Vulnerability

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Today in my interpersonal communications class we watched a video by Brene Brown about making connections with people. Over the past six years she has been gathering data on what makes people form connections. Before I go into more detail let me just say I didn’t think I had any problems with making connections with people. I mean I have awesome friends, I’m not afraid to talk to people I don’t know, and I consider myself a pretty good listener. Doesn’t that pretty much cover it? The answer is no, not even close. By look at all her data Brene was able to conclude that the reason people form connections, ones that will last, are because they feel they are worthy of love and that relationship. So the reason I don’t have a boyfriend is because I feel that I’m not worthy of one? Isn’t my annoying complaints to my friends about how so and so is dating that hottie, all the rants about that hot football player, and figuring if my first name goes with his last name evidence enough that I feel I am worthy? I was blindsided by the fact that the reason many people don’t feel they are worthy of love or a relationship is because they are vulnerable. 

According to dictionary.com vulnerability is defined as capable or susceptible of being hurt. Ew who out there wants to be hurt right? But according to Brene, those people that embraced being vulnerable, or in other means saw their imperfections as their true beauty where those who felt they were worthy of a connection. Personally I struggle a lot with being vulnerable. I hate being susceptible to anything that may hurt me, such as getting turned down by a guy, being the first to say I love you, etc. I always look as my imperfections as reasons why someone will not like me instead of reasons why I stand out among the rest, assets that make me unique and therefore beautiful. Our nation today is the most obese and drug addicted in the history of the US and the reason for this is because we are trying to numb the pain we feel that comes with being vulnerable. Though I have never struggled with addiction or weight, I myself feel the weight of these painful emotions and want to quickly quiet them. In this world there is no such thing as perfect. If there was one ideal human that was perfect wouldn’t everyone else simply be imperfect in comparison then?

We all feel the pain that comes with our insecurities and the anxiety of trying new things or taking the first step in anything. After listening to Brene talk about vulnerability, I have discovered that it is the courageous who truly have the best relationships. They accept vulnerability whole-heartedly. They see that saying I love your first is a phrase they can and will say first, no matter if it is received back because that is truly how they feel. They take chances that expand their vision, making them feel and see things differently, thus making them more creative. After hearing this I took a step back and realized that I am severely afraid of doing things that may end negatively, such as telling a guy I like him, or going into a relationship that may not last for very long. I have this idea of perfection that is now clearly unobtainable. There is no progress without regress. 

All in all I came to realize that vulnerability is beauty. Throwing yourself into an ocean of unknown and learning to swim is what life is about. How will we ever learn or get anywhere without stepping outside of our comfort zone. As Amy Poehler once said: “Great people do things before they are ready. They do things before they known they can do it.” So by jumping into something you are uncertain about, exposing and opening yourself to others in a way that could bring about pain, but also love is the most beautiful thing to me. For what is life without taking chances, without trial and error, without a little bit of uncertainty?

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