Letting go, opening up, being seen, allowing in. Very often it’s a difficult task to truly be open to another. When it comes down to it, opening up and allowing someone into your world requires you to be, you guessed it, vulnerable.
Vulnerability is defined in the dictionary as “susceptible to physical or emotional attack or harm.” Ummm, wow, so that sounds scary. I don’t know about you, but I wouldn’t sign up for a physical or emotional attack voluntarily. Perhaps that specific definition gives reason to why vulnerability is really hard for many of us. Yes, me included.
As intimidating as being open to another human being can be, what I’ve come to realize is that the benefits of “putting yourself out there” truly out weighs the risk. Yes, being vulnerable opens you up to feel a rainbow of emotions. Yes, you can get hurt. Yes, you can get rejected. Yes, you can experience painful and uncomfortable emotions when you show your true self to someone else. I cannot deny any of that.
Here is the glitch/deal: Without exposing yourself to the “ick” of vulnerability, you’re simultaneously denying yourself the dreamy, mesmerizing and magical feelings that being vulnerable can also cause. It’s a risk. It’s taking a chance. It’s trusting in something bigger.
So, to say it simply, you can either stay safe and what you see is what you get or you can take a chance. At the end of the day, which path are you going to grow the most from? Which choice is going to lead you to the life that you are looking for? This is not my question to answer for you. This is for you to answer for yourself.
I know my answer. What’s yours?
* The above image was taken by Ashley Williams, a San Diego based photographer.