Hi, it’s Faith Young with “What Would Faith Do?”. Today I want to share a message with you about vulnerability. When I was growing up I thought vulnerability was a sign of someone being able to take advantage of you, a sign of weakness.
Well I learned differently and discovered a few years ago when I was at a workshop, I had a friend come up to me and asked “Faith, do you know about vulnerability, can you explain to me a little about vulnerability?” I said “yes, absolutely.” I gave her an example of how on social media I allow myself to be vulnerable. Simply writing the words “I could really use some extra love right about now.” Just asking instead of saying “OMG, life sucks, this sucks..”
Instead of coming from negativity I asked for positivity. For example, at the time my grandma died I posted I could really use some extra love right now. And, the coolest thing was my friends were texting me, calling me, and messaging me.
So this is the story that I shared with her about vulnerability that it was a way of me opening myself up on social media saying that I could use some more help.
Her next question to me was, “are you married?” I said, “not any more.” She says, “do you have any kids?” I say “no, I don’t have any kids.” She comes back with, “well maybe you’re not even the person I should be talking to about this.” And, literally she goes to walk away.
I was left behind, with my jaw dropped, wondering what just happened…
That night after the workshop, I went home and I was pondering and I realized, what a beautiful example of vulnerability. The next day, I had the courage to go up to her and say, “hey friend can I just share with you my experience from yesterday with you and vulnerability and what happened afterwards?” She said, “sure, I guess so.”
“Here’s the thing, I was telling you about vulnerability and what it looks like, and in actuality I was showing you my own vulnerability, and you literally went straight for the jugular and walked away in the middle of this moment of me being vulnerable.”
She comes back with, “precisely, so why would I ever let myself be vulnerable if some could go straight for the jugular?” I simply said, “because you had 2 choices, you could love me and embrace me or not, and you chose the other one.” But what I’ve discovered in my life is I’m willing to create space to be vulnerable because even though she walked away she could’ve still created something different.
Afterwards I had the courage to go up on stage and share this story in front of everyone at this intense 3-day workshop. My opening statement, just minutes after sharing this experience with her, is “I allow myself to be vulnerable, to receive more love than I’ve ever received in my life.”
I go on to share my story, where I come from, where I am now, and where I am going. At the end of me sharing my story on stage people start clapping while I go to walk off because I’m done. The facilitator, Greg Morris says, “Faith, they’re not done yet, go stand back where you were and receive their applause.”\
This was really difficult at the time because I was practicing being vulnerable. So I stayed on stage and at this point they stood up and gave me a standing ovation, and they’re clapping and screaming and yelling for me. I go to reach my arms out and it took me forever to reach them all the way out, but I did to receive their love. It felt like 10 minutes of them just screaming and clapping. I look over to my friend who I had had the conversation with about vulnerability and she simply blows me a kiss.
Imagine if I didn’t allow myself to be vulnerable would I have received that much love? I don’t believe so.
So, I encourage you to take down those walls, to take down those beliefs about being vulnerable and really allow your heart to be open to receive. Because when you’re really ready to receive, when you’re really vulnerable that’s when the magic can happen, that’s when more love than you’ve ever imagined in your entire life can start showing up.
I’ve experienced this in my own life and the next time you find yourself being “standoffish” or putting up a wall in front of somebody, simply say to yourself in front of them, “I allow myself to be vulnerable.”
You never know what gifts can start showing up.