In the spirit of vulnerability, this was a difficult topic for me to cover! Ladies, the struggle was real! I asked myself so many questions...Where do I begin? What do I include? How can I make this connection for WOC? Questions are insightful, but vulnerability is about showing up and authentically sharing yourself. Moment of truth...I JUST started embracing my power through vulnerability a couple of years ago. After years of suppressing my pain and truth, I embarked on a journey where I “carefully” allow myself to say what is on my heart. This includes having the tough conversations, sharing my story with those who deserve it, and walking in my truth more often than wearing a protective mask. I started this practice after a major battle in my life and having my heart broken by two people who were dear to me: my intimate partner at the time and a good friend. At the beginning of this practice, I found myself holding back. I have an all or nothing personality so I struggled with giving myself permission to be honest about myself and/or what impacts me. However, I had to release the part of my personality preventing me from feeling EVERY emotion including love, acceptance, forgiveness, and trust. What I’ve learned through speaking my truth and being a vulnerable woman is that I have less regrets, less unresolved tension in my body, and a renewed sense of calm.
Enough about me and my work-in-progress journey! Vulnerability is a touchy subject in communities of color and for good reason. Recently, I attended a Meetup on the challenges WOC face with embracing vulnerability. In a room of 20+ women, we all found common ground in presenting ourselves as “strong” despite how we felt internally. The roots stemmed from multiple sources including generational trauma, recent betrayal, personal insecurities, and higher societal standards for WOC to name a few. Although it felt great to vibe on this level, the goal is broader than finding solace in our similarities. When you think about the women you can relate with and open up to, are they "perfect-like" or accepting of their flaws? We may respect truth in others, but fear it in ourselves. We've become accustomed to a false sense of strength that conceals our faults, truth, and doubts. The choice to BE vulnerable is about accepting our light and darkness, our successes and shame, and our peace and unrest. Here are 7 benefits of accepting our WHOLE selves and choosing vulnerability (Lifehack-Daniel Wallen)…
Learning to appreciate the characteristics that make us unique
Making peace with traumatic memories from our past
Attracting the right people into our lives
Finding it easier to empathize with the struggles of others
Earn the trust of our colleagues
Strengthen intimate bonds
Humanize ourselves and become an approachable woman
Let’s do a quick check-in to see where you are in terms of vulnerability. Are you lead more by your spirit or your wound? When something happens in your world that shifts your stability, are you able to approach these situations with authenticity, neutrality, and sensitivity? Have you sat with every chapter of your story and identified your safe supporters? If this doesn’t sound like you, don’t take it personal. Unfortunately, our strength is often rooted in our ability to mask our true emotions and deny our truth. Unresolved trauma plays a MAJOR role in how comfortable we feel allowing ourselves to be vulnerable. When we react from a place of ego, pain, or expectations, we are unable to realize or benefit from the power of approaching life in an open and receptive manner. The stories that we don’t share, the feelings we suppress, and the conversations we don’t have all play a critical part in how we show up to our next choice. The choice to hold back also prevents us from genuinely enjoying everything that life has to offer.
JUST REMEMBER: Everybody does not deserve our vulnerability. Similar to anger, vulnerability gets a bad wrap. The negative connotations others have of the term can strip away any healthy and beneficial attributes. When someone uses our vulnerability to gain power and control, they are not worthy of our truth. If this occurs, never bother them with your sacred emotional energy again. There will always be great risk involved with asking for what we need and talking about how we feel. It’s important to review our circle often, keeping in mind that everyone is not worthy of our story, our love, and our vulnerability. Only those who are willing to see us, hear us, and allow us to speak our reality without negatively adding to that emotion deserve us in this way. Have a beautiful week ladies!