Vulnerability is the Gateway to Community
I have lots of friends. Some of these friends are closer than others. The fact that some are closer than others is quite fine. After all, one can only have so many close friendships. But, I am guessing that all of us have some friendships that should be closer than they are. There are probably a lot of reasons for this, but one of the main reasons is the lack of vulnerability.
Here is a simple fact: If you cannot be vulnerable, you won’t have deep friendships.
Think about it, friendships are forged in vulnerability. When I have a friend who I trust, I share my life with them. They know me better. We become closer friends. They share their life with me. I know them better. We become closer friends.
Now, we all have some friends who haven’t earned the trust that invites vulnerability. To that I say, don’t be vulnerable. Go find yourself a better friend.
But, I would guess that in most cases, they are trustworthy. It is you and I that are afraid to be vulnerable.
I am sure we have good reasons to hide ourselves. These reasons are probably deeply rooted in our broken view of ourselves and the shame we carry from our past. But it’s that shame and that past that keep us from deeper connection with other human beings. And last time I checked, deep connection with other human beings is a pretty important part of being whole and being made in the image of God.
One of the best TED talks I have ever watched is by an author named Brené Brown called, “The Power of Vulnerability.” In it she explores, well… the power of being vulnerable. She says,
“In order for connection to happen, you have to allow yourself to be seen.”
Of course, when you are vulnerable you are risking something. But, the alternative is to be alone.
I am a believer that the reward here far out weighs the risk.
FYI: Brené Brown has written a book called Daring Greatly and it is based on the same content of her Ted Talk and is quite excellent.