This is an article that I'm especially excited to write. Vulnerability is absolutely necessary if you would like to have a connection with others.
THE expert on vulnerability, Brené Brown says:"We cultivate love when we allow our most vulnerable and powerful selves to be deeply seen and known, and when we honor the spiritual connection that grows from that offering with trust, respect, kindness and affection. Love is not something we give or get; it is something that we nurture and grow, a connection that can only be cultivated between two people when it exists within each one of them -- we can only love others as much as we love ourselves. Shame, blame, disrespect, betrayal and the withholding of affection damage the roots from which love grows. Love can only survive these injuries if they are acknowledged, healed and rare."
― Brené Brown
Do you speak your truth with all your heart? There is no shame or blame in truth. There is not weakness in your heart, there is only courage.
Vulnerable acts are acts that take courage. You put yourself out there, the true you without the masks or the pretenses. You don't try to hide your pain, your fear, your failures, your emotions or anything else about yourself. You expose yourself and this is terrifying. However, it is the key to intimacy. You simply cannot have intimacy if you are invulnerable. I would say that when you are truly completely vulnerable, you are centered and strong because you know that you are worthy of love no matter how imperfect you are. You rely on your strong core (root word of courageous) which is your faith in your inherent value. It takes more strength to share the true story of you than to hide it.
Vulnerability is exposing your true self, your true story, your true feelings without an expectation of the way that the other person should respond. If they are open and accepting, great, but if not that is no reflection on you, it is a reflection of their own fear. Don't let another's reaction, or your fear of their reaction stop you from turning yourself inside out. Just as important, reserve your judgment and allow others to be completely vulnerable with you. This is scary, but I promise you that you won't die. You will start the process of deep connection.
Think of something that you are scared to share. It could be anything, what is it that you are afraid to tell anyone? Practice being inside out and go tell someone. Take a leap of faith. This isn't about trust, this is about knowing that who you are is no less valuable or worthy than anyone else. No matter what you have done or what you are thinking or feeling you are worthy of love. Speak your deepest truth, even if the story you tell is filled with mistakes or regrets. Share your authentic self, all the dark parts of you that feel shameful make up who you are.
True friends are true friends because you were willing to share with them your deepest secrets. They know about the time you lied to your boss and that you haven't shaved in over a month and that's the real reason you wear jeans in the summer. They know you - all of you, and they still love you. This didn't just happen for no reason, it happened because you were willing to turn yourself inside out.