Vulnerability and Potential

I was reading something recently about vulnerability, and how it can lead to so much good in life if you just allow yourself to let everything in.

“Everything?”

I don’t know about you, but vulnerability scares the hell out of me. And I’m going to call BS on that line. Who wants to be vulnerable to everything? I’m not a fan of the word, although I wish I was. There’s something beautifully, achingly evolved about people who are vulnerable.

I’ve learned to associate “vulnerable” with “ready to take a dagger to the heart,” when in reality I know it’s not always such a brutal concept. I liken vulnerability to waiting for the other shoe to drop.

I’ve been open and vulnerable before, and it seems like someone inevitably realizes it, swoops in, takes advantage and then heads off into the sunset. Not everyone does, but many have. And just like that, the other shoe is on the ground.

There’s friendship vulnerability, love vulnerability, financial vulnerability…all different kinds of vulnerabilities. I imagine there’s good in everything, and I know this is true because I’ve experienced good in all of these. But the flip-side of good, particularly in these three areas, can really wreak havoc. The flip-side reminds us that vulnerability often times feels like nothing more than going into battle without armor. Why would we? Sad that we always need to be ready to duke it out, but such is life sometimes.

Back on the brighter side, however, is the vulnerability that comes knocking on your door when you least expect it — and when you seem perhaps most likely to deny it. But it has a way of getting in your head and saying, “Come on, take a chance. This could be really, really good. This has potential.”

Potential.

It’s what makes you take a chance when you swore you’d take no more. It’s what inspires you to utter words of counsel to someone who’s going through a hard time and, the minute you hear yourself speak, you wonder where the sudden light and optimism came from. Vulnerability and potential are those two things that play off each other in a balanced way. On their own in time, they can kill. Together, they’re tempered by hope. Tonight I am thankful for both, and despite the harm each is capable of on its own, I will work on being more vulnerable for the sake of unlocking hidden potential within.

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