I like to think about what our world and our connections with those around us would look like if we stripped away everyone's fears. I think we would connect with each other a lot more and we would find that most people share the same fears of vulnerability-especially in dating.
Vulnerability is about showing who we really are in order to more deeply connect with others. It is allowing people to see us completely - as each layer of baggage, or built up fears are pealed away, one layer at a time. Or tearing down the walls that we've built up around us one brick at a time.
But here's the thing. Sometimes being vulnerable hurts. Sometimes when we allow ourselves to be vulnerable there are a lot of tears involved. Things don't go quite the way you planned. But in the end, vulnerability also eventually opens us up to happiness we didn't know was there or even possible. By not allowing vulnerability to take a front row seat in our lives, we are limiting the amount of happiness and joy we can experience. I've learned this the hard way and perhaps you have too.
Perhaps this passage from the book, The God Who Weeps, can help explain my concept better.
"This vulnerability, this openness to pain and exposure to risk, is the eternal condition of the Divine."
The rest of the passage talks about how Mary must have had more terror than delight when she heard she would carry the son of God, how Ruth must have been frightened to go unto Boaz, and Christ's Atonement. By being vulnerable to the Lord's will look at what they were able to accomplish and who they were to become. Sure there was great uncertainty, fears and perhaps tears in these situations, but on the other side of that they were able to accomplish great things and reach their potential.
I want to practice being more vulnerable. I've tried practicing in the past few months and I can honestly say it hasn't necessarily yielded desired results in job, relationships, personal goals, etc. But, it has allowed me to develop deeper, more meaningful relationships with people and God.
I still have my fears of being vulnerable in my interactions with others, but I'm working on it. There have been a few tears along the way, but I am now more aware of the vast amounts of people who care about me, as I have reached out to them and vice versa.
So let's all make ourselves a little more uncomfortable, a little more vulnerable, and reap the eventual great benefits of happiness.
I'm going to start by sharing a piece I wrote in order to help deal with the pains of grief. This may not seem hard for me to share. I mean, I write this blog and I've written about my best friend before so you might wonder what's so different? But to me, this is a very personal piece I wrote for my own therapeutic release and for that reason I've only shared it with 4 people. Until now. For I believe we shouldn't be afraid to be who we are.
There are aspects of my character that you have helped shape over these past couple years. You have helped me to become braver and to remember that I will feel pain at times, but that pain can heal through faith. That with that faith, I am capable of overcoming things I never imagined I’d be capable of doing. That makes me braver. You are still a very real, influential part of me.
You have helped me to remember to express my love for my family and friends more fully and to forgive them and serve them more quickly, although I always have room for improvement.
You have helped me to have a greater passion for life. In fact, thanks to you, my new life motto is “Live with Passion”. You had this drive that showed in everything you did from playing volleyball to receiving your Master's degree. You could walk into a room and make friends with anyone there because of your friendly, bubbly personality. You cared about your friends and family and were constantly doing heartfelt things for them. Whether it was making a blanket for me with all our inside jokes on it, or staying up for 24 hours straight to help me write my final 60 page paper for college, you took the time to really understand, care for, and love your friends. I want to cultivate more of your traits in my life.
I will feel pain occasionally, but it doesn’t have to be as deep because you aren’t really gone.
Certainly I’d love to hear your voice and laugh with you again, but you are, and always will be, a part of me. When I dream about my life and my future you are still a part of that for you have shaped my
life. We started out as two dreamers and we will continue to be two dreamers. I am still me and you
always will be my best friend. I love you Amber."