The armor that keeps you safe
is blocking the light.
Why don’t you put down
that 10-ton shield,
and see for yourself?
The beautiful, dangerous
fullness of life is waiting
for you, and
there’s only one way to experience it.
Researcher Brene Brown said “Vulnerability is the birthplace of love, belonging, joy, courage, empathy, and creativity. It is the source of hope, empathy, accountability and authenticity. If we want greater clarity in our purpose or deeper and more meaningful spiritual lives, vulnerability is the path.”
The trouble is: vulnerability is terrifying! There’s a reason we put our guards up in the first place, and it’s hard to convince ourselves there’s any benefit to letting them down again. Often, we don’t even realize how guarded we are. We get stuck in an unconscious pattern of reactivity, hoping to fend off the pain of rejection – not realizing how much good we’re blocking from coming into our lives. Some common ways we do this are through people pleasing, perfectionism, projection, avoidance and fault finding.
So: how can we be more vulnerable in order to experience the fullness of life? We can start by opening up to God in prayer. When we allow ourselves to spend time in silence pouring our hearts out to the Lord, we can begin to heal by listening for the reassurance of His still small voice. We can also fill our minds and hearts with postive, reassuring words from scripture to rewire ourselves with the truth of how deeply loved and accepted we are by God, regardless of our flaws.
Journalling is also a great way to express the depths of our true thoughts and feelings, no matter how messy they are. When we ask the Holy Spirit to reveal what kind of guard we put up and how it impacts our relationships with others and spend time in quiet receptivity, so we can become more aware of how we’re blocking the light.
Don’t get me wrong! It’s okay to have boundaries. You don’t need to tell everyone everything about yourself for the sake of being vulnerable. But as God heals you on the inside, you can practice being more open with your thoughts and feelings in close relationships. Over time, you can discern whether you’re called to put your authentic self “out there” a little more publically!
Do you struggle with vulnerability, perfectionism, people pleasing and authentically sharing who you are with others? Do you feel comfortable sharing your true self with God in prayer? Comment below, and I’ll be delighted to provide encouragement and lift you in prayer.
God, give us the courage to be totally open, transparent and vulnerable in our prayer lives with you, so we can begin to be authentic in our relationships with others as well. Guide us to loving people, who it is safe to be ourselves with. Give us increasing courage to be real and put ourselves out there, so we can begin to experience the fullness of life. In Jesus name we pray, Amen.
Embracing Vulnerability Poem by Nicky Gant Copywright 7/31/2018