It increases the depth and quality of connections that we create.
The act of being vulnerable requires us to connect in to ourselves; we come to know more intimately our deepest desires and feelings. As we share with and open to another, we then come to know ourselves.
The space that exists between us (an entity known as ‘our relationship’) hungers for this act of vulnerability.
Vulnerability feeds it by allowing and enabling us to be in touch with who-we-really-are. Each and every time we open to one another we carve out more and more possibility. We get bigger, and the relationship gets bigger. Vulnerability is one of the essential nutrients for relationship.
The act of becoming vulnerable is a powerful creative act; we re-create ourselves and in fact everything that our vulnerability touches.
Vulnerability as a seed of innovation and change
Creation and innovation require a fusion of two or more prevously disconnected entities – each becoming intimate with the other; the heart of intimacy being cloaked in vulnerability. How else then can we create or innovate, except through the risk of vulnerability? As we share our secrets, our ideas and our dreams, we engage in the act of creation.
We choose to share a fear. In the shared holding of that fear, its razor sharp edges are blunted and no longer cut our soul so keenly. The critical inner voice becomes softer. The intimacy of risk and empathy.
We might share some thoughts with a colleague who builds on it and together we create something new. The intimacy of ideas.
A realisation that we have hurt another. We apologise, and strengthen the relationship. The intimacy of deep caring and humility.
We may think that our unwillingness to be vulnerable with each other means we miss opportunities to be closer to others; which is true. Doing so can be so frightening for many of us that we often decide that this is a price we are willing to pay. The true cost however is so much bigger.
The choice to be vulnerable does provide us with real access to each other, but more importantly it gives us access to ourselves.
As we become more practised at the art of vulnerability, we learn to bring wisdom and discernment around who to reveal ourselves to, and what to reveal. But we must be careful not to err too far on the side of withholding.
Embracing what is most human
Human beings are social animals wired for connection. When we choose to remain alone, we ultimately betray ourselves.
If we desire more of each other (and more of self) we need to find the courage to be vulnerable. If this is important to you, the queation is this: How can you create the conditions within your relationships for this to blossom?
And first, how can we create these conditions within ourselves?
Hilary Jackson 2013