When I hear the word vulnerability, it’s like someone said the word “moist.” It just makes me queasy and uncomfortable. It’s funny because I used to think I had no issues being vulnerable, but what I really found out is that I’m great at keeping people at an arms distance.
The act of being vulnerable is uncomfortable, and I’m really bad at sharing personal details about my life.
I know what you’re thinking. “Sydney, you have a blog… about yourself. What are you talking about?”
I know, track with me for a minute. I do have a blog about myself, but much of what I share isn’t what I would call vulnerable information. I am willingly sharing it because it doesn’t take much out of me to share it. I share it because I love writing. I share it because maybe it can help someone else. But rarely do I share it with the intention for people to know the real me.
So about this vulnerability thing… For years, I’ve been praying for quality people and friendships to come into my life. I’ve wanted support groups, accountability partners, people who can look at me and say, “You’re not acting like yourself, what’s up?” even when I put on the facade that everything is good. I’ve wanted people who could call me out where I fall short, help me as I move towards sanctification, and much more. Now, I’m finally in a position where I have those people, or I could have those people, but again, I keep them away.
I want you close, but not too close. I want you to know me, but only what I want you to know. Really I just want to be the introvert that goes to a coffee shop to be around people but doesn’t actually want to make conversation. That is me in a nutshell.
But as I learn more about what it means to live in community, I’ve learned those behaviors are actually the furthest thing from community. Community is allowing people to know you, all of you.
Not the Sunday morning you. Not the Beyonce version of “I woke up like this” you. But the you that nobody really wants to be around because you have problems, you.
Vulnerability is allowing people to get so close they could hurt you, but choosing the right community so that you can mitigate the unnecessary pain. You will get hurt being vulnerable, you will get hurt in community because people are imperfect, but as you exercise vulnerability in community, you begin to see what love actually looks like.
Vulnerability, community, and love. It’s hard to have one without the others, right?
It’s hard to be vulnerable, but it’s a prerequisite to community and love which are both things that we were built for because we were made in the image of God. So as I strive to become more vulnerable, no matter how hard and uncomfortable it is, I hope you strive to do the same.
Is vulnerability a hard thing for you too? Let me know in the comments below.
As always, until next time, get up, get moving and be salt and light!