You know what’s ironic? I have this overwhelming desire to saturate its presence into every corner of my life too.
I dream of making vulnerability a close, close friend. I want to welcome it into the home I call my heart and into every fibre of my relationships with open arms and an ear-wide smile. I want to live a life so rich and so vibrant that the way I talk, the way I think and how I love the people I’m around paints every moment in a stroke of beauty, a hue of redemption, and a shade of deep fulfilment.
But here’s the truth – I’m scared.
Real vulnerability isn’t a Facebook post, an Instagram caption or a string of tweets. Vulnerability demands so much more from us than something like a comment or an absent-minded text. Because those things are easy. We do them all the time.
I’ll be honest, I’ve caught myself rolling my eyes at “attention-seeking” words online. But, instead of labelling them as someone’s insecurity, I see myself in those words too, realizing: we’re all scared of loneliness. We all want to be wanted. We all want to be loved and valued and heard. We look for someone to hear us out, even if just to listen. We’d much rather link arms and stand together than be alone in a room full of people.
I believe, to the very core of my being, we were made for relationship. And when done intentionally, this life-long journey of cultivating true vulnerability is honestly such a beautifully hard thing.
It’s easy to spill our hearts through a screen, but it’s harder to look someone in the eye and speak the words as our voices break and tears fall.
When did we start to believe that the easy things are the worthwhile ones? The real ones? How did we fall for the lie that the only validation of friendship needed is to like their posts, share the occasional #wcw photo and tell the entire world we have their back?
Hey heart, you were made for so much more than that. And you’re so capable. I dare you to take back what the lies stole from you. I dare you to strip off the mask you hide behind and to stand face to face with authenticity.
Because here’s what I’m learning, over and over again: real vulnerability isn’t glamorous. It can be so mundane and messy you don’t even want to tell the Internet. It makes you realize how sacred presence in each moment is—and how full your heart can be. Being there fills you up happy like no amount of notifications can. It says, “I’m right here, and this is where I’ll stay.”
But don’t let it fool you. Vulnerability reaches farther into our lives than planned hangouts and surface-deep conversations. It asks us of our time and energy. It sometimes comes knocking at the most inconvenient moments… when you literally woke up like this and would rather be in the middle of a Netflix marathon.
Vulnerability is tired eyes, heavy with the echo of a stressful week pounding behind our ears, but finding ourselves in a coffee shop anyway; and one of our heart-people is sitting across the brown, oak table as we search the darker parts of our hearts together, picking up those pieces and bringing them to light. It’s committing to hard, awkward moments when we’d rather just change the subject. It’s a lot of, “You know what I mean?” and “yeah, me too.”
It has nothing to do with standing tall, speaking eloquently or wearing a brave face, etched with wisdom. It has everything to do with finding the courage to step down from the pedestal we created for ourselves, to roll up our sleeves and to extend our hands out to those around us. Because we need them just as much as they need us.
It’s to begin with high walls and watch them crumble one by one as we walk further into humility and honesty, realizing we weren’t as different as we thought we were. It’s admitting we can’t do this life alone and were never meant to.
Vulnerability is not for the fickle – it takes strength to be real and raw in a world that demands us of perfection, of having it all together and one-upping each other.
Even if the pressure to conform makes you squirm like I’m tempted to on the daily, I hope you know: I really, really believe in you.
You are an individual with such a capacity for greatness, for changing the story, and for shaking the world. I hope you never underestimate the power and strength in holding hands with women around you as we free ourselves in the process.
The feminine heart is captivating: an encourager, a speaker of lovely, true words, intelligent beyond imagination and creative to the wildest degree. We are women unique with the capacity to build and celebrate each other. Together.
What a beautiful thing.
– image credit: Death to the Stock Photo