“Vulnerability is not winning or losing; it’s having the courage to show up and be seen when we have no control over the outcome. Vulnerability is not weakness; it’s our greatest measure of courage.”
These two qualities are intertwined, wrapped up in each other like a tapestry. They are deeply personal for me. Out of all the qualities to reconnect with this is where my greatest challenge lies; my greatest pain and my greatest triumph.
Children are inherently OPEN. Their hearts, minds and souls lay wide open for all to see. Children are so honest, sometimes when you wish they weren’t. They wear their hearts on their sleeves, they see it as it is and they say it as it is. They show up as they are and allow themselves to be deeply seen; light and dark, living and learning without any guarantees. This openness is the essence of VULNERABILITY. It is the very thing that drives us to protect them and yet it is also the thing that allows them to grow and to learn so authentically.
These qualities inherent in a child are some of the most difficult ones for us, as adults to allow back into our being. Yet, they form the backbone of our sense of belonging in the world. You can belong anywhere if you show up as the truest version of yourself. To do this we must be OPEN and VULNERABLE; we must be REAL.
When I first came to Australia nearly 20 years ago I remember that through the overwhelm of being so far away from my people and my home, I felt a growing sense of liberation. I remember thinking, “you know what, I can be anybody! No-one knows me; they don’t know my family, they don’t know what I have done, what I’m capable of, they know nothing. I can be anybody and that’s all they will ever know.” At 19 I was still so naïve and largely unconscious, but I knew that people would get to know whoever I chose to turn up as. I realise that deep down we all have a yearning to be seen as we are, but we are afraid. I was afraid. What if I was my authentic self and no one loved me? As a result I have spent a long time, playing it safe… just in case. What I did not realise then was that this is how I closed myself down in order to protect my heart.
Now luckily a wild heart can’t be tamed. We all have a heart pounding desire to be loved, to connect and to express our truest selves with the world. What I have learnt is this; by reconnecting with the openness and vulnerability that I embodied as a child, I have opened the gateway to my deepest self and it is there that I find my peace. I have also realised that we must trust our hearts a little more, they are strong and resilient and will always rise up out of darkness.
So what does this mean for us?
Even people who say they don’t want to express themselves and that they have no desire, have a little of it. It is part of what makes us human. The extent of our OPENNESS AND VULNERABILITY depends on how much of ourselves we are willing to share. To be true and to reveal our authentic selves to the world takes courage because it means that sometimes we must stand alone.
When we experience pain; rejection, failure, disapproval etc we begin to feel unsafe and we do what adults do best… we close ourselves down.
We learn not to be too honest, we learn not to say what we really mean and we learn to internalise all of our pain. The thing is; if you don’t tell your story, it doesn’t exist and therefore a part of you doesn’t exist. As a result, you will spend a lot of time wondering what is missing in your life and you will feel to cry of your unexplored greatness. It’s time to tell your story because, even if things don’t go according to plan (which is most of the time) you WILL feel alive!!
How do we reconnect with our OPENNESS AND VULNERABILTY?
- Have the courage to begin the JOURNEY OF SELF. Surrender to all that you are; be open to learning about your own heart and be vulnerable enough to express it.
- Have the courage to change the things in your life that no longer serve you.
- COMMUNICATE (speaking and listening) to connect and understand, not to win.
- TRUST more than you doubt. The truth is; there will be pain, people will disagree and people will flat out not like you BUT most people will rise up to meet you in all your IMPERFECT AUTHENTICITY.
What is the yearning in your heart? What is the truth that lies dormant within you? Connect with your inner child and have the courage to explore and express it.