I’ve been thinking a lot about vulnerability lately, and I have come to the conclusion that vulnerability is a real life super power accessible to all of us at any moment.
It’s like magic.
When you find people who you can be totally comfortable around, and truly vulnerable with, that’s when you’re life starts to change for the better. Hard times become more manageable, and possibilities start popping up left and right.
I know this because I’ve experienced it.
The truth about vulnerability though, is that it’s like a muscle you have to exercise daily if you want to see continuous growth. You can be vulnerable once—and even just once is amazing—but one time isn’t enough to keep the magic that follows vulnerability flowing. To be vulnerable in your daily relationships is a lifestyle choice that you have to choose every morning when you wake up.
There’s two side to the sword, though—and the other side of this very sharp vulnerability sword cuts.
It hurts when you’re being courageous and vulnerable, and it’s not received so well—it seriously hurts, people. That cut, cuts deeep. So deep that like with any other wound, you need to suture it up…. You become closed, covered, protected….that’s what needs to be done to heal a wound, right?
And have you ever thought about a healing wound? When you think about it you’ll make the connection that most people are ashamed of their healing wounds—yet proud of their scars. People rarely let you see their pus-filled gash…and if they do they preface it with, “Prepare yourself—this is going to be disgusting.” Then they let you sneak a peek, and just a soon as you get a glance they cover it back up. Ashamed.
But when that putrid, gross gash does heal over, and scars, then it’s a tale to tell around a camp fire. Like a badge of honor. Something horrible happened to my body and my body healed! Look at my scar! Here’s the proof!
Vulnerability, to me, is deciding to show people your unhealed, pus-filled wounds in hopes that whomever you choose to share with wont turn their head in disgust.
And by wounds I’m talking about emotional and spiritual wounds. Wounded thoughts and beliefs that are covering your heart and mind. They can be your fears, your truth, your worries… concerns…insecurities…secrets—that list can go on, and on, and on. It’s personal to you.
But basically, it’s anything that you’re afraid to share–you’re afraid of how people will judge you for your truth or fears—or afraid if you open up to someone that they will try to talk you out of your truth. Not everyone’s truth is pretty. Sometimes peoples truth are really, really hard to accept, actually.
But here’s the truth about your truth—-even when its not real to someone else in your life, it’s real to you—and for that reason alone—it matters.
So lets back up…I’ve been totally open and vulnerable in my life before and its been received really well—amazingly well actually. Magical things have come out of me being vulnerable.
But, I’ve also been cut by that double edged sword. I was courageous, honest and oh-so-vulnerable, then worst of the worst happened–my biggest fear. Which was: People that I love and respect have turned their head in disgust at my truth. Judged me for it.
…And it stung.
Theres no sugar coating it.
So, this stingy place is where I’ve been for awhile. It made me clam up—I took a step back and stopped that vulnerability nonsense– for a few years, actually. I’ve been actively coving up my wounds in hopes they would heal faster without sharing too much to anyone.
And maybe this is just me, but I feel like if I can’t talk with people about some of the most important stuff that makes me me…well, then I don’t really want to tell them anything at all. I literally don’t know how to tip-toe around my life story and big experiences. I don’t see the point. Small talk/chitchat?? No, thank you. Not my thing.
While the above is true, of course I have many things I consider sacred that go unshared, and I also believe people don’t need to know everyyyyy little detail of every story—but, for the most part I’m an open book. And isn’t this the point of life, guys? To share? Connect? I think so.
So here is where I’m going to talk about social media; this matters because this is most likely the vehicle in which you’re reading my post right now.
Social Media is a way of life. Whether you like it or not, it’s staying. It’s how I talk to my grandmas, parents, my kids, pizza delivery man, and everyone in between. And, guys, let’s face it…. this newish way of life is a strange one.
It’s strange because we live in a time where if your skinny on Instagram and happen to have kids, then your considered a good mom. If you wear cute outfits, and if your house is beautifully designed with expensive furniture, then you’re thought to have your life all together, and basically know the secrets of the universe. If your bone structure (in which you have no power, control, or choice over) aligned perfectly at birth, and your face comes out symmetrical and beautiful, then you have more people who like you and think you’re interesting.
All weird stuff, right? But take a look for yourself….It’s pattern, and once you see the pattern you simply can’t un-see it.
It sometimes feels like this is the sort of stuff that people want from us, doesn’t it? They want to see your version of societal perfection, then they will love, envy, compare, and hate you for it all at once. One big, huge new (maybe not so new–just more in your face) social media emotion. LOVE/ENVY/COMPARISON/HATE all smushed into one feeling…we’ll shorten that mixture of emotions to L.E.C.H. for fun. LoveEnvyComparisonHate=L.E.C.H.
It’s so, so strange, isn’t it?
So with a lot of L.E.C.Hing going on in social media it makes sense that most people don’t feel comfortable sharing their healing wounds. Social media makes it easier for gossip, too, so we all become guarded of our wounds. We’re protective over our healing—as we should be-and cover them up. We talk about our new favorite Target find, what we eat, or best new concealer—all of which is important, guys, I love the merch knowledge and travel posts just as much as anyone else—but social media leaves me hungry for more.
It’s like an teeny tiny appetizer when you’re hunger has grown to want an entree sized meal.
Like I wanna knowwwww you.
So back to what this is really about. I’ve been covering up my wounds for the last few years. You know, keeping to myself. Healing…
…But now I’m ready to show you my pus filled gashes.
This is me telling you that I’m choosing not to care any longer. It’s me saying that I’m choosing vulnerability over the cool factor. It’s me coming to grips with the reality that I’d rather be vulnerable than liked, or pretty, or nice, or thin, or envied in anyway.
So, for 30 days straight I will share something about myself that I feel vulnerable sharing. I have no idea what is going to come up—I haven’t thought that far ahead yet. But instead of being scared of how whatever I choose to say say will be received—I’m just gonna do it, and not feel responsible for how others take it.
But I need you guys– and here’s how…
I want you to do the same. I’m going to call it The Vulnerability Challenge—because this. is. challenging.
I’m aiming to bring some of my truth, thoughts, and vulnerability forward for the next 30 days, and I want you guys to join me in this challenge.
Maybe you choose to do the full 30 days with me, or maybe you choose just one day—and even one day…well, thats a step in the right direction. Just be vulnerable back!
I want to feel that magic again like I used to, and I want you to experience it, too. It feels so good! You can write me a personal email or blast your vulnerable truth out on social media so we can all follow along if your courageous enough to do so . It doesn’t matter to me. It can be short and sweet, or heavy and deep—and everywhere in between.
And guys, a lot of my truth sounds something like, I’ like to eat cereal in my bed while I pretend I’m busy doing highly important work. So it doesn’t have to be as scary as you may be thinking… Yes, I know hiding from your kids eating food in your bed is hardly a big deal, but even that is kinda hard to say out loud…mostly cause it’s ohhhh-so-true. It’s me.
Like I said before, I’m hungry for it…and if I’m hungry for it, I know, KNOW that there are others people out there that are hungry, too. So, if you want to join me in this vulnerability challenge you can hashtag your stories or comments with #MagicOfVulnerability so others can follow along.
And please tag me on Instagram (@weslie_ ), so I don’t miss anything! I really, really want to read all of them.
One more thing for those of you who choose to take this challenge…It’s a promise to you from me…
I will not judge you. I won’t turn my head disgust. I swear this to you. Most likely, I’ll find some pieces of me in you, and in your story..whatever it may be…but just know I’m excited and grateful to hear from you already.