The Vulnerability Movement

Risking ourselves for authentic connection, healing, love and transformation

On July 22, 2014, my husband’s heart stopped beating. It was sudden, unexpected, and irreparable. He was 38 years old. I was 36 weeks pregnant.

The following week, I gave birth to our daughter and embarked on the journey of a lifetime. With death in one hand and life in the other, I dove into a grieving process that was both heartbreaking and heart-opening, both excruciating and exhilarating. 18 months later I emerged from the other side, and I am here to share my story.

What comes next is always a mystery. Our lives are written and unwritten. Our stories are largely up to us, and yet at some point in our lives we are faced with the realization that the big things are out of our control, and that we are inherently vulnerable simply by being alive.

I have decided to embrace this vulnerability as the key to courage, authenticity, connection, and freedom, and in doing so I have transformed my life.

What people don’t know when I tell them my story, when I share my pain and my struggles, my fears and my triumphs — is that they, in that very moment, are helping me to heal.

Nothing is more powerful than true connection, the authentic exchange and sharing of ourselves with those around us, risking judgment, risking identity, risking certainty. This is vulnerability, and it is the key to authentic connection and wholeness. It is the key to healing, love, and transformation.

It is my mission to create a movement towards vulnerability, not only in the choices we make, but in the words we speak through our hearts. I want to inspire humans everywhere to embrace vulnerability and risk self-expression, so that they can connect authentically with themselves and the world around them.

You don’t need a life event like mine to acknowledge the need for healing. We all, at some point in our lives, have known suffering, and unless we have pointed to it and talked to it and somehow released it into the world, it is still buried within, holding us hostage, waiting to be uncovered and brought into the light. The transformative process that awaits is available to us all.

So where do we start, and what is the path forward? I have been pondering this question daily, unable to come up with the clear-cut solution that my perfectionist mind demands. What ultimately emerges is that there is no single path forward into the arms of vulnerability. This a deeply personal journey, obstructed by a lifetime of fear, doubt, and shame, and we all must find our own way. I am simply here to support, to facilitate, and to demonstrate — by actively tackling my own fears and fumbling through the darkness — that stepping into vulnerability is worth it. That the price of keeping ourselves hidden from the world is too high to pay.

The greatest gift we can give the world is our whole self.

Please join me.

www.thevulnerabilitymovement.com

www.facebook.com/joannechang.writer/