It is true of most human beings - to be loved, to be accepted as they are, and yet nothing is as elusive. To be loved and accepted to the degree requires vulnerability and any one who has risked beyond the superficiality of the masks we use to conceal our true selves knows it can be the most painful place to live.
We can only experience love and acceptance to depth we are willing to be vulnerable. To hide behind various and sundry defense mechanisms may reduce the likelihood of us being hurt at a deep level but leave us, in the words of Roger Waters and David Gilmore of Pink Floyd, comfortably numb. Safe behind the walls of illusion and pretense but inwardly, the very thing we are attempting to protect, shrivels and dies in loneliness and isolation. In effort to preserve of life we end up losing it. This may sound familiar, Jesus teaches his followers to gain life we need to lay down our lives. Rather counter-intuitive don’t you think?
Vulnerability can also be the path to incredible life: joy, love, beauty, creativity and the deepest experience of belonging. As true as this may be, it doesn’t make it any less terrifying.
People who make the conscious choice to be vulnerable are typically people of great courage. For reasons previously discussed, it takes courage to be vulnerable and this courage is inspired by a deeply felt conviction for reality, truth and for fullness of life.
People who choose vulnerability are generally people with deep compassion and empathy for others. They choose to be vulnerable by risking to genuinely care about other people and they’re not afraid of the emotion of authentic caring.
Those who choose to be vulnerable are people of connection. They understand that true community is developed through meaningful connections with others who are seeking authenticity.
These kind of people are safe people. People who you can trust with what is most intimate and know they will not exploit you. They are a gentle and kinder people who recognize that vulnerability is the medium through which meaningful, whole and beautiful lives grow.
1) Grow in self awareness and learn to accept who you are as a person.
2) Learn to accept your weaknesses, be honest about them.
3) Being vulnerable is not being stupid. Discretion and wisdom is required to evaluate the kinds of risks worth taking.
4) To this end, vulnerability is a process which develops as we learn to get our value and acceptance from something more than the others peoples opinions.
5) Be careful not to overwhelm others with vulnerability. Vulnerability is gentle not forceful.
6) Do not use vulnerability as a tool for manipulation - to get people to do things you want them to do - this is no longer true vulnerability.
7) Learn to forgive. Truth is, we'll all experience hurt and it is necessary to embrace the pain, deal with it, choose to forgive and move on. Unforgiveness is the fastest way to hardness of heart.