She didn’t quite know how to put her words together, but I could feel it at the tips of her lips… Oh no! I hadn’t thought through how I would respond if someone actually asked about my masturbation journey in person. Woah Mama! I wasn’t ready. Yet, here I was face-to-face and challenged with my own crusade of vulnerability. She gathered her words and it came out, “Why did you choose to write about that? and why were you so open?” There it goes… that million dollar question…. “Why do I choose to be vulnerable?”
Let me preface my response with this, being vulnerable is not easy for me. It’s actually very hard and yes, I am afraid of how people will respond. I’d love to throw my right fist up in the air, with the other hand on my hip, rolling my neck shouting “I don’t care what people think.” But I do. I do care if people are laughing, encouraged, upset and challenged by the nudity of my writing. So, let’s get to it…
I choose to be vulnerable because it helps me to step out of my shadow of perfection. It helps me to identify where I’m flawed, examine how I got there and then make strides to refine those areas of my life. It’s liberating. It helps me to combat my “fear of man.”And quite frankly, I value authenticity. When I am authentic, it’s an indicator that I’ve become comfortable with ‘this part of me’… and that’s attractive. Ironically, I also find peace when I confront the place in me that wants to remain unseen.
“In our anxious world, we often protect ourselves by closing off parts of our lives that leave us feeling most vulnerable. Yet invulnerability has a price. When we knowingly or unknowingly numb ourselves to what we sense threatens us, we sacrifice an essential tool for navigating uncertain times — joy.” -Brene Brown
For so long, and I am still growing in this area, I closed off parts of my life that have left me feeling “weak and exposed”– it was my way of “protecting myself.” I was defensive all the time and for no reason at all. I struggled with thoughts that I would be “judged”, that someone was “out to get me,” or that people hadn’t made themselves “worthy of my vulnerability.” Seriously? Rather, as I’ve let down my walls, I’ve found that people are drawing closer to me and joining me in this vulnerable place. I’ve stepped down off of my pedestal of perfection into a reality that makes me accessible. I thought people would point fingers and I’d be standing there squirming to cover my nakedness, boy was I wrong! I’ve actually had people open up to me with their “deep dark secrets”… and I’m learning more than ever that I am not alone in my experiences, my thoughts and my secret struggles.
Let me bring balance to the thought that vulnerability has only to do with “dark secrets”… it also takes vulnerability to share our heart’s desires… to my single ladies, it’s ok to desire marriage and to voice that out loud or if you don’t desire marriage, that’s ok too…. to my stay-at-home-moms, it’s ok to need a break from the children or from hubby… to my introverts, it’s ok to ask for your time of solitude…. to my extroverts, it’s ok to prefer the presence of people… to my selfie queens, vulnerability might be posting a bare face, filter-less selfie. Whatever vulnerability looks like for you… explore it… in it we experience risk and joy all at the same time!
It is my greatest hope that in sharing my life so candidly, that you would be encouraged to know that you are not alone. Life can be tough. We are communal creatures, we were not designed to live in isolation… we need people. If we can’t be vulnerable with ourselves, there’s no way we can be that with others. We have to be able to tell people, what you did hurt my feelings –or- I really felt loved when you did this for me. My most cherished relationships are with those people with whom I’ve been the most emotionally susceptible… I’m learning that it’s ok to be vulnerable.
“Through my research I’ve found that vulnerability is the glue that holds relationships together. It’s the magic sauce.” -Brene Brown
I’m challenging you to tap into that magic sauce, let your guard down and be vulnerable.
I dare you.
The Naked Writer
PS. Thanks for journey-ing through life with me! If you know someone who might enjoy this, share my heart with them and remember to subscribe so we can keep in touch (top right corner)! Oh yeah and comment (top left corner)! You’d be surprised how your comments encourage other readers— because other readers, do read the comments!
See you soon