I was recently asked to speak at an event. What did they want? Vulnerability! I really had to think hard about, “how much belly do I expose?” I’m ok with the stories I tell, getting real, revealing and playing in the space of the naked souls journey. Yet, it really got me thinking about the expectation that we should request or even ask others to be vulnerable with us. I think many are confused about what “vulnerability” is and the true connection it creates. (Wikipedia definition: Vulnerability refers to the inability to withstand the effects of a hostile environment. A window of vulnerability (WoV) is a time frame within which defensive measures are diminished, compromised or lacking.) So what we are asking is for others to remove their walls, reveal and get metaphorically naked for us. Seriously, have we earned this right? Are we prepared to honour this space, preserve it’s sacred ground and remove our own layers of judgement and defence?
There is an important difference between vulnerability and authenticity. Vulnerability is a state of authentic sharing that comes from a place of seeking and growing connection. There is a desire to be seen, heard and relatable. The intention is to build bridges between our hearts by removing the walls the shroud them from the danger that lurks in the dark corners of tough experiences. I do not believe that you need to get vulnerable with everyone. We are allowed to have privacy and to choose how much we share. Authenticity on the other hand (this very overused & subscribed to word) that essentially means REAL .. well spread that everywhere. BE IT, embody it’s very nature, this is the souls nectar meant to be shared with everyone. Show up, show off and show us that stuff you have, inside. Will this mean vulnerability? Sometimes.. but not always. Please stop asking, expecting and wanting vulnerability from everyone! Do you honestly have the capacity to hold space for that many souls? You can be authentic and share space & community with other people and choose to not be “vulnerable” with them. You can be real, you can be yourself, but you do not need to get soulfully naked with everyone. Permission officially Granted!
There is also a also a subtle but real difference between vulnerability and over sharing. Vulnerability is not a verbal vomit or tirade of your latest story, situation, break up or whatever is feeling plaguing to the perfect experience that is your life. This expression may feel vulnerable, it may make others relate, but once again examine the intention behind the “revealing”. Was the story saturated with purpose & message or was it a grasping at ears for the ego’s need for attention? Were your really creating a defence free environment for mutual sharing or just wanting to show off your bits?
Our hearts are not made to be held by the masses unless we are “highly evolved entities” sent to be this example, think Jesus & Gandi. What happens all too often is that we crave vulnerability from others from our ego not our soul. We want others to reveal so we can know they are like us, we stop feeling less than & we stop being intimidated. Now, If someone chooses to be vulnerable and deliver there heart exposed that is a gift and a privilege to witness. Examine the intention behind the ‘wanting’ of vulnerability from others, our own desire to over share and question “will this create authentic connection?”.
Look at your intentions! DEEPLY! Play with these questions and see what they REVEAL for you.
How can I create authentic connection?
Will this story & revealing build a bridge?
Has this person earned the right to see my soul?
Am I showing up real & authentic or am I oversharing for attention & shock value?
How would mutual vulnerability enrich this relationship?
You are worthy of your own discernment, your heart is worth being held by those that know how to hold it. Go Authentic Always & Go Vulnerable if it feels right to you and you know the space can handle the capacity of your Soul’s REVEAL.