April 27, 2021 Jo

On Vulnerability

Let’s talk vulnerability. Many of us consider it a negative thing. A weakness. But I have an anecdote I want to share with you about vulnerability.

I remember, being 12-13, really a vulnerable age, rife with insecureties. I was gangly, had glasses and the whole deck of braces… not popular at all. I wasn’t the “pretty girl”. My friends were the pretty girls.
I was the friend with the popular girls. And so I got to be in the inner circle but I wasn’t the “It girl”, at least this is my perception.

I had kept diary where I would just pour out all my nasty thoughts. If it had been a bad day, if someone had treated me badly, if I had felt left out, etc. It was my personal journal, and I told it all my deepest, darkest secrets. It was full of tween angst and drama. The stories especially circled around two girls I used to hang out with, a constant complicated friend-triangle where sometimes you were in, and sometimes you were out.

One afternoon I had these two besties over at my house.  Back then it was custom to ask your friends to stay in your room as you went to have dinner with your family (I don’t do this to my kids’ friends btw) but that’s how it was back then. So I went down for dinner and while I’m at dinner eating, these two besties find my diary. The super secret diary that didn’t even have a lock…

I had been a chicken

So I finished dinner, went back upstairs and one of them was crying and I just knew what had happened. You bet I was mortified.

But as I said down to comfort her, I also remember feeling a certain amount of relief because the truth was I had been a bit of a chicken about telling the truth. I had not dared to stand up for myself or telling it straight to their faces if I felt unfairly treated.

I remember thinking that my life was over, that it was the worst thing that could ever happen ever,
but somehow we got through it. I don’t even remember what happened next. All I know is I felt extremely naked and extremely exposed to the people I really wanted to make it with everyday.

By being vulnerable you learn about yourself

What can we learn from this? I learned that you can’t be chicken. Don’t stab people in the back – stab them in the front.  I think it’s fair to do a kind of release of all your thoughts in your diary or journal, but so be it. Either way, courage really is important to cultivate. And the truth is, if you don’t, there are so many opportunities in your life
that will pass you by; whether you want that job, whether you want that mate.
There are so many things that could have been if you had courage so if you find yourself being chicken like me, consider this:
Will you take some stock? Where are you not stepping in? Are you opting out where you really, you really know you should step in?

Vulnerability lets other people see the real you, but more importantly, it makes you see the real you. So I invite you now to get vulnerable. Even if it makes you feel naked and exposed.