Friday, April 24, 2009

Vulnerability


I am learning one of the dangers to stepping up and being fully present. When I am completely on the edge of my growth, I put myself in a bit of a vulnerable position. Just keeping a blog going means my beliefs and insights are subject to scrutiny. Someone can come along at any time and point out a flaw, notice a blind spot, or just criticize to play out their own drama. That possibility could be a really convincing excuse to hide out in the safe area of stagnation and complacency.

But there is something invigorating about being engaged more fully in life, in stretching to 100% of my potential and pushing against that edge. Part of it comes directly from being vulnerable I think. Not just existing in a state of vulnerability, but actually staying on the edge when the flaws get noticed or the criticisms are hurled.

I learned something about the word "vulnerability" from Ann McMaster, who learned it somewhere along her own remarkable journey. Although we often think of a vulnerability as a weakness, in actuality it conveys a position of strength. It means "capable of being wounded." The more I think about it, the more comfortable I am with its connotations: I can be wounded without it crippling me. I do not have to be defensive. I can grow from whatever I see in the mirror of other people's reactions and responses. Being vulnerable means that I am ready and willing to keep growing.

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