I have always put a high value on personal vulnerability especially my own. I felt that the life I had lived deserved my vulnerability. It was the least I could do for it. Now that doesn't mean I'm not cautious with who or how I give it to or that I don't have heightened intuition around what I share or who I share with. It just means I will always, always lean in that direction.
Why? Because other people being vulnerable has set me free time and time again. Others vulnerability has reminded me I'm not alone, this is survivable, I am not fucking broken just because someone tried to break me.
Also, I feel like if I give it freely then it really can't be used against me. (That doesn’t mean people haven't tried or that they won't try again or that it doesn't hurt).
My story was hard earned and that earning has given me a No Fucks take sometimes. That No Fucks take has drawn lines in the sand with people I didn't think were allowed to abandon me, let alone call what happened to me (my story) a lie. Not keeping secrets makes people who depend on your secret keeping skills downrigt uncomfortable and maybe even vindictive. My secret keeping protects those whose comfort in this world is made entirely by my silence. I won't be silent.
The reason I am writing about this is.
I posted something not that long ago in an Instagram post that was vulnerable and someone I didn't know tried to Jesus it away for me which I didn't invite or want and frankly the tone was shaming. It didn't stop me from engaging my vulnerability muscle one bit, but it did make me think about how that response can be the very thing that stops us. And I will not be stopped.
#1) I will continue to lead with vulnerability even if that makes some uncomfortable. Vulnerability is not weakness but a sign of strength.
#2) When someone is vulnerable that is not them asking for you to fix it, pray it out, feel sorry for them, or try to make them seem weak/expose them.
Again vulnerability is not a sign of weakness it is a strong indicator of that person's strength.
#3) If other people's vulnerability makes you uncomfortable or you have a strong desire to fix it that might mean you have areas you need to look at in your own life (we all do).
Vulnerability is powerful!
I'm saying this knowing we all live in different forms of hell and for some it is really not safe to come out with our true selves and if this is the case for you all I can say is I'm sorry. I'm sorry that there isn't that safety at this moment to be fully who you were born to be. And I will also suggest start building that safety, through counseling, 12 steps, book groups, children's play groups whatever it takes. Go slow and start by taking small risks being vulnerable with safe people. Test your instincts, you may have been severely burned by people you thought were safe and trustworthy and they broke your heart. So use caution, that is what I mean by taking small risks, start with small steps toward deeper vulnerability with others, risks that if betrayed might make you sad but won't break you and as it did before.
If you are in a relatively safe environment but have been taught that vulnerability is weakness or to put forth "cleaned up" vulnerability, well that's not vulnerability that's PR and as someone who has struggled over the years with PR well, "cleaned up" is not the same as real vulnerability, it's a counterfeit to the real deal. Now I'm not saying that we have to lose our shit in order for it to be real, what I'm saying is practice revealing the beauty of your underbelly- it is a gift to the world and to yourself.
We need real!!!