June 26      

Today's quotation:

Owning our story can be hard but not nearly as difficult as spending our lives running from it.  Embracing our vulnerabilities is risky but not nearly as dangerous as giving up on love and belonging and joy— the experiences that make us the most vulnerable.  Only when we are brave enough to explore the darkness will we discover the infinite power of our light.

Brené Brown

Today's Meditation:

I don't understand why so many of us want to pretend that we're not vulnerable.  Somehow we have the idea that if we show vulnerability, we somehow demonstrate that we're less capable, less strong, less reliable than other people.  But the fact is that we're all vulnerable to certain degrees-- physically, emotionally, spiritually-- almost any way you can think of.  And that vulnerability sometimes translates into failures and mistakes, but that really is okay the vast majority of the time.  When we acknowledge our vulnerability and accept it, we can work with it and allow things into our lives that we would normally leave out if our vulnerability had its way.

Sometimes we make the mistake of considering "weakness" to be a synonym for the word "vulnerability."  While there often may be some overlap, though, the two words do not mean the same thing.  When we're vulnerable, we're human-- none of us were born invulnerable.  When I allow a weakness to get the best of me, though, that's a choice I make, because weaknesses can be dealt with and strengthened.  A weakness is not being able to lift fifty pounds or allowing someone to convince me to do something I know is wrong.  A vulnerability is the way that another person can hurt me with words or actions, and there's nothing that I can do to avoid that hurt.

Many people like to think that they're developing invulnerability when in fact they're simply refusing to take risks.  If I refuse to enter into a relationship because I feel I may get hurt, I'm not showing strength-- I'm merely allowing my vulnerability to get the best of me, and not trusting my strengths to get me through the difficulties that my vulnerability will allow.  Many people become defensive as soon as they feel vulnerable, instead of acknowledging that vulnerability-- they attack the person who makes them feel vulnerable instead of facing the way they feel head-on.

Neither approach leads to growth or learning.

We are vulnerable because we are human.  The sooner we admit this fact and deal with our vulnerability for what it is, the sooner we can get on with making ourselves the best versions of ourselves that we can be.

Questions to consider:

Why is it so scary to feel vulnerable?

What may be some of the benefits of accepting and embracing our vulnerability?  What may be some of the drawbacks of not doing so?

Why do so many people try to convince us that we shouldn't let our vulnerability show to others?

For further thought:

Sometimes we must yield control to others and accept our vulnerability so we can be healed.

Kathy Magliato

more on vulnerability



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