In the particular season I am in, I have been all about absorbing as much wisdom, encouragement, + healthy truths as much as I possibly can. I have never been a huge book reader or pod-caster but lately I have taken a giant right turn towards reading + listening. Most of my recent days have been filled with listening to books on Audible, or reading + journaling, or finding amazing new podcasts to enjoy. In doing this, I have noticed a theme in some of the books + podcasts I have been reading: the importance of being vulnerable.
The thought of being vulnerable for many of us makes us cringe. Almost nothing seems worse than being seemingly EXPOSED at your core for others to see. I recently listened to this amazing TED talk by Brene Brown, called The Power of Vulnerability , + felt as though I could relate in SO many ways to what she discussed. She defines vulnerability as “the willingness to show up and be seen with no guarantee of outcome.” There are many aspects that go into being vulnerable..MANY. Vulnerability means that we risk being exposed… + that takes a ton of bravery + courage.
So because of the potential rejection, hurt, pain, or discomfort that may come from being vulnerable, we may tend to choose the easier route: remain silent + mysterious to those around us. In essence, we hide for fear of being TOO seen + not accepted because of it. Ooooof. But it makes me think…what is really happening here?
I have a tendency to believe that the fear of being vulnerable rests in the fact that we do not yet believe that we are ENOUGH. So I must urge you to ask yourself… DO YOU, truly + completely, KNOW through + through, to the CORE of your inner being that you are enough? Do you know that YOU ARE “altogether beautiful, my darling; there is no flaw in you”? [Song of Solomon 4:7] Truly, those words ARE true. There is NO flaw in you. You are beautiful. I think in order to be vulnerable, we must first come to terms with knowing fully, deeply, + intimately that we are truly enough.
If we start by fully embracing the TRUTH that we are enough, when the time comes to share intimate details about our stories we will begin to notice a bold confidence. We will slowly start to realize that we are not affected by how the world sees us. We may share a part of our story, + someone may not take it as we hope they will, but over time as we practice this boldness we will not be as affected by the reaction of others. As we become more + more grounded in a love so secure + certain [Jesus’s love of course], when the words of others come to tear us down like an awful storm, we will stand strong like a sail; unshakeable to the “wind” of potential judgement from others.
“When we are defined by what people think, we loose the courage to be vulnerable” -Brene Brown, Rising Strong
Also, let’s be honest for a second! More often than not, WE are our own worst critics. Indeed often we have a need to showcase perfection to others. Interestingly enough, I find that the more truthful people are about where they are + what they have been through, the more I am in awe, + the more I actually think they are truly AMAZING. It is [after all] HOW we manage + rise strong in the mess of it all that makes our stories so unique + robust+ beautiful. Perfection isn’t what we should strive for. Instead, let’s strive to be imperfect beings with badges of scars + beautiful stories that have proudly shaped us into who we are today.
Yes, you have scars. Yes, you have made mistakes. Yes, your life has not been perfect at times. Yes, you have been hurt. Yes, you failed to love yourself well at times. But above all, you are BEAUTIFUL…. + you are FORGIVEN for your mistakes. The experiences you have been through are not one to be ashamed of, but rather embraced. Your story is one to be TOLD. The things that have happened to you happened for a specific reason.. to shape the inner core of who you are. The events you have endured are not meant to leave painful sores that never heal. They also are also not meant to leave blemishes that heal + then are continually concealed. Rather, they are meant to be badges of victory that give you credibility + impact in sharing them with others. Remember, you ARE enough.
To close I want to leave you with another beautiful quote about the importance of vulnerability.
“Vulnerability is terrifying. The courage it takes to reveal your heart is one of the most daunting…and yet rewarding experiences in life. It will set you free.” -The Better Man Project
How can you seek even more ways to be more vulnerable in your life?
Images by Stefanie Mariee Photography