Vulnerable: capable of being physically or emotionally wounded. (Merriam-Webster)
Vulnerability: the quality or state of being exposed to the possibility of being attacked or harmed, either physically or emotionally. (Oxford Languages)
In personal reflection, I find the word “vulnerable” interesting from the emotional standpoint. It seems so layered by societal norms. When people, including myself, are told they are courageous for being vulnerable in sharing their human stories, it’s a cause for some reflection. For me, I’ve become so used to sharing the webs of myself it no longer feels vulnerable. If anything is universal, isn’t it pain? Well, pain and love.
It’s not that I don’t see reality, which includes the societal norm not to speak and share our truths and wounds, I’ve just done things my way for long enough that I’ve created my own ideal reality for myself.* I no longer follow directions I don’t like or believe in. I create. And I create from love.
*I do realize that as a heterosexual, white woman there is privilege included in those words. For many others, speaking their truth truly is a risk to their safety.
You see, when we allow ourselves to be free, we give others the opportunity to be free too.
(And maybe, I don’t feel the threat of being emotionally wounded as I’ve chosen to surround myself by others who desire to be free too.)
So dance, sing aloud in your car (even when the windows are down and you’re at a red light), be weird, wear bright colors or wear all black, be different. Be yourself. Speak your truth. Be free.
How wonderful the world would be if it were full of people who were free!