Vulnerability: Being Broken Isn't So Bad

When I started this blog one of the things I talked about with Future Hub was how I felt about opening up a part of myself to for all the world to see (or at least my first few readers, including my Mom). Not everyone wants to put their thoughts and feelings out there and I have to admit that sometimes I feel stripped bare.

But then again, there's a reason I started to write in a public fashion. Well, a few reasons, including the fact that I felt I had a story to tell about a pretty tough time in my life when my body was broken. I learned quite a bit from my humbling experience – when I was frankly very vulnerable – and I thought that if I could help even just one other person it would be worth it. (If you're new to my blog, see the About This Blog section for some links that will tell you the whole story about how I wrestled with RSI/Muscular Imbalance.)

Turns out, being broken isn't so bad. In fact, I think that it's a starting point that we all need to have at some point in our lives to make us realize that what we fear most can certainly be painful and difficult but it's not the end and it's not insurmountable.

Vulnerability is what makes us human. And the one thing I've learned over the years that's been the absolutely most helpful is how vulnerable every single creature on this planet is, even when they seem 'fine' or 'perfect' or in fact, downright mean. No matter how tough and strong everyone else seems, you just have to flip them over to see that they've got soft, vulnerable underbellies just like you and me. (I don't actually recommend doing this in a literal sense, of course.)

As a young child in Sunday school, I never really understood the Beatitudes. How could I really, growing up in 1980s America? Blessed are the poor in spirit? Blessed are the meek? Being meek isn't a trait exactly valued in America generally, so I was puzzled how the meek were the ones who would inherit the Earth (not fair!).

Doing a quick Internet search (always reliable) this morning I got a sense of how widely interpreted the Beatitudes are, but for some reason when I thought about writing about vulnerability they sprang to mind perhaps 12 years of Sunday school does leave much ingrained in the subconscious.

Being vulnerable and poor in spirit and meek opens you up to things. It always seems that when I admit something I am scared to share or write a post in which I feel particularly vulnerable, that I get the most positive reactions. I think the key is that vulnerability is what connects us. It is competition and the perception of others' success as well as the veneer of everything being 'OK' and 'alright' for everyone (but us) that separates us.

Sometimes we are broken. But we are definitely not alone.

This post was written as part of the Self-Discovery Series, Word by Word. Karen from Before & After: A Real Life Story came up with the word vulnerability for this month, click here to read more about the series.

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