“What makes you vulnerable, makes you beautiful.” I heard this line earlier in the week while listening to an online presentation on vulnerability (link here) and had one of those Time Stops moments. With me writing about this now- days later- it’s obvious that this line has been on my mind. What makes you vulnerable, makes you beautiful. Do me a favor and think about this line for a moment or two.
Coincidentally on the day after I discovered this line, my friend, Matt, checked in with me and somehow our conversation led to him telling me, “You’re letting yourself be vulnerable.” To be honest, I think he had a more difficult time admitting my vulnerable side than I did. While he’s known me since my adolescent days, quite honestly I don’t think he’s fully able to see the “me” that I’m proud to say I am (now). I say this and openly stress that the “me” he’s always seen me to be never allowed herself to be vulnerable.
The thing about Matt is that he reminds me how far I’ve come- especially when it comes to the vulnerability I’ve been able to accept as of late. To be honest, I cannot pinpoint the moment when I let vulnerability overcome me. Perhaps that’s because there wasn’t (just) one momemnt. Looking back, especially on my last three years in Chicago, I’m pretty certain that many moments led me this recognition. Instead of one Aha! moment, there were several courageous days of guard dropping that brought this realization to me- the one person that needed to see it the most. In fact, the only person that ever needed to recognize and accept my vulnerability is me.
I used to run away. Matt knew it; I knew it; everyone knew it. I’d run so fast and so far that there was absolutely no way to turn back even when the regret set in. To tell you the truth, the running away before allowing myself a fair chance ended up hurting a lot more than any honest expression of feelings ever could. (Remember I said that, ok?)
I really have allowed myself to be quite vulnerable lately, which could be why I found myself struggling these last few months. (I just thought about that.) In two situations, I’ve been only slightly guarded and therefore, found myself being as honest with my thoughts and feelings. I’ve allowed myself to take some chances and put my vulnerable heart on the line. And as scary as it is, I’ve done this while being conscious that I may very well get hurt. But like I said, through the lessons I’ve learned from, it hurts much more to regret the chances you prohibited yourself from taking. So if the only way to live is to be vulnerable, then consider “Vulnerable” my middle name.