Vulnerability...

I mentioned in last week's blog that my word for this year was "Vulnerability".  Vulnerability - not a word I have been particularly fond of.

According to Merriam Webster's Dictionary, the definition of vulnerable is "capable of being physically or emotionally wounded; open to attack or damage".  

This definition goes along with my thinking of the word "vulnerability".  To me, "vulnerability" has meant that if I open myself up and let down my guard, I will be susceptible to criticism and being hurt.  It would leave me raw and I perceived it as weak.

However, as I have pondered my thinking, I also have come to realize that being vulnerable can lead to a lot of good.  It can be an opening to let people in.  By demonstrating vulnerability, one can present as more open and welcoming.  The willingness to show potential flaws, can be a sign of strength.  We all have flaws.  There is no such thing as perfection (as addressed in last week's blog! ;)).  Our imperfections, flaws, and weaknesses show our uniqueness - what makes us, us.  If we are not willing to show our vulnerability, how can we ever let anyone else in.  It is like walking around with our guard up all the time.  And, when we do that, we miss out on getting to know others.  More importantly, we miss out on knowing ourselves.

So, this year I am working on vulnerability.  For me, it goes together with perfectionism. Shedding these layers of armor that might have kept me safe, but also prevented me from really living, loving, and learning more about others and myself.  I hope you will join me.  

Denise M. Styer, PsyD, GLCC

January 22, 2018