Tuesday, May 21, 2013

A Penny For Your Thoughts

So there is this thing, this thing called vulnerability...

I have learned a lot about the action of it in drastic ways over the last year. I have become vulnerable and shared my deepest stories, thoughts, and dreams, none of which were easy to do. I have also witnessed the action of becoming vulnerable a few times in the last year. Each one was as deeply beautiful and wonderful as the next.

I felt the need to write this blog post because I have been watching a lot of TED talks lately and multiple videos have touched on this topic. One of these videos is linked here of a young woman, Sarah Kay, who discovered the power of vulnerability through the art of spoken word poetry. Her poems are beautiful and each one shares something genuine, and a piece of who she is. The video explains the power of her craft. I encourage you to watch the whole thing, but if you don't have time at least watch the first four minutes or so. The lessons in this video are a great intro to the following post.

So...

Vulnerability...

Vulnerability is defined as: the state of being vulnerable or exposed; capable of being physically or emotionally wounded.

Based on this definition, if you are anything like me you think "why on earth would you open yourself up to being exposed and wounded?" Its scary and its really really difficult to become vulnerable with others; I can tell you from personal experience.

Vulnerability has this weird power though. It so often works out that you don't discover this power and do not have the opportunity to share in it until you become vulnerable or experience someone who does. The power that I am talking about is a connectedness that you share with everyone who lets their walls down as you yourself do when you become vulnerable. When your walls come tumbling down you may not have the same or even a similar story to the person with whom you are sharing the moment, but if they know what that feeling is like, the one of becoming vulnerable, they share this unspeakable compassion with you. They may not even speak the same language as you, but they know you have a story that means something to you and your life, and they know what that feels like.

The moment of becoming vulnerable and sharing a large piece of yourself with others, whether it has been done once or a thousand times, never changes. This moment, this moment isn't comfortable, its scary and nerve racking, yet rewarding and unlike any other feeling in the world. This moment and the connection it creates between people unifies us because it strips each of us to our core. It helps others to identify with you, it makes people feel passion and compassion, it creates courage, it can produce the universal languages- tears and laughter; vulnerability creates an unspoken bond between humans. This is beauty...this is true peace at its very finest. It is how God meant for humans to interact.

So, no matter where you are in life, what you are doing, or who your are, the next time you have the opportunity to become vulnerable, I challenge you to do so. I'll be honest, it will be though, but it will also be enormously rewarding. I ask this as not only a challenge, but as a favor. It would be a favor because I am someone who believes that there is peace somewhere inside all of us, and this is just one small step in acknowledging it in ourselves and others. I believe vulnerability is a step in making the world a better, more peaceful place.

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