The Strength in Being Vulnerable

Vulnerability: “The quality or state of being exposed to the possibility of being attacked or harmed, either physically or emotionally” (“vulnerability”).

There is a stigma that the greatest form of strength is when we sit in silence and proceed with our daily lives as if nothing is wrong. We chose to put a smile on our faces and hide our emotions because we associate being emotional with being weak. We chose to stay silent even when things are overwhelming and painful rather than speaking with others. We strive to appear as a fighter, someone who can persevere with ease and determination. But if we show any signs of vulnerability does that mean we lost the fight?

We fear vulnerability because we are taught to guard ourselves. If we do not let people in, then we cannot get hurt. The fear of rejection consumes our thoughts and holds us back; we would rather sweep our emotions under the rug than to face them head-on.

To me, vulnerability is a strength. It is the power to let go of control, to trust and to emotionally expose ourselves. I believe strength is being able to cry in front of someone and say how you are truly feeling. It is okay to let people in because it is when we let our emotions shine through that we are our most authentic selves.

I admit being vulnerable is very hard as I am not someone who lets people in easily. I rarely ever let people get to know me on a deeper level, and when I do, it still takes me a while to fully trust someone. I guard myself because I know what it feels like to get hurt. Opening up to someone and having them leave is excruciating, but we gain courage from these situations. We do not just learn to trust the person that we are speaking with, but we learn to trust ourselves and our instincts. Whatever information we were previously holding on to has now set us free. The fear of the unknown holds us back. How will people react if we tell them something really personally? How will they react when we open up about a past experience or even get emotional in front of others? When we let our guards down and choose to be open with someone, this is when we reach the zenith of our emotional vulnerability. Being vulnerable does not mean being weak, it means being strong.

Sources

"Vulnerability." Oxford English Dictionary, www.oed.com.go.libproxy.wakehealth.edu/view/Entry/

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