Thursday, September 15, 2016

Vulnerability and weakness

For some reason I grew up thinking that vulnerability is weakness. I know now that it's not, and I'm working hard to change that. I don't have to know everything. I don't have to be tough and strong all the time. I can admit I don't know something. But, oh, it's so difficult when that old script about weakness comes roaring forth again!

So when I read in Brené Brown's book Daring Greatly that, in fact, we're more at risk of being hurt when we are not vulnerable, I sit up and listen.

She says that the word vulnerable is derived from the Latin word vulnerare, which means "to wound" and also "capable of being wounded." Further, she says that Merriam-Webster defines weakness as "the inability to withstand attack or wounding." So she concludes "...weakness often stems from a lack of vulnerability—when we don't acknowledge how and where we're tender, we're more at risk of being hurt."

I admire people who are open and vulnerable. It's one of the things I so love about Brown's books. She talks openly about the things that hook her and how she reacts badly at times to perceived threats. She's open about her failures. I admire that. But it's tough for me to do. And she says that's typical—we all love seeing truth and openness in others but we don't want them to see it in us.

Ah, more work to do, Sonia. There's always something more. But that's what keeps life interesting to a lifelong learner such as me. How about you?

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