To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything, and your heart will certainly be wrung and possibly be broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact, you must give your heart to no one, not even to an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements; lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket – safe, dark, motionless, airless – it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable…. The only place outside Heaven where you can be perfectly safe from all the dangers … of love is Hell.
C. S. Lewis
It was shortly after I started blogging that I had a realization about myself. I had written a post and noticed that I was “white-washing” the events of that post, because I was not willing to admit, publicly, the truth. It became a transformative moment for me. After some searching, I came to accept that if I was to be authentic, honest and true; not ashamed, secretive and hypocritical, then I needed to live in such a way that I would not need to apply white-wash. I decided to live so that I could be transparent.
It was initially difficult. I found myself confronting things I didn’t like about myself. I felt a lot of shame. But I’ve come to appreciate the awareness that resulted. And in sharing, I felt I achieved growth.
This past month the concept of vulnerability has been repeatedly drawn to my attention. My first response was that I had this under control. I am willing to be transparent.
I’ve become aware that I’ve been shielding myself, much like Lewis’s chest. For over a year now I’ve been working full-time with a team of really amazing people. They’ve been encouraging me to break out of the walls that I built while trying to survive. I’m grateful that my new “team” are amazing at gently removing the bricks of protection one by one. I’m also very grateful that even though I’m experiencing new moments of pain at the newly exposed points of vulnerability, that I’m also being shown how much more joy I can experience by breaking down the walls.
Is being transparent the same as being vulnerable? In this example, I say no. But being transparent is an essential element of being vulnerable.
Here is a TED talk about being vulnerable. One of the many”vulnerability” things brought to my attention this month.