Vulnerability is the birthplace of love, belonging, joy, courage, empathy, and creativity. It is the source of hope, empathy, accountability, and authenticity. If we want greater clarity in our purpose or deeper and more meaningful spiritual lives, vulnerability is the path.

-Brene Brown

In today’s culture, vulnerability is viewed as weakness.  In counseling, vulnerability provides a springboard for growth and self-awareness.

Brene Brown has a remarkable TedTalk on the topic.  It is twenty minutes well spent:

It actually takes incredible strength and assurance in self-worth to offer love with arms wide open, waiting for love to either be returned or rejected.  In rejection, strength is found in knowing who you are, what you offer to the world, and not needing others to return your offering to find value in yourself.  When love is returned…well…it feels pretty good.  However, without risking rejection, you may never find relationship.  Vulnerability carves the pathway forward.

Likewise, vulnerability removes violence and vengeance from the relationship.  Resentment and feelings of vengeance often come with rejection for those who turn their pain outward.  Vulnerability is having the confidence in yourself enough to know you are good with or without the other person’s acceptance.  Knowing you are good enough, just as you are, reveals power that doesn’t need to be expressed through vengeance or violence.

Ultimately, vulnerability leads to peace within, which is a sign of true strength.  It is hard and full of risk, but it is worth the risk.