Monday, December 30, 2013

The Courage at the Heart of Vulnerability

Why so often do we equate vulnerability with weakness or neediness or desperation? Are we so scared of opening our often armored hearts, that we are uncomfortable with those who dare to open theirs? Conscious vulnerability is not weakness at all. In fact, it is quite the opposite. It is not only courageous, but even more so. It is a divine power: the divine power of an open and touchable heart. If I live with an open, touchable, and therefore, vulnerable heart, I risk being hurt. But if I live life numb, closed and untouchable to protect my vulnerability, I disconnect myself from the flow and gifts of life. It takes strength and courage to live consciously with a vulnerable heart. Yet, to be fully alive and emotional vital, we need to take the risk of being touched by life and other people who are part of our lives. When we are brave enough to be vulnerable, we help create emotionally safe spaces that allow other people to risk being vulnerable too. The safer we make it for others to open their hearts, the safer a world we create for everyone. My colleague Jeff Brown writes, "Sensitivity is a sign of life. Better hurt than hardened. I bow to those who keep their hearts open when it is most difficult, those who refuse to keep their armor on any longer than they have to, those who recognize the courage at the heart of vulnerability. After all the malevolent warriors destroy each other, the open-hearted will inherit the earth." When we risk living with an open, vulnerable heart, we take a stand for creating an emotionally safer, more authentic, welcoming world when both we and others have the space to connect and be who we really are.

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