“Vulnerability is the last thing I want you to see in me, but the first thing I look for in you.” (Brene` Brown, Daring Greatly).
First of all, how does one define vulnerability? I don’t believe it is just about sharing your life challenges with others; it is also about honesty between people: disagreements, calling people out and admitting imperfection in ourselves. So, who goes first? Who admits their shortcomings while staying true to their values before the other person reciprocates? If we always wait for someone else to go first, how do we get to the core of sharing the feelings we have about our experiences? Feelings are key! I believe. Finding them must be at the top of our list while pursuing our true selves and connecting with others.
What are your key values in life? What do you most want your life to be about? This is one of the few things we actually get to choose! Our decisions, responses and choices hinge on our core values. So what are yours? What are mine? Do we actually practice these in our lives? I need to define mine. Do you need to name yours?
I know I often fall short. That’s humanity, but our humanity can not be a place to hang our shortcomings; we need to own them, be accountable and make amends. Only through this process can we be truly, and sometimes brutally, honest with ourselves and others. Maybe honesty and authenticity aren’t part of your core values. That’s okay. We will all be different. I do think these are necessary, though, if we are going to have strong emotional attachments with others. When we venture out into that dark cold world and brush against connection, we need to know who our people are. I believe they need to share some of the same values as we do. There will always be differences that we can acknowledge and respect, but in general, I feel I, anyway, need the people closest to me to share my base belief system: Honesty, Integrity, Authenticity, Respect, Accountability, Personal Growth and Kindness.
But back to the beginning. Who shares first? How do we know we can trust someone who hasn’t shared and been vulnerable themselves? I think we share small things. Test the waters and weigh in on what we share. Our feelings can be fragile and sacred. We need to honour them–our own and other’s. Remember that we are all in the same boat. We can either risk vulnerability and connect or remain silent and distant. The choice is always ours. Check your own vulnerability radar and I will check mine. The responsibility of connection is ours and ours alone.
Maybe, it is the one with the most courage who shares first…
peace balance empathy