Vulnerability is Haaaaaaard…
This past Wednesday night, at the women’s group that I so dearly love, the topic was intimacy, and the fact that, as Brene Brown has found in her over twenty years of research:
Vulnerability is essential for intimacy.
According to BB there can be no emotional, spiritual, or physical intimacy without vulnerability.
Vulnerability is haaaaaard (said in a teenage whiney voice)
It leaves you open to emotional annihilation.
We’ve all been there. You’re completely and totally won over by someone who seems to meet you at the steps of intimacy. They hold your heart with their slippery hands and you give that unreliable soul the keys to the kingdom, or as Elizabeth Gilbert wrote Friday on Facebook, the keys to a small hidden lockbox.
My girlfriends and I were talking about how all of us have a small lockbox hidden deep inside our souls, in which we keep the most fragile, frightened, innocent parts of ourselves.
If somebody loves you (and loves you WELL) they will come to learn what’s inside that secret lockbox of vulnerability, and they will be so careful to never use that information against you — to never manipulate your vulnerabilities, or mock them, or use the knowledge of your frailty as a weapon of power or diminishment.
My friends and I were talking about times in the past when we have opened ourselves up in love (or even friendship) to the wrong sorts of people — to people who found our most secret vulnerabilities and — instead of saying, “Oh, dear one, now that I know this about you, I will always protect you so carefully” — they said, “Aha! Now that I know this, I can really start messing with you!”
Then the betrayal happens, which along with the breach of trust and connection, is one of the major blocks to vulnerability.
I don’t think it’s any coincidence that we talked about it this week and she posted her amazing post about it today.
In living rooms, yoga classes and cafe’s all over the world right now, women especially, are craving intimacy and learning the role that vulnerability plays.
Society and certain jobs (military, law enforcement, hospitals) discourage it.
But we women are getting courageous. And we realize that we are desperately in need of more human connection.
We are ALL in this together, YOU ARE NOT ALONE.
Here’s another great piece of wisdom from Brene Brown:
When we loose our tolerance for vulnerability, we loose our tolerance for joy.
Because; we loose our courage to be joyful.
It is such a daring act, because it is so fleeting.
It is over in a minute or it can be taken away just as fast.
Think about that. We will sacrifice joy, in order to keep safe, the secrets in our lockboxes.
Bottom line…..life is fuckin’ risky.
It’s ALL a risk. Love, intimacy, vulnerability, connection, joy.
The whole shebang.
But it’s a risk I think we all should be willing to take.
Be kind to yourselves this lovely weekend.