Does it make you weak to be vulnerable with yourself and others?
So often, we are scared to be vulnerable with those in our lives that are important to us. Dr. Brene Brown, PhD and LMSW, who has done extensive research on vulnerability, courage, and shame in people’s lives, says, “Vulnerability is the birthplace of connection and the path to feeling worthiness.”
Why are we so afraid of vulnerability and being our authentic selves to those we love and in therapy? So often, shame is a cloud that follows us and disconnects us from those we love. The Lord gave us others so we can connect, as it is “not good for man to be alone.” We are MADE for connection… look at our families, our communities, our society. The power of vulnerability and connecting with others is so important for our mental and physical health!
2 Corinthians 12:9-10 says this:
But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
The Lord wants us to feel the power and strength in being vulnerable in this life with those we love and trust, our counselors, and Him. This power of vulnerability leads us to a more fulfilling life by freeing ourselves from the weight we carry and releasing it to the Lord.
Unfortunately, society has taught us to be strong is to be tough and not show our emotions. This is not true! Even Jesus wept to our God in His most vulnerable state. When we stop ourselves from being vulnerable, we close ourselves off from true intimacy and connection with others, leading to the purest form of love.
Vulnerability is showing others our truest selves, honest, brave, and free. It tells the other person, “Here I am in all my glory, frayed edges and all!” and it allows the other person to accept you as you are, hold space for your truth, and say “I am here with you”. Being vulnerable is the bravest thing we can do for ourselves and with our relationships with others.
Brene Brown found in her research that those who felt they were worthy of connection experienced greater connectedness to others. Those who felt they weren’t worthy of connection felt greater senses of loneliness. Those who were okay with being vulnerable were able to take greater risks in their personal relationships, less afraid of the fall.
Being vulnerable is not oversharing details of your life with random people who you don’t trust yet. It’s not a guarantee that when you take risks you won’t fall. Vulnerability is mainly about finding those who are deserving of your trust and then taking that leap of faith to trust them and share yourself with them.
Ultimately, you can be vulnerable by being courageous and leading with your heart. Bonus- you can work on this in a judgment-free zone in counseling sessions to practice.
Written by our counselors to help promote your help, hope, healing