please do not mistake my vulnerability for weakness.

recently, i was talking to one of my best friends who like me, chooses to share a lot of her inner world publicly. she felt misunderstood when people kept offering her pity when she shared about what was challenging or hard for her. i could relate and i know that people are often just trying to help and show their care, but there is a rather harmful cultural meme that vulnerability is weakness and that is often where our desire to offer pity stems from. brene brown puts it so well when she says, “vulnerability is not weakness. and that myth is profoundly dangerous.” the reason i believe it is so dangerous is it keeps us separate and distant. as she says “the level to which we protect ourselves from being vulnerable is a measure of our fear and disconnection.”

it isn’t necessarily easy or comfortable to be vulnerable, but in my experience it is worth it. in the end it is always worth it, and dare i say in these times, i believe it is necessary.

so many of us are shutting down, withdrawing, pulling back and in. and i get it, i do. this can be a rather overwhelming world to live in. if you have been alive for more than a few years you have experienced hurt, disappointment and rejection. and wow, can that be intense. i don’t know if there is anything that can ever prepare you for pain. i am not sure if we are supposed to be prepared. and i don’t think it’s meant to be avoided.

as kahlil gibran says: “your pain is the breaking of the shell that encloses your understanding.”

he and many others say we must know pain and treat it with the same wonderment as joy. i love this notion and can attest that this is a way more graceful way to move through life and it allows for deeper self-awareness and alchemy.

emotional exposure will happen. it is not optional. as brene says: “our only choice is a question of engagement. our willingness to own and engage with our vulnerability determines the depth of our courage and the clarity of our purpose…

vulnerability sounds like truth and feels like courage. truth and courage aren’t always comfortable, but they’re never weakness.”

so please,
keep your mind open
keep your heart open
love first
and know,
your tenderness is welcomed here
your vulnerability is beautiful
you cannot live in the light by avoiding the dark
breath it all in and out
and show up, please
the world needs more people who live sincerely
it starts with me
it starts with you
it always starts with us
share yourself
and i promise i will not ever mistake your vulnerability for weakness

❤️ emily joy rosen

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