Vulnerability. It's kind of a scary word, right? And an even scarier concept. Most of us hate feeling vulnerable. Most of my life I've gone out of my way to avoid it. But over the past year or so, I've come to learn the value of vulnerability in my life. Here's how it's changed me:
I'm more assertive- when I'm more vulnerable, I have to be transparent. Over the past several years, I had a pretty unhealthy relationship with alcohol, and an even healthier one with myself. I doubted my strengths, constantly focused on my weaknesses, and drank away the pain and discomfort. But when I allow myself to feel everything, the good, the bad, and the crazy, and share it with a loved one, I find my truths. And when you find your truths, it's hard to ignore them! Once you know, you just can't unknow, ya know?
Now that I'm discovering my truths (and my non-negotiables for life), I find it much more difficult to be at peace with myself when I say yes to things that don't align with me. And much easier to be honest and assertive about my wants or needs.
2. I am better able to connect with others- I don't know about you, but to me it seems there are parts of life that society says should be private, that we should suffer in silence, that we shouldn't question. Since opening myself up to my more vulnerable side and allowing others to see it, I've found that the thing that I fear most, being judged for my feelings or my issues, very rarely actually happens. More often, I am met with kindness, curiosity, and connection.
3. Decisions don't feel so overwhelming- now that I try to practice vulnerability as often as I can, I find that decisions are much easier! Crazy, right? But I've found that being in touch with not only my happy feelings, but also the darker ones, I am so much more in tune with my intuition. Until recently, I never really understood the "follow your heart" method of making choices, but now it's the only way that feels right
4. I'm finding my tribe- as a result of my increased assertiveness, my transparency, and following my intuition, I've been able to bond with some truly beautiful people. When I expose myself (not like that!) to others, it feels like there's a magnet that draws the right ones to me.
Basically, vulnerability is scary. It's hard. And your fight-or-flight response may kick in at first, begging you to get the heck out of vulnerable situations! But I whole-heartedly believe that the joy and peace I've found in the past year has come from doing that difficult work.
-Written by Holly Walker
Practice vulnerability, become more transparent, and tune into your creative passions when you take a Belly Dance class with this post's author, Belly Dance and Fitness Instructor Holly Walker! Holly has a gift for bringing joy, acceptance, and a sense of community to each of her classes!