Dear brothers and sisters, perhaps you are familiar with this series of videos with talks for personal growth called Ted Talks. I have watched several of them that I have found interesting. One particular one that I recently watched and called my attention is one entitled “The Power of Vulnerability” and it was presented by Brené Brown. It caught my attention because I believe, like the presenter does, that being vulnerable is one of the most difficult things for many of us, but at the same time is one of the means through which we build the strongest connections we can imagine with other people. This presenter starts off by saying that we, human beings, are meant to live in connection with others. Connection is what gives meaning and purpose to our lives. Unfortunately, when we try to connect with others we look at the areas of our life which we consider negative areas. And regardless of how many good things we may have in our lives, we tend to focus on those few negative things. For instance, when asked about love, people tell about heartbreaking, when you ask people about belonging they will tell you about the most excruciating experiences of being excluded, when you ask people about connection the stories they tell you are about disconnection. And this leads us to feel ashamed because we think that there is something wrong with us. Shame is understood as the fear of disconnection. Shame is not good for us because with shame we say to ourselves that there is something in us that if other people know it or see it then we will not be unworthy of connection. Shame is universal. If people do not have shame they have no capacity for human empathy or connection, and the less they speak about it, the more they have it.
Shame tells us that we are not good enough or that we are not worthy enough to be loved. Yet, in order for connection to happen we have to allow ourselves to be seen, to be really seen as we are. Vulnerability leads us to show who we truly are, and this is why many of us hate vulnerability.
Like it is said before, being vulnerable is the capacity to allow ourselves to be seen as we truly are, but before that we need to see ourselves as we truly are and embrace who we are. Being vulnerable means that we have a sense of worthiness, a sense of love and belonging. People who are vulnerable believe they are worthy of love and belonging.
In order to be vulnerable we need to have a sense of courage. Courage comes from the Latin word core which means heart. So, being vulnerable is having the courage to tell the story of who we are with our whole heart. Vulnerable people have the courage to be imperfect. They have the compassion to be kind to themselves and then to others.
Being vulnerable is to have the willingness to do something when there is no guarantees, willingness to love first , willingness to invest in a relationship that may or may not work. With vulnerability we are not able to control and predict, but it gives us freedom to be who we truly are.
As you can see, having the courage to be vulnerable is not bad at all. Many people think that being vulnerable makes you powerless, but I agree with the presenter of this talk, that vulnerability actually gives so much power to us.
On a final note, this is something that the presenter does not say in her talk, someone who I think we really should be vulnerable with is God. He knows our story already, but if we are willing to share our story with HIM, it will give us an even greater sense of freedom because He will continue to love us no matter what.