How Embracing Vulnerability Paves the Path to Deeper Connections in the 21st Century

What impresses me about living in the 21st century is how innovation happens at the blink of an eye. Today, more than ever before, we have countless ways to get in touch with our loved ones and people from all around the world. We have cell phones, texting, FaceTiming, video conferencing, live broadcasting, social media platforms, emailing and the list goes on. Even the communication in the way we find the companion of life has transformed to swipe lefts and rights. With so many ways to communicate with each other,

 

why is that we feel so far apart? 

Why is it that when you sit in your bedroom at night, scrolling through Instagram and Facebook news feeds, that you can’t help but to feel so alone?

While I could talk about how putting down our phones and making the effort to be present in person will cultivate deeper connections, what I really wanted to focus on is the essential power of being vulnerable in all of the ways we choose to communicate with each other.

Bare with me. And see if this has ever been you.

We live in a world that is addicted to the pursuit of perfection. Aside from social platforms, this is reenforced by reality tv shows, magazines, websites, and advertisements. Because making your eye brows perfect, your eye lashes long, sucking your stomach in and smearing your face flawless will get you more likes than if you were to show up as your most authentic self . Or does it? We live in a world where showcasing the best, most greatest parts of our lives is often compared to someone’s else’s best, most greatest part.

So if you are afraid of being vulnerable. Trust me when I say, I don’t blame you.

Why it’s so difficult to be vulnerable

For starters, our entire lives we’ve been taught that being vulnerable means that we should be shameful. Being vulnerable means that we are deemed weak and fragile. That we are naive and gullible. That we are helpless. That we need protection. Worst of all, that we aren’t able to defend ourselves and we are powerless.  Knowing that, why would anyone want to be open? It also doesn’t help that the majority of us come from divorced parents. Even the top billboard songs contain 2 or 3 songs about children living through the separation  of their parents.   (Unsteady is one of my favorite songs.) People fall out of love. It happens. There’s no one to blame. But as children learning how to be human in the world, it does affect our ability to be open with others and toughen our skin. It’s difficult to be vulnerable because it’s much easier to put up a guard to protect ourselves, our emotions, our feelings than to run the risk of getting hurt or abandoned if we show up as our most authentic self. If we

speak our Truth.

So hey, I get it. 

I only get it because I’ve done the inner work around my parent’s divorce myself. The story I unconsciously carried on my back was that if I open up and let people in, they will love me then abandon me. Which makes me unworthy of being loved. You bet that for years, I made my heart cold and I disconnected myself from allowing anyone to get close to me in a way that would allow for them to eventually leave me.  The thought process was that, “if I don’t let you close to the bare and raw parts of my insides, you can never hurt me.” It was interesting because vulnerability was the first thing I looked for in others but it was the last thing I wanted anyone to see in me. “Maybe if I only show my how strong and bold I am, no one can hurt me.” It felt safer to keep to myself.

Here’s the eye opening part.

After a lot of doing my own inner work, I discovered to my sweet surprise that none of this is true. I discovered that we have crafted stories around vulnerability based on our past experiences around hurt, being broken hearted and feeling betrayal. So instead of being vulnerable, we close up and become vulnerable to the loss of having more meaningful, deeper connections with everyone we meet.

Contrary to popular belief, it is what makes you vulnerable that makes you so bold and so beautiful

 

Why We Need More Vulnerability Now Than Ever

In such a heavily social driven world, it’s nice to see how many portray their lives as picture perfect but how much impact can be made when we are only sharing what is so great about our lives? We need vulnerability because our deepest driving desire is for human connection in ways that opens our own perspective. I want to know what keeps you up at night. I want to know what often lingers on your mind. I want to know what your dreams are. I want to know what you’re afraid of. I want to know what makes your heart sing. It is in revealing the answers to those questions that you are reminded,

you are not alone. You were never alone.

Does being vulnerable mean that you’ll be more open to hurt, betrayal, and pain? Without a doubt. And while that sounds scary, I can assure you that there is so much beauty waiting to stem from that pain. Which I will share in another post. If we live our lives closed off, only sharing the highlight reels, we limit ourselves from so much more than if we were to just embrace what’s true and real. So I guess what I’m saying is, it’s so damn worth it. And here’s why:

What Happens When You Embrace Your Wounds 

1.Deeper, Long Term Connections

I often say that behind every face is an untold story. We all have experienced some kind of hurt or betrayal in our lives. We bottle it up and chuck the bottle into the vast ocean, praying to never deal with it again. Only years later, as we stand upon the shore, that bottle returns to us. Because there is a lesson to learn that we are ignoring. When we connect through vulnerability, we discover that we all share the same wounds. Through that connection, we open the door way to have a deep conversation that not only uplifts us but transforms us. It helps us to seek light in a place where we only saw darkness. This brings about intimate relationships and long lasting friendships.

2You’re No Longer Lying to Yourself

When we embrace our wounds, we are also confronting the parts of ourselves that we’ve avoided in fear that it’ll be too painful to face again. We start to develop a loving relationship with those parts and we become honest about who we are. This allows you to show up in any space as your most authentic self. Which brings me to my next point.

3. You’ll Attract More of the Right Kinds of People 

Authenticity attracts authenticity. When you begin to own all yourself, you’ll begin to notice how the people that come into your life are just as real as you are. The rewards of authentic relationships that are based on real, deep stuff is immeasurable.

4. You Become Emotionally Available

Remember what I said about putting a guard up and shutting people out? It’s no wonder Tinder is such a popular way to date. Because it involves little getting to know you and more “I think you’re attractive, so let’s meet up.” It allows you to be as less emotionally available as possible. It’s playing safe with your feelings. But when you become open, you are also letting your guard down and allowing for people to understand you, where you come from, why you are the way you are which  can completely improve your overall romantic, personal and professional lives.

5. You Can Transform Your Own Life and Those Around You 

All the reasons I gave you so far eventually leads to a life transformation. Aside from your own transformation, you’ll notice how you will start to trigger the transformation of those around you. Because you were brave enough to own your truth, you’ve given them validation to be brave enough to own theirs. If you’re someone who wants to make an impact in life, being raw and open is one of the most direct ways to do so.

6. You’re Giving Your Happiness and Overall Well-Being a Promotion 

YES! That’s right. Vulnerability means being human. Which to me, is one of the toughest jobs in the world. When you truly embrace all of yourself, you  truly embrace ALL of life. And let me tell you, life has a heck of a lot to offer you. It’s like getting a new set of eyes to view the world.  Old things begin to look new every day. And every little victory that you encounter is a massive celebration. You begin to live your life whole-heartedly. Never missing a beat. You begin to glow and shine in ways that make people wonder why the heck you’ve always got such a sparkle in your eyes. Why you’re so happy.

 

How to Feel the Realness and Open Up Anyway

1. Accept who you know you are.
Come as you are. In all your communication spaces (being all the ways I mentioned in the beginning), show up as you. What I mean by this is, it’s okay to share with people when you’re going through a tough time. Because you can also share the lesson that you learned from going through it.  Show people what makes you human. Acknowledge your imperfections and your flaws. Accept all of yourself. You are a gift to humanity.

2. Love Yourself 

We hear this so much now a days, it’s become cliche. But that’s because there’s so much truth in this.   When you love yourself fully, it’s not going to matter to you as much if someone else doesn’t. The love that     have taken the time to foster for yourself is unconditional. You are less afraid of rejection from others because you’ve already given you  all you need. Understand that this takes time and that’s a-okay.

3. Don’t Worry About What Others Think Of You

When given the chance, I like to write on my Instagram posts and Facebook, even if it’s long. Even if people might get annoyed with me. Even if it means I’ll lose followers. It doesn’t matter because I have a message to share and   only those who need to hear it will hear it. I find no use in posting only my travel        photos, or a million flawless looking selfies if it means there is no value or positive message to share with it to the people who chose to include me on their watchlist. Care less about what others are thinking.

People are too busy reveling in their own lives than to spend a lot of time thinking of you or judging you.  If you love yourself, none of this matters.

Besides, whenever you do worry, ask yourself, “Will it help?” The answer will likely come up as no. Then you can giggle to yourself about it ;).

 4. Practice Letting Go

Practice letting  go of the need to control every situation in your life or control how others see you.   Because truth be told, how others choose to see you is absolutely none of your business. When you become vulnerable, you stop measuring your worth by how others choose to see you.

5. Give Yourself Time

Choosing to be more authentic and open is a big and sometimes scary step. So practice
taking one small step every day. You can do this by choosing to be more open in every situation         versus closing yourself up. Be compassionate and loving towards yourself in the process. Give yourself time to           open up old wounds. It’s a journey. Learn to enjoy it.

Before you go… Know this. 

You are already perfect just the way you are. You are not broken. You do not need to be fixed. You are already Whole. You are loved. You are supported. YOU ARE COURAGEOUS. Your flaws are beautiful.

You can do this.

Experiment with it. And see what happens. That’s what being a yogi is all about. I believe that by being more open, we will create a more connected and even peaceful 21st century. You’ll also notice how small this world really is. And how at the very core, we are all connected and we are One in the same. After all, don’t bleed the same color?

 

In Love and Light,
Sandy

Does this resonate with you? Are you someone who has a difficult time being more vulnerable? I would love to hear from you. Comment below, email me or connect with me and share on social media.

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