The gift of vulnerability

By Kanika Frings

2017-12-29

 

Inspired once again by Brené Brown´s talk on the “Power of Vulnerability”, i have chosen this as the theme for the month of December, last of 2017.

I think its is a great way to bring this year to a close, to talk about opening. To honour daring and whole-heartedness.

 

Vulnerability is a subject close to my heart, like Brené knowingly says, i believe it is at the core of any meaningful human experience, something i have had the privilege of personally experiencing more and more in the last years.

And more and more i have to agree that vulnerability indeed is a power.

 

It is that tipping point where the mask drops, where protection gives way to openness. “It is the crack where the light gets in.”

 

It is not that vulnerability is an attribute that comes to me easily or needs to be on display in any given situation, with whomever happens to be around.

It took me a long time to welcome opportunities to be vulnerable, to allow myself to surrender the armour and cherish this exposure.

Often it is an intimate happening, a standing naked in front of the mirror, without the customary layers that cover our imperfections and our shame.

Or simply looking at a loved and trusted person, openly, in the midst of deep desperation, tears pouring over your face, without explanation, without hiding.

 

When a safe space is given, I have come to love the moments in which you can look into somebodies eyes, utterly bare, stripped to the core.

Only to find that this core, once it´s shaking has subsided and no pebble of make-belief is to be found, holds tremendous strength and immense grace.

This is it´s power. Not a weakness at all, far from it, this is the usual misconception.

 

Yes, this is the core, the centre of meaningful human experiences. True connection to oneself and to others happen from this place.

It is raw and truthful and delicate and utterly beautiful.

I have never ever seen someone look ugly in this state. I cannot imagine this is possible.

There is courage and sincerity written on the face of vulnerability. Looking into somebodies eyes that has stripped themselves of pretence is like looking straight into the depth of their soul.

It is vast and magnificent and pure.

Paradoxically it seems the shame that we seek to hide with our protection strategies falls away when you can stand tall in it.

 

Have you ever notices somebody talking on stage that is completely nervous and terrified, but tries to override it, not wanting the audience to know of their insecurity, acting as if…? of course their body language and shaking voice will give them away, it can be extremely awkward for everyone involved, embarrassing to the point of painful to watch and endure.

Now if someone walks on stage and in all honesty says that they are shitting their pants right now and they weren’t able to sleep all night in fear of this moment, somehow there is a dignity in that, trembling or not, that as a witness you can’t help but honour and respect.

When there is no pretending it is hard to judge, and if you do, in my experience, it has everything to do with oneself and nothing to do with the other person.

 

This is an invitation to drop the masks more often and let ourselves be seen some more in our flawed and fallible humanness.

It is the most direct way i know to build bridges between hearts, and we sure could do with more bridging the gaps in this time and age of growing isolation and animosity.

Connection is the antidote, and vulnerability enables connection.

 

The link to Brené Brown´s talk is bellow, i hope it can be an inspiration to live a little more daringly, be a bit more vulnerable and therefor foster deeper connections in 2018.

 

I wish you a really great year.

with love,

Kanika