“The privilege of a lifetime is being who you are.” ~ Joseph Campbell
Vulnerability is something I am drawn to in others because I understand it and know that when they are feeling their most vulnerable, that their greatest strengths are sitting right there beside them waiting for this exact opening to come through.
It’s through your vulnerability that you discover your greatest strengths and that leads you to your highest potential. I respect vulnerability and the people who have the courage to show it.
So what is vulnerability? To me, it is the ability to feel everything you feel and express it knowing that you may be rejected or humiliated. It is the ultimate act of courage. It is showing up and being who are, even though you feel the need to shield your true nature in order to be accepted. It is feeling the fear, but knowing that sharing your truth is paramount to your well-being… and accepting the consequences of how others respond to your truth; it is the most empowering act we can do for ourselves.
When others have the courage to show their vulnerability it is a great connector because instantly we look at them and know exactly how it feels to be vulnerable. We feel closer to others when we recognize their emotions and the fear beneath them. Vulnerability disintegrates the walls that separate us, and reminds us that we are all one, and energetically connected.
An example of finding our greatest strengths through our vulnerability is Oprah Winfrey. When I first started watching Oprah it became clear to me that she connected with her audience so well because she allowed herself to be vulnerable. I remember watching her and understanding that she had the ability to feel what her audience was going through (empathy) because she had been through many of the same things. And she had the courage to share her vulnerabilities, and trust that she would be accepted… this is the ultimate moment of empowerment.
A caveat to expressing your vulnerability is that it is important to know your audience and the people who can appreciate your vulnerability because there will always be people who turn away from vulnerability in others. Many people hold the misconception that vulnerability is a sign of weakness, but in truth it is the precipice of strength. My feeling is that it is because they cannot value and accept it in themselves. If you are expecting everyone to accept your vulnerability with open arms, you will be disappointed. The optimal reason to embrace and express your vulnerability is to strip away that which does not serve your truth and higher purpose.
Just know that when vulnerability emerges within you and you feel the urge to dismiss it, that you are actually at the threshold of discovering your greatest strengths; and an opening to your higher potential. In the words of Joseph Campbell, “The cave you fear to enter holds the treasure you seek.”