25 Apr Embodied Investing: Why Vulnerability Matters
While very few of us can compete with the glory of a cherry blossom, we all certainly have some special quality or perspective to share with our family, friends, and communities.
For many, the idea of sharing a part of themselves with others – or dare I say, with many – is downright terrifying. To me? All the better. But please know that I am actually quite shy. It’s taken years of personal discovery and a commitment to expansion to overcome these self-limiting fears about sharing with others.
In short, I learned to love being vulnerable and equally as important, I learned that I can only authentically know who you are – beyond your public persona -when I know what makes you vulnerable.
Vulnerability is a unique access point to the root system of that which binds us. That’s right, to fear itself. And for all of us dirt-diggers, we know that every weed worth pulling must come out by the roots. Because if we probe even slightly into the structure of the fear we have about exposing our deepest selves – our gifts, talents, dreams, and offerings – we can see that it relies on a false understanding of happiness. An illusion that happiness or satisfaction results from preferred outcomes.
This assumption is understandable, of course, but negates the inherent fluctuations and inability to control outcomes. I could share an intimate detail about myself in an effort to help a friend, and he or she may not be in a place to appreciate or reciprocate my vulnerability. I can choose dejection and enslave myself to the unpredictable seas of results, or I can anchor within and appreciate my commitment to offering my service even in the face of my inhibitions.
In situations like these, we beg the question: what is the opportunity cost of not sharing? Consider that by holding back, both the giver and recipient miss out. Being vulnerable challenges us as the giver to provoke our limitations and stretch our boundaries into wider comfort zones. It also enables us to relate with those around us on a more authentic and satisfying level.
The raw, unedited, and fearless taste that others get when we offer a part of ourselves in a real and authentic way breaks down the hierarchy of symbols (of titles and positions, etc) and allows us to truly connect with each other. Being vulnerable often means revealing our humanness, every beautiful and imperfect part of it.
The best way to encourage vulnerability in your own life, or for your network of friends and family, is to create a safe, confidential container for it to emerge. A shared intention of unabashed expression is also an important element, as it will soften the mind’s tendency to tailor thoughts and ideas for group appeal.
When we come together in this way, empathy and inspiration soar. It is truly incredible what springs forth from humans who feel fearless and supported. In these cultivated, safe containers of well-intentioned minds, deep healing and self-acceptance occur that can shift our entire life’s trajectory.
Courage and curiosity are all that are needed to overcome the fears that bind us. Indeed, the cherry blossom will bloom whether we stop to appreciate it or not.