A Post On Vulnerability

Lesson 81

Some may say that you don’t need anyone in your life; the more people you allow into your life equals more chances for pain. But this is not entirely true at all! Yes, the more people you have in your life might mean more opinions (in fact, it likely will) but that doesn’t necessarily mean more pain! Vulnerability is so important for so many reasons; but it is important to know when to show it – and also when to not show it.

Is It More Courageous To Show Vulnerability Than It Is To Show Strength?

In other words, does it take more courage to show vulnerability than it does to show strength, boldness, and fearlessness?

Let’s put this question into perspective. Let’s say you are a prisoner in a Nazi “boot” camp. Does it take more courage to show vulnerability or to show fearlessness in this particular case? Showing vulnerability and obeying the commands of the guards would be the easier thing to do, right? Remember who has the gun! I think that showing courage in what is right would be showing vulnerability as well.

However, let’s say that you had been a thief. Then you decided that being a crook was a wrong thing to do. So you decided to return everything you had ever stolen (true story, by the way. I know the guy). What would take more courage – to return the items secretly and anonymously (showing fearfulness while returning stolen items) or to return the property and say that you stole it (showing vulnerability)? I think it takes more courage to say to the person that you stole.

In both of those examples showing vulnerability seemed to be the more courageous thing to do. When you show vulnerability, you are opening yourself to judgement or ridicule, but ultimately, hurt. That’s why showing vulnerability is such a courageous thing to do.

If it’s just a matter of being vulnerable about your emotions, to say that you were offended might bring people to call you a wuss; but all the while, you could have just shown the appearance of dismissing whatever it was that was offensive.

Vulnerability is so important because without it, sometimes there is no healing. Even if someone accidently offended you, you could really be hurt. By showing no feeling you could end up in a relationship that’s not open and honest and end up damaging any relationship that you had already had with that person.

Does not nature itself teach that in order to have healing you must expose vulnerability? For instance, if you have a sliver you must first get the sliver out before it can heal properly. Another instance of this same idea or concept is when there is a rock, piece of metal, plastic, or wood lodged in the ground, you should first take it out before you can have proper healing for the soil in that area.

Here is a testimony of someone who realized that showing pain is important:

“There was a time when I would never shed a tear. There was a time when I would never let on that I felt fear. If something bad in life happened, I would show my face with the biggest smile, and nobody would know about it. If they did, nobody would realize that it even bothered me. I would be that bubbly, outgoing personality that everyone knew. I was tough. No one and nothing could break me. I didn’t need any one and I could look after myself. Why? Because I was strong. Nowadays, I look back at that girl I once was and realize just how wrong I was.”

~Maz Dela Cerna

Vulnerability is also so important because it helps people to trust you. If you are honest in the things that could hurt you, why wouldn’t you be honest in others?

So when should you not show your most personal feelings? When your uncomfortable? No, whenever you unveil personal facts it will probably be at least a little unnerving (though it might get easier the more you do it and with time). The answer is not completely clear; but I think that those who show voluntary vulnerability with you could be trusted.

With all this in mind, one should realize that by exposing the un-calloused places of one’s heart, there is a possibility for hurt and pain. I know people that have shared personal information with those whom they should have been able to trust; but were met with uncompassionate, apathetic, seemingly unfeeling hearts. However, this is definitely not the way that all people will respond.

In conclusion, I think that overall, it takes more courage to show vulnerability than it does to show strength.  Though it should not be forgotten that showing strength can be vulnerable as well. I know I am not alone in this belief and it seems that many subscribe themselves to the ideology that:

“Vulnerability is strength.”




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