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“I define connection as the energy that exists between people when they feel seen, heard, and valued; when they can give and receive without judgment; and when they derive sustenance and strength from the relationship.” ~ Brené Brown
A few evenings ago I asked my family to come away from their screens and join me in our spacious, second-story living room.
I asked them to sing with me.
It felt awkward and silly, but I wanted the experience more than I cared about the clunkiness of sitting together and attempting to harmonize. My youngest son was the most comfortable one because (I assume) he is still so little that he is closer to his playful, childlike self. The rest of us sat a little hesitant to open up and sing or share.
The experience of connection is what we were designed for.
Our crazy, logical mind will try and stop us, but if we push through the discomfort, we have so much to gain.
Here are four great reasons to open up and be more vulnerable:
Positive energetic exchange.
Being seen is to be recognized. We show up. When we are “seen,” we feel a sense of validation that boosts our confidence. This powerful force gives us the gift of self-empowerment. When show up to be seen, we have the ability to demonstrate to others how to successfully move with ease and listen to our intuition. Being vulnerable may feel scary and weird, but we are embarking upon one of the most important energetic exchanges.
To exercise bravery.
When we open up and get into someone’s emotional space (in a healthy, kind way), we take a risk. We may be rejected and many of us have such a fear that we cannot push past the feeling of someone turning us away. The beauty about rejection is that when people shy away from us, it is possible that they too do not know how to handle a compliment or invitation for connection. We can offer our own vulnerability as a way to show others that it is not only healthy and important to connect, but it is safe and healing to do so in the proper environment.
To impact those around us.
Children have taught me a lot about impact. When we consistently tune into those around us, people will begin to also reciprocate that similar energy. If we actively choose to ask someone how they are with a genuine eye gaze and smile, we can change their entire day. We have so many opportunities to change lives and connect with others. It begins with a small gesture resembling a little sprout coming up through the heavy soil that turns into a sturdy green, luscious plant.
Being vulnerable takes practice.
When I am sad, my children usually notice and come in close and say, “Hey mama, are you okay?” or “Do you need a hug?” If I would have brushed off those hugs and “sucked it up,” I would have lost an opportunity to be vulnerable and accept their gift. I will almost always let them know exactly how their hug has affected me so they know how valuable the connection is.
For the experience itself.
Being vulnerable with others is an open door to connection. When we share who we are with someone, we are giving them a gift. The raw parts of ourselves are the most important components that make up who we are as individuals.
Showing up and being vulnerable is easy because there is no prep work or overthinking. We don’t have to prefabricate who we are or study anyone’s bio.
We have multiple opportunities to be vulnerable every day and by giving ourselves the freedom to reveal our deepest feelings, we open up our hearts to receiving more love and connection.
The human race is constantly flitting around looking for quick-fix connection and fulfillment, but only a few simple things can actually bring us into the depths of happiness, and being vulnerable is one of them.
“Authenticity is a collection of choices that we have to make every day. It’s about the choice to show up and be real. The choice to be honest. The choice to let our true selves be seen.” ~ Brené Brown