I think about vulnerability a lot. The word floats in and out of my brain like an unresolved melody. Why do people struggle with it so much? Why do I struggle with it so much? What does it even mean? How do we define it?
First off, society proposes that being superhuman, bulletproof, and tough are what we strive for. I’ve always felt that way myself. And I have developed a certain resiliency to which I attach a certain pride. And I always sort of perceived vulnerability as a weakness, as something to put a wall around and to protect. This is not necessarily a healthy mentality.
I was just reading from the book “Daring Greatly” by Brené Brown…it’s a fantastic book that explores vulnerability and its vital importance to well-being. She says,
Vulnerability is not knowing victory or defeat, it’s understanding the necessity of both; it’s engaging. It’s being all in.
and quoted from Theodore Roosevelt’s famous speech in April of 1910 in France:
It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better.
The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again…who at best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly…
Brené says vulnerability “sounds like truth and feels like courage” – and those things are not weaknesses. In her book, she explores these questions:
- What drives our fear of being vulnerable? (I can answer that one for myself)
- How are we protecting ourselves from vulnerability? (pretty sure I know the answer to this, too)
- What price are we paying when we shut down and disengage?
- How do we own and engage with vulnerability so we can start transforming the way we live, love, parent, and lead?
I ‘bolded’ that one up there because it’s one that I am focusing on for myself.
This is a current topic I am swishing around in my mind.
Hmm, that sounds like mouthwash. Well maybe it is…mouthwash for my brain. lol. I’d like to clean some of the bacteria out of there, you know, the stuff that’s not helping.
I’ll probably think about this for awhile and blog more later…