The other day, my friend sent me a link to a TED Talk by Brene Brown called “The Power of Vulnerability”; it was incredibly inspiring.
Vulnerability can be a scary feeling, but it generally sparks a valuable human experience. This could mean admitting a mistake or opening up to a friend about an insecurity, or even starting a new relationship.
Vulnerability can feel uncomfortable as it brings with it a risk of getting hurt. But upon stifling that initial fear, the opportunity to connect more deeply becomes clear. It’s refreshing when people are able to admit their faults (rather than deny the existence of any). Also, upon harnessing the ability to express our emotions verbally, we feel a sense of relief and are able to handle things better.
It’s admirable when someone is in a vulnerable position and chooses to open up — it paints the person as authentic and real.
Some people eschew vulnerability after deciding that it would appear weak to others. While it’s a fair concern, it’s important to examine all of your feelings earnestly and be honest with yourself. Truthfully, being vulnerable is not even slightly related to being weak. If anything, being vulnerable takes emotional maturity and courage. So, if someone were to reject or judge you for being vulnerable, the person is not worth your time.
Consider the common vulnerable state of navigating a broken heart. It is a time of hurt and confusion, replete with feelings of emptiness and loneliness — and the heartbroken person may regret ever being so open to vulnerability.
But as time continues, the person grows stronger and matures. The person discovers more of what he or she wants in a relationship and learns which red flags to avoid. He or she becomes wiser and looks back on past heartache as a life lesson that helped highlight the correct path to finding the right person.
As Brene Brown put it, "embracing our vulnerabilities is risky, but nearly as dangerous as giving up on love and belonging and joy — the experiences that make us the most vulnerable. Only when we are brave enough to explore the darkness will we discover the infinite power of our light."