The Paradox of Vulnerability
Start writing a post
Lifestyle

The Paradox of Vulnerability

As usual, it's not what you think.

64
The Paradox of Vulnerability
Pexels

. I could write until the day I die about vulnerability. It’s such a difficult subject. It’s so difficult to find a balance between keeping your heart open and sharing altogether too much. Where should we be vulnerable in our lives? And where should we keep ourselves reserved? What crosses into “emotional vomiting” territory?

Sixteen year old me could have told you easily: Everything. Keep it locked down, tied tight, thrown into a chest and that chest into the bottom of the ocean. Clap your back for a job well done and draw a smile on your face with a Sharpie marker. Bing, bang, boom. Five years later and I can tell you with finality that that is a Very Bad Plan. But in the trial and error that is my life, I seem to come upon and enact more Very Bad Plans than Ingeniously Good Plans—or even Somewhat Okay Plans.

Vulnerability is one of those sticky gray areas. I like to think I have found some sort of precarious balance, but there are definitely days that I look back on with a grimace worthy of making my face stick. Even when I do something I’m proud of, I’m constantly reminded that I have such a long way to go before I truly answer the question.

Is it good to keep some things hidden and others open? What falls into which category? As much as I pride myself on being open and genuine, how many times have I come from the hardest day of my life, only to plaster on a smile and say “good!” when someone asks how I am doing? And for crying out loud, is that a bad thing?!

I don’t have all the answers. But I like to think I have two or three. First: A lot of my issues and questions can be answered simply, with one word: Compassion. The days where I feel the best, regardless of what has happened to me, are the days where I don’t think about how what has happened is affecting me.

Let me explain. Vulnerability is important. But the danger that such a word poses is the possibility of self focus. Vulnerability is not about being open about all that is happening to you. It is opening your heart to being affected by others. When I don’t think about my day, when I strive to earnestly pay attention to what is going on with others around me instead of how their actions are affecting me, when I work to solve a difficult situation by asking myself “how can I be a servant?” instead of becoming offended or angry—those are my best days. Because it’s through doing these things that you’re opening yourself up for injury, not through being truthful about every emotion you’ve ever had. And trust me, it’s terrifying. But it’s also so, so rewarding.

There is one thing that we should be totally vulnerable about every second of the day, though. And that’s our relationship with Christ. And boy, if you thought the last one was scary, it’s got nothing on this. You don’t want to be labeled as the “Weird Jesus Lady/Guy”, do you? Well, too bad. To reference a super popular section of the Bible, when David is criticized for dancing half naked through the city, he replies that he would dance fully naked if it were before the Lord. He says “I will be humiliated in my own eyes”(2 Sam. 6:22), which is kind of what we work to avoid every day. Vulnerability means humiliation, especially when it comes to God. It hurts so much in the moment. There have been times where I have been given the choice to be strong and vulnerable or be silent. I have chosen both on different occasions. The first one in the moment feels like I’m being torn in half, and I am not exaggerating. The second one feels great when it is happening—no conflict! Comfort zones, yay! But later, the shame is equally if not more painful than the first option. Because with the first, though I feel as if I am being torn in half, the Lord supports me. Through humiliation, I actually end up feeling stronger—because instead of my human power, I have the undercurrent of the Lord’s strength. And it feels just like that—an undercurrent that pulls me along with it, amazing and uncontrollable and utterly terrifying in the best way.

Like I said, vulnerability is weird. It’s not really what we as a society have labeled it. As a parting gift, here’s a strange paradox: We’re not complex and mysterious if we keep our emotions locked up, but we’re not any more complex if we let them out, either. Because what we do, read or think does not change our value. Our value is ultimately, from beginning to end, immovable in Christ. So once we stop focusing on it and start focusing on trying to find that value in others—that’s when we’re truly being vulnerable.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
Entertainment

Breaking Down The Beginning, Middle, And End of Netflix's Newest 'To All The Boys' Movie

Noah Centineo and Lana Condor are back with the third and final installment of the "To All The Boys I've Loved Before" series

285429
Netflix

Were all teenagers and twenty-somethings bingeing the latest "To All The Boys: Always and Forever" last night with all of their friends on their basement TV? Nope? Just me? Oh, how I doubt that.

I have been excited for this movie ever since I saw the NYC skyline in the trailer that was released earlier this year. I'm a sucker for any movie or TV show that takes place in the Big Apple.

Keep Reading... Show less
Lifestyle

4 Ways To Own Your Story, Because Every Bit Of It Is Worth Celebrating

I hope that you don't let your current chapter stop you from pursuing the rest of your story.

179931
Photo by Manny Moreno on Unsplash

Every single one of us has a story.

I don't say that to be cliché. I don't say that to give you a false sense of encouragement. I say that to be honest. I say that to be real.

Keep Reading... Show less
Politics and Activism

How Young Feminists Can Understand And Subvert The Internalized Male Gaze

Women's self-commodification, applied through oppression and permission, is an elusive yet sexist characteristic of a laissez-faire society, where women solely exist to be consumed. (P.S. justice for Megan Fox)

86135
Paramount Pictures

Within various theories of social science and visual media, academics present the male gaze as a nebulous idea during their headache-inducing meta-discussions. However, the internalized male gaze is a reality, which is present to most people who identify as women. As we mature, we experience realizations of the perpetual male gaze.

Keep Reading... Show less
Lifestyle

It's Important To Remind Yourself To Be Open-Minded And Embrace All Life Has To Offer

Why should you be open-minded when it is so easy to be close-minded?

280830

Open-mindedness. It is something we all need a reminder of some days. Whether it's in regards to politics, religion, everyday life, or rarities in life, it is crucial to be open-minded. I want to encourage everyone to look at something with an unbiased and unfazed point of view. I oftentimes struggle with this myself.

Keep Reading... Show less
Swoon

14 Last Minute Valentine's Day Gifts Your S.O. Will Love

If they love you, they're not going to care if you didn't get them some expensive diamond necklace or Rolex watch; they just want you.

168495

Let me preface this by saying I am not a bad girlfriend.

I am simply a forgetful one.

Keep Reading... Show less
Student Life

10 Helpful Tips For College Students Taking Online Courses This Semester

Here are several ways to easily pass an online course.

111889
Photo by Vlada Karpovich on Pexels

With spring semester starting, many college students are looking to take courses for the semester. With the pandemic still ongoing, many students are likely looking for the option to take online courses.

Online courses at one time may have seemed like a last minute option for many students, but with the pandemic, they have become more necessary. Online courses can be very different from taking an on-campus course. You may be wondering what the best way to successfully complete an online course is. So, here are 10 helpful tips for any student who is planning on taking online courses this semester!

Keep Reading... Show less
Lifestyle

Take A Look At The Extravagant Lane Woods Jewelry Collection For Valentine's Gift Ideas

So if you are currently looking to purchase jewelry for yourself or as a romantic gift for your S.O., you should definitely look at the marvelous and ornately designed Lane Woods Jewelry collection

332895

Just like diamonds are a girl's best friend, so are pearls, rubies, gold, emeralds, and any type of luxurious jewelry you can get your hands on! A woman is incomplete without a piece of jewelry on her and it is a gorgeous accessory required for all occasions. So if you are currently looking to purchase jewelry for yourself or as a romantic gift for your S.O., you should definitely look at the marvelous and ornately designed Lane Woods Jewelry collection.

Keep Reading... Show less
Entertainment

50 Iconic Quotes From 'The Golden Girls' That Will Always Make You Laugh

"People waste their time pondering whether a glass is half empty or half full. Me, I just drink whatever's in the glass."

442138

"The Golden Girls" created history when it first premiered in 1985 setting the stage of strong-willed female characters who are aging gracefully with dignity. It is a treasure trove filled with humorous scenes and situations that will always be relevant to watch. I still rejoice in watching these spectacular women embrace life with full stride and the way they always strive to focus on the brighter side of life.

These 4 dynamic and awe-inspiring women taught us that age is indeed nothing more than a number and that we can set out to accomplish anything our heart desires at any time.

Keep Reading... Show less
Facebook Comments