October 23, 2008

Vulnerability

Weakness? Defenselessness? Helplessness? Webster—and most of society —has got it all wrong. Intentional vulnerability isn’t weakness; it requires great inner strength to be willing to be open and present oneself at risk of possible harm. The price one pays in remaining vulnerable is the occasional harm from those who take advantage. Those with the ready blade of a sharp word will cut the exposed throat, not realizing that they themselves are the victims of a facade, populating a world that exists only superficially and is easily shattered. The victory doesn’t even last to the next encounter.

Those who choose to be open—to be vulnerable—chance being hurt in exchange for the possibility of intimate connection. This is not to encourage indiscriminate openness, for the scars can accumulate to create an almost impenetrable shell. But careful and selective revelation of self can elicit a like response, and the reward is another link in the ethereal chain of human intimacy. It is what all of us seek, at least those who haven’t given up in despair that it is unattainable. This genuine intimacy is the closest we can come to a spiritual experience in corporeal form.

The choice is ours, with every personal encounter. To what degree do we reveal ourselves? I think we are richer for choosing vulnerability.

4 comments:

Me Online said...

I just realized something. You write very much like Carrie in Sex in the City. Accept for the fact that you haven't written THAT much about sex. Keep it up. Maybe they will make a movie.

Doug said...

Choosing vulnerability takes courage and confidence. Things I don't always have.

Sooo-this-is-me said...

Hmmm, I tend to be pretty guarded in the real world and honestly I do not see that changing soon. Maybe I worry too much.

Ur-spo said...

I concur; you hit that nail on the head. Being vulnerable means giving up your power to another; and that could be hurtful. But there is no growth or intimacy without that risk.