|Sometimes words can have a major effect. They bungee jump right into your heart and leave you a little bedazzled. That’s what happened when I read the words above for the first time. They softened every little place in my heart, putting its gateways wide open, and with much enthusiasm said: Hey, vulnerability! Welcome in, my friend. |
How is your relationship to your own vulnerability? How well do you know this friend? How open is your door to welcoming him or her in?
Vulnerability: a dear buddy. One that I sometimes feel is hard to live with, but that I wouldn’t want to miss for the world. Or how some would phrase it: #bff. In fact, let’s give her a name: Lola! Does Lola always get this warm welcome like above? Definitely not! Some days I wish she’d go on a camel adventure far, far away. In those moments I simply don’t want to face her: I’m too busy, surrounded by too many people, or I’m too tired to listen to Lola’s stories and empathize. And sometimes she can make me feel really uncomfortable. Exposed. Scared. And I don’t particularly enjoy that.
But there ALWAYS comes a time – guaranteed! – that Lola comes knocking on my door with chocolate cake, tea and puppy eyes. ‘Can we talk? I really need your attention and compassion right now’. Then I realize I have been neglecting my dear friend for too long and it’s time to bond. Besides, with cake and tea: how can one decline? We end up having a good talk, a good laugh or a good cry. We slowly ‘feel it out’: all those messy stories, ideas and expectations we hold in our minds, the events that impacted us and that we hadn’t given time to properly process. We slowly allow our hearts to soften. To feel. To crack open, to make room for new, wonderful things to enter.
Athough my friendship wih vulnerability is not always easy, it is ridiculously meaningful. Our meet-ups bring me straight home to myself. They line me up with what I love and show me what is really important to me. They help me set boundaries and help me understand that even pain can hold a hidden treasure. Because of my vulnerability I am able to feel joy, make a true connection, and…. choose to be brave.
Oh boy, being brave is a biggie. And – literally – the biggest lesson vulnerability taught me. I learned to really get familiar with fear, but don’t let it hold me back. To know that I can feel afraid and excited at the same time. To dive head-first into new adventures, even if it’s unknown, foggy and I have no clue how to rock this journey. To learn to love again, even if my heart has known hurt, many times before. To reach out and ask for help, even if my parents raised me to be an independent woman. To open myself up and speak my truth – like here and now – even if I’m unsure if others will respect that. To gradually follow a dream – like hosting my own retreats – even if that seemed ‘too far away’. To go left if that makes more sense to me, even when society marches to the right. To write these words from my heart to you, even though I might not know you that well.
If my vulnerability can lead me into these little acts of bravery – no matter how shaky, unsure or weird it feels – the same holds for you. Cause we are all the same. And in our vulnerability we unite. It’s a wonderful thing to know we are not alone in our struggles and sensitivities. Nor are we alone in the strength that lies beneath. When we are able to REALLY see each other, we can truly and deeply connect. And from that understanding, sense of support and softness, we become insanely powerful, authentic human beings that dare to act. Dare to choose, from the heart. To make a change. Both in our own lives and in the lives around us.
So how will you let your vulnerability inspire you to be bold?
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