Are you holding back in sharing your heart with others? Do few people know your greatest struggles? I believe your struggles were chosen for you and through them you will be strengthened for others.
People from all around the world are sick of liars and short on trust. Most people have been hurt many times in their lives. They are done with it and have made their circle as small as possible to not get hurt again. Then they cross paths with you.
How do we go deep in relationships? How do we peel back the layers in other people’s lives in order to develop long-lasting relationships that are rewarding.
Vulnerability is the key. Without vulnerability, there is no way to see what is inside another. Without vulnerability, the walls between us and others remain. Without vulnerability, we are unable to truly help others but will always remain distant and lonely.
In western culture, we set up professional walls. As a nurse, doctor, therapist, psychologist, psychiatrist, we are taught to not be vulnerable. This is often seen as unprofessional or crossing the line. But, the greatest professionals I’ve met in life are those who were willing to be vulnerable.
How do I do this? I have chosen to be honest about who I am, what I like and don’t like, my pains and then path to healing. That honesty frees me from my people-pleasing-burdensome-past. I am free to be me with many people and let them chose to walk with me or not. Through vulnerability, I have seen lives around me change for the better. I hear of lives touched. This motivates and encourages me to keep going.
Its like I discovered a hidden medicine that no-one has seen and is too expensive to buy. Why is it expensive? It costed me blood, sweat, and tears. But, all of that was for nothing if it doesn’t pour out to heal others. Now the pain was worth it! How can you be more vulnerable? By taking the first step.
Yes. Hurt people hurt people. But, I have experienced way more joy than pain from relationships in my life. There are times I have wanted to shut people out due to pain but I healed. I chose to not live that way. I am so glad I made that choice!
Here are some relationships awaiting you:
Our children are watching us and its my desire for them to live a life of happiness with fulfilling relationships. My kids meet so many strangers in life. We make friends with people from around the world, all different cultures, religions, and walks of life. I am an example to them of being vulnerable, hospitable, and caring to bring new relationships in.
Why are people afraid to be vulnerable? Mostly fear of rejection and pain. Fear of losing respect or looking like a fool. I’ve experienced it all and can say that I have had times feeling awkward in conversations as I have shared and they did not. But, I have had many more opportunities to help others than I have experienced embarrassment.
Therefore, don’t give up on people.
Vulnerability is not complaining, brewing, gossiping, or venting. All of these activities are emotional drains on yourself and others. Be vulnerable BUT do be positive about the things you have endured in life. Nobody wants to hear another complain. You can present your struggles in a way that is hopeful, even when you don’t feel hopeful. You can present your struggles without complaining. Mention how you see your pains as helpful and healing to others. You can see changes in yourself from the difficult experiences. Positivity is important for us and others. This helps in healing as we verbalize the good in the tough times.
I have a lot of friends. I like having a lot of friends. I like people. I think good relationships are the key to happiness in this world. Therefore, I use vulnerability wisely to open the door for more friendships in my life. Friendships are not a burden for me. Some feel that they only have time for a small circle but I have found that this is not true. True friendship that includes vulnerability lasts over years, distance, even hurts and misunderstandings. Don’t carry that burden but release yourself from the idea that those who hear you must like you. If one rejects you, there are 10 more ready to accept you!
Peace. Peace with God and peace with others. You will find a fresh new purpose in your life as you walk others through their pains.
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so we can comfort those in any trouble with the same comfort we received from God.” 2 Corinthians 1:3–4
I’ve mentioned this quote before, but it is so good that it is worth mentioning again:
“Other people are going to find healing in your wounds. Your greatest life messages and your most effective ministry will come out of your deepest hurts.” Rick Warren The Purpose Driven Life.
In finality, vulnerability if done with positivity is not weak but brave.
“To be vulnerable is not weakness, rather it’s our most accurate measure of courage.” Brene Brown
Originally published at medium.com