For the past few months I’ve been hearing so much talk about vulnerability. After the amazement of Brene Brown’s Ted Talk on the subject it seemed everyone wanted to understand more about what exactly was vulnerability and how important it was in our lives.
This past weekend I went on a retreat with a small group of people. I had been looking forward to this trip for weeks knowing that I needed it for some relaxation and renewal. Little did I know what kind of a breakthrough I would end up having. On the second day of the retreat, after lunch we were listening to one of us share our life boards with the group. It was my first time hearing about a life board so I thought it might be similar to a vision board. What it ended up being was a board where you place (written on sticky notes) major events in your life that have brought you to your current place in life. Forget about trying to sugar coat any area of your life to make it seem like you got it all together, that’s not what we were there for. The purpose was to be real, raw and yup you guessed it-vulnerable. (Oh lord!) On the first night when I found out we would all be creating one and sharing with the group as the weekend progressed I honestly was like noooo… I’m not ready for that! You mean to tell me I have to tell you the most life changing, heartbreaking, challenging, and tear-jerking events in my life since birth without becoming a complete puddle of tears when sharing all this with you. Keep in mind my boyfriend David, was use to this since he had been attending bible study with the group for a few months now, but me? I was not.
Back to the second day, as I sat there listening to her life story, I kid you not all I wanted to do was burst into tears! I wanted to do the ugly cry if you know what I mean! The type when you can’t make eye contact with anyone cause you’ll start crying. She shared with us how she almost died giving birth, how her marriage had fallen apart, and so soo much more. I was amazed how she could stand up there sharing with the group all these major events without herself turning into a puddle of tears. I thought to myself oh god why I’m I so emotional today! Why do I feel an overwhelming amount of emotion right now? I don’t want to suddenly start crying and have everyone ask me what’s wrong? When I myself didn’t understand what I was feeling.
As she finished sharing her life board one of the members of the group stated how we should all go around sharing something great about her. As we went around the table and finally it was my turn I couldn’t even open my mouth to speak because all I wanted to do was burst into tears. Now felt even worse. A few of us decided to go take a walk outside on a trail nearby. All I wanted to do was to go to my room, lay in my bed, and cry my heart out. Unfortunately, I felt I needed to hide my emotions, so I just simply sucked it up and went. As we started to walk the trail minutes later it started pouring down. It began with a sprinkle but then pouring rain. Seemed as if the Universe was trying to tell me something! Keep in mind I was suffering from the flu all week so I already wasn’t feeling my best. Things happened and David and I decided to go back since it wouldn’t be good for me to get poured on. Rain poured down on us hard, suddenly a snake passed right infront of us. That’s it! I can’t take it anymore! We walked and I no longer could hold back the tears and I bursted into tears. Not sure what David was thinking he probably thought I felt miserable because I was sick and getting rained out, but oh no it was soo much more.
I told him how I was feeling, and I talked to another member of the group and cried a lot. Like a lot a lot. Ahh it felt so great. The next day and the final day of the retreat I knew I needed and wanted to share with the group how I was feeling. I knew that there would never be a safer environment to do so, I felt at ease. One member of the group who I had talked to the day before finally turned to me and asked “So Martha, what has been going on with you this weekend?” Glad he pushed me to finally open up.(thanks Josh!) I began to tell the group everything and felt so relieved and honestly at peace that I had made this discovery.
Friends, if you struggle with being vulnerable I hope this story can help you open your eyes about what being vulnerable as a human being really is all about.
Here are a few things you need to know about vulnerability:
- Being vulnerable isn’t a sign of weakness it’s actually a sign of courage. It takes courage to fully open up to another human being.
- Find a few like-minded souls that you will be able to completely open up to and be vulnerable with. much. Surround yourself with people that are like-minded when it comes to vulnerability. I believe for the most part when you meet someone and get to know them you can see their true spirit. Stop caring so much about what others might think of your vulnerability. Trust me the right people and the ones that are meant to be in your life will love you for it.
- Practice being vulnerable. Do something today that will force you to be vulnerable. Don’t be afraid of being “seen” by the world.
Vulnerability will set you free. After this weekend’s retreat, I realized that the reason I was always easily stirred up emotionally wasn’t only because I have such a great deal of empathy but because I held in my emotions and wouldn’t allow myself to set them free. Now next time I have a deep conversation with someone, I’m a witness to something beautiful or any other time I feel deeply moved by something and feel tears coming on I won’t hold back.
It’s a work in progress, all life is a work in progress but now the beautiful thing is I know what I need to do. I hope my story will help you discover what you might need to do as well on your journey of vulnerability. <3
Wishing you happiness, success and a lifetime of bliss!