vul·ner·a·ble [vuhl-ner-uh-buhl] adjective
1. capable of or susceptible to being wounded or hurt, as by a weapon: a vulnerable part of the body.
2. open to moral attack, criticism, temptation.
This post has been floating around in my head all night. I have been feeling vulnerable lately. There are so many things coming together and with that, old wounds have been ripped open and are now truly healing. I have dealt with a lot in the last few months and I feel like I’ve been very strong throughout my challenges. Which is funny as I’ve never thought of myself as a strong person. Fragile, delicate, easily broken — those are things I could identify with. However, the last few months I have been so strong for myself, I became someone I could rely on to make myself feel better. What an amazing gift that is.
Today I don’t feel very strong.
I feel raw, and cracked wide open, and it’s a scary feeling. Vulnerability has something to teach me. It has something to teach all of us. It makes us feel awkward and it pushes us out of our comfort zone, but it is there for a reason. There is a purpose to it. It is there to be felt and experienced. I am currently trying to sit with this feeling and figure out why I am feeling it. I could get upset, I could ignore it, but instead, I am studying it.
What has vulnerability taught me today?
It has taught me how far I’ve come, how much stronger I am. It’s shown me that I’m struggling right here in this moment. And that’s okay.
It’s telling me that I care. That I have a big, open, amazing heart. In the past, I was so afraid to tell people that I loved them. I was too afraid to show emotion and vulnerability. I realize that I have changed in that way and it’s made me stronger even when it makes me feel tender and naked. Now I can say love, and feel love easily. Instead of being so controlling about how I feel about others and how they feel about me I am open and I allow it to just flow. That is vulnerability, isn’t it? Yet at the same time, I credit it as a way I have been strong.
Vulnerability leads to strength. It is strength. It does not equal weakness, it does not mean that we aren’t strong at the same time. We are made to feel and we are made to be broken open every once and awhile.
And it’s okay.
I’ve realized that I am pushing myself to greatness, putting my feelings and experiences out for the world to read. I wouldn’t be who I am if that didn’t make me feel exposed. I am being brave and vulnerable and I am being honest with the people in my life and I no longer have anything to hide behind. Realizing who I am and who I am meant to be is a revelation. That woman, that inner me, is naked and vulnerable and doesn’t quite know where she fits in yet. She doesn’t know what changes are coming, what this transformation will mean. It’s scary.
Of course I am sitting here in tears. My world is turning upside down.
I know it’s good and I know it’s for the best and I see so many blessings and joys just up ahead, but right here, right now I am afraid. I take a deep breath and see this as what it is, growing pains. We get them no matter what age we are. Today happens to be a new moon, a time for new beginnings and I am taking it as a sign that this is a new beginning for me. It is okay to feel how I feel right now. Better things will come along. The wind will stop whipping at my branches and ripping at my leaves. In the end, I’ll still be standing. Still strong. Everything is going to be all right.
“I understand now that the vulnerability I’ve always felt is the greatest strength a person can have. You can’t experience life without feeling life. What I’ve learned is that being vulnerable to somebody you love is not a weakness, it’s a strength.” — Elisabeth Shue