The word alone conjures cringe-inducing, hand-wringing fear in some.
And why shouldn't it...what good is being vulnerable? Isn't it great to feel solid? Consistent? Reliable?
It's easy to go through life with that modicum of control- to push away the thoughts, feelings, and actions that could lead to instability, insecurity, and weakness.
But opening ourselves up to vulnerability allows us to swing open a door to deeper relationships, enriching spiritual encounters, and more fulfilling, rewarding life.
Do you tell the people that add joy to your life with sincerity that you love them, and why? It's a great place to start. It can be over lunch, a car trip, even a phone call. And sure- anytime we bring that daunting word "love" up, we can go back to that childhood reflex- terror at the possibility we may experience rejection. Even if there's no romantic or sexual inclination involved, the idea of not encountering a mutual feeling after that tender declaration can be devastating.
But choosing vulnerability is a silent, apathetic shrug towards reciprocity. It is the announcement that you've been set free of needing a perfect emotional balance to function in your relationships- and in life. The acknowledgement that you can give, without that gift necessitating anything returned. It is knowing that if you experience hurt, rejection, or dismissal, you can embrace, process, and grow from it...and carry on joyfully.
Once you begin your path of vulnerability, you'll find the spiritual harvest bountiful and sweet. Love for others comes easier. Self-sacrifice begins to be a part of your habits. You'll make choices that benefit those who may not even know you. Instinctively, you'll know the comforting words, the pain-alleviating gesture. And most of all, you'll live in a way that radiates loving kindness, hospitality, and compassion. The universe will open itself up to you and reveal spiritual truths that awaken your soul and stir your fire.
And there will, of course, be moments where it totally sucks. But the longer you choose to live with your heart open, the more fleeting those moments will be.
So tough girl (or guy), let down your guard and let vulnerability in. There are aches and hurts out there- and you may have the remedy in the palm of your hand. Can you make the choice to actively love today? Can you feel the fear, smile, and plow forward? You've got nothing to lose but control of your heart.
Won't it be worth it?