One of the important life lessons I have learned is there is power and happiness in vulnerability. Vulnerability in all areas of one’s life is liberating.
I was always the strong one in all of my relationships. For years I took pride in being the one who could seemingly handle anything. l was the one everyone ran to with their problems. I was the person everyone could count on when they were falling apart, but when I was going through a challenging situation, no one was there for me. If I began to talk with a friend or family member about something difficult that I was going through, I was brushed off. I was told things like, “If anyone can handle it, you can” or “I’m not worried about you. You are strong enough to handle it.” In reality, I wasn’t. When others assumed that I could weather any storm, I became resentful. Then I realized that I created those relationships and I taught my friends to expect only strength from me. I needed that same strong shoulder to cry on that I had so willingly given others. No one viewed me as vulnerable, and by being seemingly strong person, I had created one-sided relationships.
In every area of our lives we need the help, compassion, and love of others. I had mistaken vulnerability as weakness. Without being vulnerable, we create weak relationships and deny ourselves true and intimate connections. I have only recently embraced my vulnerability and by doing so, I have been greatly rewarded. By letting my guard down my friendships have gotten stronger. I am beginning to get the help and support that everyone needs in life. There is strength in being vulnerable.
In the next few posts I will continue to share how I have benefited from letting my guard down and being open to the help and support of others. I would like to challenge all of us to free ourselves from the burden of handling our own problems.