The Vulnerability of Being Alive
Being human is so tender. So precious and fragile. There are simply no guarantees in life. For some of us, this lesson has been learned the hard way. And for others, the lesson is always just a person away. It may be a loved one, friend, or even the evening news that offers this realization. We have in some way or another, come to understand that our inherent vulnerability is in truth our reality.
As humans, we ride the waves of tragedy, addiction, abuse, disease, and gut-wrenching emotions. Thankfully, we also get to experience profound joy, miracles unfolding, and the sweetness of being seen and accepted for who we are. It’s humbling really, this thing called life.
When we are truly honest, we can see that vulnerability and being alive cannot be separated. They are one in the same. Each moment and each interaction invite us to become more open and vulnerable. That is, if we have the courage to do so. The more open and vulnerable we are, the more we feel seen, heard, and witnessed. This in turn, ups our level of happiness. We simply feel more allowed. Allowed to feel our feelings, allowed to have our intermittent crazy thoughts, and allowed be loved anyway.
Vulnerability tells us to stop parading our facades and to start being real. To bear witness to the parts we have tucked away because they are awkward, needy, or filled with shame. It requires that we set a place for our deepest wounds at the dinner table.
Brene Brown, a world-renowned scientific researcher on vulnerability, is often asked for her expert opinion on the topic. In a Huffington Post interview, Brown says, “The only choice we really have is how we’re going to respond to feeling vulnerable. And contrary to popular belief, our shields don’t protect us. They simply keep us from being seen, heard, and known.”
Brown is eloquently reminding us that what we may think of as a viable protective measure is, in fact, a disconnect from what we need in order to be happy. And that need is to be witnessed and accepted for who we are.
To truly brave the weather of our inner landscape and navigate the sea of worldly affairs, we are asked to be willing to let others see the uninvited dinner guest. We are asked to make room for all of who we are in our relationships with other people. And, in turn, make room for all of them. This is daring to live vulnerably.
Vulnerability Meets Science
In recent years, science has been able to verify that our DNA houses the history of our family lineage. It has been proven that ancestral trauma is passed down from generation to generation on the biological and energetic levels.
The triumphs, resilience, and fortitude make themselves known in our DNA, as well. We are literally made up of cells that contain solutions and miracles within them!-Lesley Wirth
As dire as this may sound, there is beauty within this discovery. Naturally, all overcoming of adversity is also passed along. The triumphs, resilience, and fortitude make themselves known in our DNA, as well. We are literally made up of cells that contain solutions and miracles within them!
I believe science is amazing, and I also believe that it falls behind truth. After all, proving something comes after its existence, not before. It’s not really a discovery, but more of an uncovering of what already is. Therefore, when it comes to the power of vulnerability and what it can do for us, we are in the infant stages as it relates to scientific data.
In Brene Brown’s Ted Talk on the Power of Vulnerability, she talks about how the happiest people are the ones most willing to be vulnerable. It’s not the people with the most rewarding careers, the most understanding partners, or those with financial wealth. It is those who are willing to be seen, in all their shades and colors, as they are the ones who live with an open heart.
Vulnerability in Action
Considering that living vulnerably is a choice, it is day-by-day decision we are making. It moves from a concept to a practice. And in that practice we are saying yes to our feelings and to ourselves. Vulnerability in action looks like coming out of hiding, and allowing what is to be there. It is permission granted.
After all, most of us are our own worst critics. And really, who decided that our own judgments were the end all be all anyway? Living vulnerably allows us to listen to a new voice – the voice of reason. The voice that reminds us that our deepest fears are the same as everyone else’s. The voice that reminds us we are worthy of being seen and loved anyway.
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