Over the last couple of years we’ve heard a lot about becoming more vulnerable, especially when we’re talking about femininity. It’s generally understood that being vulnerable will help us to connect with our feminine nature…the question though is why?
What’s so great about being vulnerable?
It’s scary, it’s risky, it’s challenging and uncomfortable…so why would you want to do it?
Well as surprising as it may sound, allowing ourselves to be vulnerable can be one of the most rewarding and beneficial choices we can make.
Vulnerability is all about showing what’s really going on inside…good, bad or otherwise. So when we allow ourselves to be vulnerable, we remove our masks. Whether those are our masculine masks, our ‘it’s OK’ masks, our ‘I’ll be fine’ masks, our ‘no there’s nothing wrong’ masks, our ‘I can cope’ masks, our ‘don’t worry about me’ masks, or some other mask that we’ve put up to hide from the world, it doesn’t matter.
For that moment that we choose to be vulnerable, those masks come down.
Maintaining those masks when they are at odds with what’s going on inside takes a lot of energy. It’s exhausting pretending that everything is one way when the reality is something very different. Just keeping that mask in place takes a lot of effort.
When we allow ourselves to be vulnerable, we no longer need to expend that energy in maintaining the illusion.
When we choose to be vulnerable…we allow our bodies to let go
The other thing that wearing those masks brings us is tension…and a lot of it.
When you’re pretending life is one way, but in reality it’s something very different our whole body becomes tense. We feel it in our shoulders, our backs, our necks, our stomach. Our body is on high alert waiting for someone to see through the charade.
When we choose to be vulnerable, for that moment in time we can release that tension and allow our bodies to relax and just breathe a little. When we choose to be vulnerable, we’re more ourselves. We allow ourselves to be seen, exactly as we are. Nothing more, nothing less, just us.
…and when I say that we allow ourselves to be seen, that is as much by ourselves as by anyone. When we choose vulnerability this is one of the first steps to seeing the real us, the one deep inside that we might have forgotten is there. When we can see the real us, we can then begin to accept, love, appreciate and celebrate that person, exactly as she is, perfectly imperfect and beautifully human.
One of the fears of allowing ourselves to be vulnerable is that other people won’t like us, accept us or choose to be around us…that we’ll feel rejected. As Allison Armstrong says…be yourself, the ones who aren’t compatible with you will do you the favour of leaving! Why would you want to be around people for whom you have to pretend to be someone you’re not?
The beauty of this is that when you choose to be vulnerable the relationships and people who remain in your life are real. They are true. You know that they are choosing to be around you, because they know you, all of you, and they are choosing you.
Being vulnerable is a gift you give yourself
When we are vulnerable, we give permission to others to be vulnerable too.
When we let down our masks, other people feel that it’s OK for them to do the same. In an unspoken language we say, “I trust you to see all of me”, and in doing so you reassure them that you can be trusted to see all of them in return. In these moments we can create real, true, honest connections with other people.
When we are really being ourselves, when we are really being seen, when we are sharing who we are, we can connect at the most authentic and genuine level. Connections created and shared in those moments are the most powerful of all…because they are real.
When these connections are shared the most beautiful truth of all is revealed. We are not alone.
In these shared moments of vulnerability we recognise that the fears, concerns, self-judgements, worries and struggles that we face in our daily lives are not unique. In fact, they’re everywhere, and most of the people that we know are experiencing similar, if not the same, challenges.
We are all connected, we are all experiencing a similar kind of life, with similar ups and downs, similar challenges and similar experiences…and when we allow ourselves to be vulnerable we can see we’re in this together.
We go from feeling isolated and alone to feeling comforted and connected. We move from feeling challenged and confused to feeling supported and understood. We move from a single person climbing a mountain by themselves, to being part of a community of people all helping each other to move forward together.
A core aspect of femininity is the element of connection, community, relating to others, building and developing relationships and helping each other out along the way. When we allow ourselves to be vulnerable, we can create genuine, heart-centred relationships built on solid foundations of honesty and trust.
We give others the ability to show us that we’re not alone, that we’re in this together and that we are stronger together than apart.
So I invite you to join me next week when I will be sharing with you how to choose vulnerability in your life, what it looks like, how to approach it, and how to ease yourself gently into the water in a way that will help you to feel safe and supported every step of the way.
In the meantime, please share this article with anyone who you know could benefit from learning more about being vulnerable….when we understand it more, we can see that it’s really a gift that we give to ourselves.