On Being Vulnerable
This topic of vulnerability keeps coming up. In the last 4 days it has been discussed in the novel I’m reading, at several meetings I’ve attended and while having coffee with friends. I’ve selected and discarded this theme several times as it is not one of my favorite subjects. So, when it came up again this morning in another book I’m reading, I knew I could no longer push it away. I had to admit my feelings out (i.e., become vulnerable).
As I’ve said many times in the past, becoming or being vulnerable was never my goal. My late husband (of 18+ years) said, with some bitterness, “You don’t allow yourself to be vulnerable with me.” Never one without a sarcastic retort, I responded “Why should I be? Every time I do, I get crushed.” This was my perspective at the time. Perhaps it was a self-fulfilling prophecy.
My new perspective, however, is this: Real, deep growth occurs ONLY when I allow myself to be vulnerable.
From acknowledging the loss of a friendship, the pain caused by a careless remark, or a promise or intention not kept, to the passing of those we care about, admitting these upsets and hurts — first to myself and then to others — makes me vulnerable. Loss, painful as it may be and combined with the other emotions it exposes, actually is a catalyst for change and growth. It puts us in touch with our deeper self. As Julia Cameron says:
“Loss cracks our hard outer shell and exposes our vulnerability. And, exposed, we find our vulnerability is a source of strength.”
This is precisely what is happening to me. Since Tim passed 4 years ago, my Creator has presented me the opportunity to explore my self. I have worked on this in a number of ways, and I can say with certainty that I am now a happier, better adjusted person for the effort. As my friend said yesterday: “I’ve known you for years, and our conversation has been on a rather superficial level. You’ve changed.”
And for the better! The path I’m now on offers me the chance to be and to do things I barely dared dream of before. Becoming vulnerable, despite my protestations, has been the impetus. Who knew? Alas, he journey of self-discovery continues! Please, join me in The Journey by following me on Twitter @katystarr6. Namaste.