellent V is for Vulnerable.)