A word many associate with the negative. A word, that to many means weakness. Such an ideal is only born of immaturity and fear. I however can understand how people come to see it this way though as I used to be one of them. I was once afraid of it, afraid I’d appear weak, not good enough. I feared the consequences of opening myself up, I feared whatever was shared would be used against me.
What I did not realise is what I was trading for my perceived protection was worth far, far more. The problem many face in their ignorance to the value of vulnerability is a rather complex one, one made up of many facets. So lets try and break it down.
I feel the first major concept one must understand is why one would find value in vulnerability. Essentially this breaks down to creating value within any kind of relationship, including one with your self. What I mean by this is that the more protection one has, the less committed they are, and not only that, the less they have to lose. If you hear of someone flying to the other side of the planet to chase a lover, you think, shit, that person must really love him/her, on account of the high risk and cost if rejection. You see it is this display of vulnerability that instilled value into his/her lover. Lets look at another example, a woman who quits her established career to follow a dream of being an artist. In this example the value is created in the art, for she has raised the stake of its importance, this is therefore transferred directly into this passion.
I can understand some might find this all a little.. abstract. Well, it is. But if you keep following I hope I’ll iron and dispel and doubts you may still have.
In economics there is a term “scarcity creates demand”. This is rather effective term to explain the next point. While one of the more obvious features of being vulnerable, it is nonetheless important. So to explain, why do we value anything? Almost always the value of something comes down to its availability. Can you easily get it, or is it hard to get. I don’t think I need to explain this one too much, except on how it links in. Vulnerability, regardless of how comfortable you are with it is something not something found in abundance, this is where scarcity comes, and you guessed it, demand. As humans we value people who show us vulnerability, it shows how much that person values us, and in return, we value them.
As we get deeper down this rabbit hole the concepts get harder to explain, this next one takes some fundamental rewiring to understand. It is also not easy to explain, but I shall do my best.
Being as it is, and that is rather abstract, these examples might be rather abstract also. But bear with me. So, if we think of heaven, or god even, lets us go with god. So god is meant to be three things, omnipotent, omniscient and omnipresent. This is theologians idea of an unlimited being, so the one thing god cannot be in limited. This is where we have our uhuh(!) moment. Because to be all these omni-thingies is the very definition of not being able to value anything. I know, this is confusing, but let me explain. Think for a moment about why we as humans generally love all things “cute”, what would you suggest all these “cute” things generally have in common? I’m fairly certain most of you will agree that is vulnerability. So following this logic you can see, while many may still claim to love god irregardless of this fact, but other things are valued due to their vulnerability. It is where if you remove this vulnerability that you take away the things you love. If kittens had hard skin as protection, we probably wouldn’t find them so cute, if your lover was devoid of emotion like a robot you might find them rather hard to love.
If the world of love and relationships were a market, vulnerability would be like gold, nothing else would be valued as highly. So ask yourself this, why exclude yourself from this market when you have something so valuable to trade. You have it, we all have.
We just have to be open, be free, be naked, leave you inhibitions, your reservations, your doubts on the floor. Don’t dip your toes in, just jump in.
If you’re not vulnerable, you’re playing a dumby hand, it’s not real, you aren’t playing for keeps. You only have one foot in ready to pull it out incase you’re caught over investing. Fear will control you till you self author your life.
You only get one shot, make it count.