I remember taking a course on children’s literature a year or so ago and my professor loved TEDTalks. She enjoyed showing us new inspiring speeches each week and having us think critically about them and ourselves. The first video she showed us was called The Power of Vulnerability by Brené Brown. Brown had been doing research for her PhD in social work when she had decided to look into what it meant for people to feel worthy – worthy of love, kindness, compassion, etc. In the end, Brown found that the people who felt worthy were the people who believed they had a reason to feel worthy. But it was more than this – these same people were also the ones who were vulnerable with their emotions and put themselves out on a limb despite their fear in order to feel something great.
It’s no secret that honesty and vulnerability kind of… well… suck. We compare love to heartbreaks and joy to sorrow because the times we have been the most vulnerable were the times we have received the deepest wounds. At some point, we stop trying to be vulnerable because building walls and hiding in our shells is better than risking being hurt. The truth becomes difficult due to its rarity to be told, and we lose the potential for joy as long as it means losing the risk for pain. But life doesn’t have to be this way.
We need to accept that we are imperfect people who will make many mistakes throughout our lives, and struggle is promised to us from the beginning. But we also need to accept that vulnerability is not a bad thing. Letting your guard down is how you let love in, and that should be embraced rather than feared. Be honest with yourself and with others. Maybe being weak is the key to growing strong.