This topic keeps drawing me back in over and over again so forgive me if I sound a bit redundant here. First of all let’s define vulnerability according to Webster.
vul·ner·a·ble adjective \ˈvəl-n(ə-)rə-bəl, ˈvəl-nər-bəl\
: capable of being physically or emotionally wounded
So why would we even allow ourselves to be vulnerable in the first place if it means opening ourselves up to possible pain?
I love this quote by Brene Brown
“We cultivate love when we allow our most vulnerable and powerful selves to be deeply seen and known, and when we honor the spiritual connection that grows from that offering with trust, respect, kindness and affection.
Love is not something we give or get; it is something that we nurture and grow, a connection that can only be cultivated between two people when it exists within each one of them – we can only love others as much as we love ourselves.
Shame, blame, disrespect, betrayal, and the withholding of affection damage the roots from which love grows. Love can only survive these injuries if they are acknowledged, healed and rare.”
― Brené Brown, The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You’re Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are
I think when we choose to protect ourselves at all costs and close ourselves off to others we keep ourselves locked up in a prison of false security. This spills out into all areas of our lives. We choose unhealthy, superficial even abusive relationships over healthy ones because a healthy relationship must be built on openness, honest communication and trust. So we then have two people that are closed off and basically going through the motions. I have experienced this in various friendships and romantic relationships in my life. It feels dry, empty, superficial.
There is something very fulfilling and genuine about two people willing to walk in this type of authenticity that says”I trust you with my heart” I give you permission to enter into this sacred place. It then becomes mutual and the trust is shared.
Sadly we all carry scars from past battles and the temptation is there to run when a familiar feeling comes up or a trigger from the past. But to stay with it and walk through it, healing comes and bonds strengthened.
Sadly there are few willing to go there. We much prefer our prison cells, there we know exactly what we are going to get.
“What happens when people open their hearts?”…
“They get better.”
― Haruki Murakami, Norwegian Wood