Vulnerability kicked me in the zipper today.

I had an epiphany of a sort. To give you a little background, I'm a person who can barely read a sentence without my mind taking some sort of unchaperoned detour; will forget your name after 5 seconds; can never give you directions to my house using street names; has applied shampoo to my toothbrush; and without Google, my Google calendar, and my phone, would pretty much be an invalid. I do however, have a keen visual sense and when tagged to some sort of emotion, will never forget the image of your facial expression as you proclaim your absolute disgust of dark chocolate over 70%; your flailing hands as you re-enact fighting off hoards of other (equally) crazy women at a Black Friday sale for your favorite red blouse; clutching your iPad gleefully, as you play all 9 versions of Heartless (in a row); and you, flirtatiously tossing back your hair, knocking all 20 shots off a waitress' tray.

As I was streaming through a video of Dr. Brene Brown, explaining vulnerability, my tiny little brain replayed a bunch of comments made by myself and friends within the past year. It was weird - Rainman weird. I could see each person in slow motion, making their statements and gestures. One person apologized for a lesser crime, totally side-stepping the main infraction. Another person stated that, "we hit it off because I was vulnerable." Yet another made an adamant affirmation, only to give in to group think, a clear attempt to avoid being a black sheep. And in a disagreement, instead of hearing the person out and putting myself in their shoes, I chose to fire back with all guns a blazin'. All of these comments (in the context of each situation) have an element of vulnerability.

We tend to "numb vulnerability," as Dr. Brown describes, because it is often seen as a sign of weakness and when others exploit our vulnerability, we get burned; and certainly, no one likes either scenario. Right?

However, Dr. Brene Brown explains, "They believed that what made them vulnerable, made them beautiful," that "shame unravels connection," and "Shame - the less you talk about it, the more you have it." I paused the video here to let the statements sink in and to reflect on some of my past statements and actions. So if I put up my paper walls of courage, I'll look cool, courageous, and strong, and I won't get hurt. But, I'll forgo deep and meaningful connections and personal progression? I need to work on dropping my paper walls (that I and others can obviously see through), that really serve NO purpose other than aggravating situations, and hinder my potential(s). Obviously, one can't walk through downtown wearing nothing but his or her birthday suit but, vulnerability might not be a bad thing. What if we bolstered other aspects of our lives so that if someone did exploit our weaknesses it would be just another opinion or perhaps a chance to reflect (and improve if necessary)?  Maybe vulnerability isn't a bad thing, unless you're constantly running from it.


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