This may be an unpopular idea but being vulnerable has its benefits. Have you ever shared your story with a person and then you feel worried because that person might disclose everything to others? That is the feeling of vulnerability.
I was working on my assignment for my Spiritual Formation class and I got a little bit emotional with some of the questions. It asks me to share some stories from my family – things I was not even able to share with my close friends. I was hesitant at first, but I realized that for me to know myself better, I should not be afraid to deal with things that scare me. That includes being vulnerable.
Merriam-Webster defines “vulnerable” as “capable of being physically or emotionally wounded”. As humans, our default mode is to protect ourselves and stay away from things that hurt and haunt us. Being vulnerable means being open to attack, which might cripple us and leave us weak and defeated.
But there are benefits to being vulnerable. Let me share a few:
It hurts but it frees you
We have secrets that we’d rather keep to ourselves. But these secrets haunt us at night and takes away our peace. Sometimes we feel guilty for something and there’s an urge to speak the truth. Unless we speak it out, it will keep on bothering us.
The truth always sets us free, but sometimes it will hurt us first and make us feel miserable. We think it’s rational to keep mum but we know it’s always better to live in honesty with God, yourself, and with others. Again, as cliche as it sounds, the truth will set us free.The truth always sets us free, but sometimes it will hurt us first and make us feel miserable. We think it's rational to keep mum but we know it's always better to live in honesty with God, yourself, and with others Click To Tweet
It is uncomfortable but it grounds you
Being vulnerable is uncomfortable. We become worried that attacks might come from all sides and on various occasions. Also, we think low of ourselves because there’s this idea that vulnerability is weakness, and we don’t want that. We want to be strong, to be better than others. We want to do better. But we all know that we have limitations.
I love the song “A Warrior is a Child”. We are like that. We fight battles, we fiercely engage our enemies. But deep inside we cry, we wail. At the feet of Jesus, we are just vulnerable children. And there’s nothing wrong with that. It’s better to be grounded in the truth that we need help than live in the lie that we can do everything but we cannot.It's better to be grounded in the truth that we need help than live in the lie that we can do everything but we cannot. Click To Tweet
It is awkward but it connects you
I firmly believe that what connects people is not our strengths and achievements, but our weaknesses and failures. We look up to successful people, but we relate to people whose stature closely reflects ours. We feel one with them. Look at your friends. What makes you love them? For sure you have some things in common, and that might include your pains and struggles.
I have friends with whom I can be accountable. I share my secrets, my struggles, my pain, my worries, my sins. Whenever I do this I feel awkward and naked before them because I think I’m alone in my battles. But my vulnerability prompts them to be vulnerable as well. Then I realize I’m not alone in my battle. We share the same weaknesses. Not that I rejoice in the fact that other people are also struggling, but I’m grateful that I have some friends to journey with.
It is uncommon but it heals you
To be vulnerable is uncommon. Most of us would rather be cloaked in achievements and success. That’s why social media is prolific with posts about six-digit figures, clear and smooth skin, sexy bodies, frequent travel and sumptuous meals, and other inspiring narratives. But those are just “highlight reels” and not the whole picture! Very seldom do people flaunt the bad and the ugly, the wound and the scars. It’s almost always about beauty.When we choose to be vulnerable, we welcome healing to ourselves. Our wounds heal, and the scars will just tell a story but never hurt us anymore. Click To Tweet
But being vulnerable, in other words being true to yourself, means healing. Of all the benefits of being vulnerable, perhaps this is the most powerful. Some people would rather stay in the prison of their make-believe world, wounded, than get out in the open and receive healing. Yet when we choose to be vulnerable, we welcome healing to ourselves. Our wounds heal, and the scars will just tell a story but never hurt us anymore.
Have you ever felt vulnerable? It helps! You don’t have to broadcast your darkest secret to the masses. Be with people with whom you can be brutally honest – your friends. Share your stories. Let your stories free, ground, connect and heal you. Come out of the hiding. Embrace the fact that being vulnerable is not being weak. Harness the benefits of being vulnerable.