“To love at all is to be vulnerable.” C.S. Lewis
In one of my college classes the professor asked a question about vulnerability which caused several class members to respond with a negative perspective. The people who voiced an opinion seemed to believe that to be vulnerable meant to be weak. It does mean to be susceptible to injury but I believe that vulnerability also means to be open and willing to be seen.
I have had some life experience with vulnerability. I have been open and accepted many times. But I have also been vulnerable and rejected. I don’t believe that the rejection was a result of the vulnerability, it was a result of what someone else wanted but thought I didn’t have.
I have seen this same realization about being open and risking rejection in many of my clients. It is hard to risk rejection and want acceptance. It takes personal strength to be vulnerable – to be open to acceptance or rejection.
It is beneficial to let your truth be seen. Loving yourself enough to be seen may be the best and most sure way to be honored by another self-loving person. The view you offer of yourself (and the beauty of that view being appreciated) is courageous and confidence building.
Taking time to learn about the person you want to open yourself up to is better self-protection than hiding. If you hide because you are afraid of rejection or betrayal then move more slowly or move on but be seen! Knowing the trustworthiness of your partner takes time. Trusting yourself comes with the experience of being seen.
Showing your own truth is your choice and responsibility. Open yourself up because you want to share who you are with someone you believe will respect your truth.
One Thing To Do: Make a list of the things about yourself you feel safe sharing with a new friend and draw a line. Then continue to list what you would share with a very close friend. That is your depth line – don’t go past it with new people, too soon.
Dawna Daigneault, Ed.S., LPC.