Vulnerability. My biggest challenge and yet my hugest desire. The thorn in my side.
How about you? Do you find yourself easily jumping into the depths of your thoughts and feelings with others? Or do you shrink back in conversations, simply searching for an opportunity to change the subject?
Wherever you find yourself, I wanted to share with you some of my recent revelations and my current journey of processing through this. I’ve been reading books on it, watching tons of talks on it, as well as doing some internal homework to realize some key truths.
COLD HARD TRUTH#1:
One of the things I’ve found to be true is that we miss so much of what we need because our unwillingness to be vulnerable about it. We must be willing to take the locks and chains off the areas that we wish would remain untouched and unseen.We must take which we wish to withhold and ultimately, expose it.
If we want what we do to be filled with meaning or purpose then the exposure of these areas is ultimately inevitable. It will have to happen. The walls will have to come tumbling down or for people like me, sometimes chipped away brick by brick. There are moments where I’d rather be building up my walls instead of chipping them down and moments where instead of opening up doors, I prefer to shut them closed. The analogy I feel most relevant to this concept is when people put stuff under the rug. At one point the rug no longer appears as it should since there are lumps under it. A rug with lumps in it is also not comfortable to lay on. Its noticeable. Sometimes you will need a friend to come over to your house and lift up the rug so you can put the objects under there where they belong. This is where I came to terms with fact number two….
COLD HARD TRUTH #2: The development process requires support. I’m no expert at this facet of personal development. It’s one that I have to convince myself to be intentional about. There are days that I end the day with my head held low in discouragement after failed attempts to be vulnerable and other days where I head to bed with a comfort in my spirit knowing I let all of my walls down and people in. Those most committed to personal development can often feel inclined to put all of the pressure on themselves to improve and be better; therefore, leaving room for more disappointments and discouragements when the mark is missed. That being said, when we do it alone and keep things to ourselves, we eliminate the potential of support from others. The desire of personal security rather than support, leaves one without connection which is the reason we were made! We were created for connection with God and with others. When we choose to avoid, we compromise and get a temporary sense of “safety” in our relationships instead of the fill we receive when we connect with others and with God.
I read a quote this week that said, “The level to which we protect ourselves from vulnerability is truly the measure of our fear and our disconnection.”-”Brene Brown
Somebody say DANG! This fact wrecked me but also encouraged me to adjust my measure.
COLD HARD TRUTH #3 Vulnerability is best done when in a community of people you trust and love.
The right community can remind us to keep these areas open. They can create a space of trust and safety and push for us to be more vulnerable when we need and keep us accountable for our growth. The purpose within you gets developed when you expose the areas which you feel should be avoidable.
I’m learning with all these truths to take it easy. Start with one area and don’t worry about unloading the whole luggage. Those that love you will be patient enough to wait and loving enough to encourage you to open up and grow yourself in the process.
Remember, growth doesn’t just happen in feet or lunges or strides….. Growth also happens in the centimeters and inches and sometimes crawling on your knees. Moving forward is the biggest priority in personal development. When you stop growing and you stop moving, you start camping and start rotting.
Keep moving my friend. Open up. Develop The Purpose Within.
Personal Development Questions:
1: What areas are you choosing to avoid instead of address?
2: Who is in your community that you can be vulnerable with?
3: Are you allowing others to hold you accountable to be vulnerable?
4: How can you improve in this area?