Vulnerability as strength
My friend Ophelia challenged me to be more vulnerable. On social media and often offline, I project a strong independent appearance. This is truly part of who I am and not a front but I’m reluctant to show off my more vulnerable side. Who wants to be publicly vulnerable and open themselves up for attack or rejection? However that comes from a belief that vulnerability is weakness and this is false thinking. Vulnerability is actually a sign of strength.
So I took on this challenge which happened to be timed with recording the latest Goddesses Rising podcast focused on dating, relationships, polyamory and twin flames vs. soulmates. I hold a lot of shame around these topics mostly because I haven’t been the most “successful” in this area of my life. I’ve had a lot of epic fails and heartache, not unlike other single women (and perhaps men) in their 30s. It is a part of my life I like to hide because I can’t front like I’m strong or achieving or particularly skilled. Perhaps that’s because emotion has nothing to do with it and everything to do with vulnerability.
I decided to really share myself in this episode. I talked about using Tinder for hookups, dating someone who was wrong for me just to be with someone, and my weird foray into some sort of polyamory in my 20s. I shared that I’ve had soulmates who were (and are) important to me but that I knew wouldn’t be my lifetime partner. I also talked about loving myself despite wanting to be with my twin flame, and taking on celibacy because casual sex lost its euphoria. Whew!
I don’t know who has listened and because it’s the internet this conversation will live somewhere and be accessible at any time. That is the point, right? Though as people listened to the show, they’ve reached out to me to thank Angelika (my co-host) and I for having the conversation. I find this is the case anytime I’m vulnerable. People react with gratitude and not the disdain that I fear.
As Brene Brown, one of my favorite speakers on courage and vulnerability, notes: “Staying vulnerable is a risk we have to take if we want to experience connection.” To me, life is nothing without connection. In that spirit, here is episode 5 honoring Venus, the Roman goddess of love. I hope this opens the door for more story sharing and courageous, vulnerable conversations with our lovers, friends and each other in community.