The Importance of Vulnerability

Telling someone to be vulnerable these days is almost like swearing at them, seriously! I don’t know what it is, but everybody is walking around with a shield of armour. Nobody wants anyone to get too close, I don’t even think they get close to themselves. The facade is alive and well and so many are living fictitiously with one ‘perfect’ Instagram photo at a time. I think we have grown to love Instagram so much simply because although we know so much of it isn’t so ‘real’ it fits well into our own fable of a life we have made for ourselves; or what we want others to see.

I am not saying that beautiful picture that captured a moment in your life isn’t real per se. I am not saying that there’s something wrong with taking photos of your life’s moments. I am just using Instagram as an example, a metaphor, if you will, that perfectly highlights the state of our inability to be real and vulnerable. It’s another mechanism that aids in our aim to be less than ourselves and more of something else so no one really sees us….no wait, feels us. It’s another way for us to control perception and hide our true existence. A picture says 1000 words, doesn’t it? But it doesn’t say how shit you feel that day, I can’t feel how happy you are or in love or lonely or afraid. I just know, like a perfect picture book, it looks good on the outside, therefore I try to attach a feeling to what I see. But as we know, the blind illusions that we think we are masterfully depicting to one another will wear us thin. We all do this, don’t we? What others see is far more important than what they feel and what’s true. We spend a lot of time, so much time perfecting this protective identity.

Let’s move beyond our phones and get personal for a minute. When’s the last time you sat in a room, full of people you didn’t know and actually took the initiative to get to know someone new? If so, in those interactions, what did you share? How did you feel? Let’s take it another step further. When’s the last time you had an honest conversation with a friend(s) about how you’re feeling? Your passions? Your worries? When’s the last time you felt so vulnerable, perhaps it made you feel scared and too open? Raw like an open wound. Ask yourself, if your friends were to describe you, what would they say? Would their description be a true assessment or would it match-up perfectly with what you have wanted them to see? More and more I ask myself these questions. More and more it has been my aim to connect with my friends in an authentic way. Shed a few layers of skin; be vulnerable. Why? Because it’s quite exhausting and emotionally depleting connecting in a way that we aren’t meant to; void of connection, void of feeling. It leaves you feeling lonely and isolated. The sad part is, we have control over this. We have control over how we create meaning and joy in our lives and something as simple as vulnerability is the key to this. Knowing that you don’t have to be perfect. Knowing that you can say I love you, even if that someone special (in your heart) doesn’t say it back. Knowing that you can lead with your heart so people don’t just see you they feel you. Letting people inside, as scary as it may be, is important because it just enriches your being, it’s a gateway to inner strength and self-love. How do you really expect anyone, to get to know you if all you do is build walls that are hard to permeate? Walls that are although, shiny on the surface lead to nowhere very fast. Also, ask yourself, how is this working for you? Really?


 

No WIFI

 

I know I haven’t always been like this; annoyingly vulnerable. I know things happen in life that shows one that piercing sting that comes with vulnerability. I can think of quite a few moments in my life that have made me afraid to let anyone get too close. Then I think of those times and say well, there is something to be said about really ‘feeling life” living it. There’s no joy in just going through the motions, keeping people far enough; just not too close. There is something freeing about being open, you feel unbridled and unburdened by yourself. Which is why, I would say for a quite some time now, I have lived happily with my vulnerability and being as authentic as I can be at any given moment. It’s not a comfortable way of being because of the criticism and rejection, if you experience it, cuts a little bit more. But I want you to know, the more in tune you become with yourself it gets a lot easier. Not the self you want others to see, but the self that goes home with you a night, the amazing person you often like to hide. You then realize that judgment from others doesn’t rock your foundation so much because you have stepped into the realness of being you and this is the most freeing and comforting feeling. There’s strength in vulnerability. You’re not weak. It’s courageous and it’s a way of being that gives life more meaning. We are not here to just simply exist. We are here to live authentically.

To feel life, this life, is to know life the way you are meant to. All of it, pain, laughter, joy, anger, every emotion; it’s magical. I know it’s easier said than done. If you need a good reference point. Spend an hour with a baby, there’s a sweet and honest kind of vulnerability. This is you, this is the foundation from which you started. So it’s not some strange particle beyond reach. You don’t need to read a self-help book. It’s already within you. You were born with it and you will die with it. You will either get to fully experience it your entire life or keep in buried within you. But your ability to connect with those around you with openness lives within you. That doesn’t mean you throw caution to the wind. I hope you understand the importance of trusting your instincts, your gut. Your instincts let you know when it’s a good idea and when it’s not an ideal situation.

When life presents you with the right moment or situation or people/person. This is your time to dig deep, be brave and let vulnerability and authenticity take the lead. This is your moment to let life give you what you want and need. Let life give you what you put out. If you want a happy life, a joyful life, love, you must cultivate it, you must harness it. This will only happen with openness and what you put out into the world. So let go a little.

 

 

Author Description

Hanifa Sekandi

Founder & Editor-in-Chief

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