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Vulnerability.  It’s one of those words that almost seems taboo.  We are more often taught to be strong, to not cry, to put on our game face.  But vulnerable?  Not too many of us are taught that.  Merriam-Webster defines it as “capable of being physically or emotionally wounded” or “open to attack or damage.”  It’s no wonder we don’t readily open ourselves up to it.  Who wants to avail themselves to pain?

But pain is unfortunately a part of the human condition.  Jane Fonda had a great quote on Oprah’s Master Class stating, “like in your muscles, your place of brokenness can be a place of great strength.”  In order to be strengthen, we at times have to experience pain.  If we experience pain, that means we were in some way vulnerable.

Vulnerability isn’t a sign of weakness.  It doesn’t mean we are punks.  It means we are human.  Real.  Open.  Willing to put ourselves out there to be authentic, to receive authenticity, and to learn all that life has to offer us.  I’m willing to bet that every famous person you’ve heard about made themselves vulnerable in some way, at some point in their life (likely multiple times).  Think about Oprah, Martin Luther King, Jr., Ghandhi, Dorothy Day, Maya Angelou, Siddhartha Gautama (Buddha), Jesus.  You only know about these people and their struggles and gains in life because they made themselves vulnerable.  They availed themselves to being open to others, open to attacks in the physical and spiritual realm.  And they learned and grew from the pain.  Pain isn’t the end, it’s a part of the process.  Try to avoid it and you just end up covering and prolonging the pain, because as I stated earlier, it’s a part of the human condition.  It’s unavoidable.  It’s what you do afterwards that matters.

Being vulnerable to me, is a spiritual discipline.  Yeah I said it.  A discipline.  It takes time and work to really live it out.  There’s something really spiritual about being open, being willing to not run from pain, being willing to connect with others in doing so, and being willing to just be yourself in all your God-given glory, to me.  It is not a discipline that I have mastered.  But it is one that I continue to grow through.

So I pose to you some questions:  What is stopping you from being vulnerable?  What fears do you have about doing so?  What core beliefs limit you from going there?  Who in your life can you practice being vulnerable with?

It’s time to get real!

Here is a wonderful video on The Power of Vulnerability by Brene Brown.  Check it out!  It might give you some things to think about in your own life as it did mine.