“Vulnerability is the birthplace of innovation, creativity and change”Dr. Brené Brown
During a moment of introspection, I became aware of how weak and “unprotected” I am in this season. Whether it is in my faith, professionally or family-wise. I felt a sense of void about this present stage of my life. A sense of being unfulfilled.
I am mostly happy with my life both romantically and with the strides I have made academically and the fact that I am pursuing my passion while living it boldly. I couldn’t quite shake this feeling of unease. As I battled to find an explanation for it, the word vulnerable came to mind. Suddenly it all made sense. I then started to contemplate what this word means to me and started to unpack this discovery.
I started by defining what the word vulnerable meant for me. In essence, for me, it is a state of internal weakness that allows for deeper connection with self to realize a change that would otherwise not happen without an external source. A vivid and tangible sense of discomfort.
At times we become complacent and rigid in our ways that the only way for change to take place is through discomfort. The result of this complacent attitude is vulnerability because in that space, you develop a weak point that can be exploited. It usually takes one person or one external factor to disrupt that flow for you to realize that your harbor has become a target.
We lie to ourselves that when the “right time comes,” we will [fill the gap]…We’re always waiting for the right time. The unfortunate thing is, the right time is not often the positive awakening we expect. That awakening can be “childish” a term used by a very special powerhouse Refilwe M. Manala. “Childish” can mean juvenility, immaturity, fluffed—essentially a state that one surely realizes that something really is buggered up.
You enter into a frenzy, rushing to find the quickest solution in a state of panic. We forget in those moments that in our vulnerability, we’re allowing for more harm than good to come to us because we become so focused on patching things up or making it right so that we’re okay.
Those moments of weakness require for us to become more vigilant as we seek proactive measures to re-stabilize ourselves. Instead, we enter into a tunnel vision, the focus turns to a “fix it” form of determination that we don’t allow ourselves the time to think logically about what may have caused our downfall, and therefore retrace the steps that led us to our present moment.
When we operate from a place of vulnerability, we become disorientated. It is the fears that overtake us that lead to our demise. The film Birdbox featuring the amazing Sandra Bullock can be viewed as a teachable moment—I am not just mentioning this because it is by far one of the best films I have ever watched—I love her so I am bias duuh.
Back to the topic, the film is a perfect example of surmounting our fears, and enduring the most grueling circumstances in search of a safe haven. Amidst the fear, we become blinded by our lack of direction; the flight response kicks in and we’re in full blown adrenaline rush.
Vulnerability—as terrible a state as it may be, can also become the right place that we need to remind us that we’ve gotten comfortable. Growth can not happen in comfort, growth requires you to be active, to be vigilant and to continually work on ourselves.
This brings me back to my previous article This is your sign to move on! Life forces us to places that require us to keep moving. Yes, in some way you’re living an answered prayer but who’s to say that that’s the place you’re meant to stay. Each stage of life is a journey not a destination—You’ve still got to keep moving. Your journey is never done. You’re purpose requires you to honor it, not just for yourself but because the light that you’re born with is designed to illuminate someone else’s path as well.
When you selfishly hold onto that, you’ve set a barrier for the wonders that awaits you at the next stage of your journey. Sooner or later, you will become dissatisfied and unhappy. By the time that happens, you’ve allowed yourself to digress and now the work that needs to be done to get back up requires you in full armor.
Keep working on yourself, don’t allow external circumstances to make that decision for you. We often need a rude awakening to help us realize that our place of comfort is not a safe reality.
Reevaluate, and shift focus. It’s easy to get lost in the flow but real growth happens when you put in the work.
“Vulnerability — a state of internal weakness that allows for deeper connection with self to realize a change that would otherwise not happen without an external source” Andréas DeolindaTweet.