Vulnerability has been confused for the longest time as a sign of weakness. Brene Brown, a research professor at the University of Houston says, "Vulnerability is our most accurate measure of courage" and I couldn't agree more.
Vulnerability is about being authentic, it is about letting go of the need to be perceived as strong, it is about being unapologetically oneself, it is the willingness to be seen without control. If this is not courage, then what is?
Each time I have revealed my vulnerability, I saw those around me struggle to respond. It forced them to be vulnerable, and more often than not, they hurried to fix me hoping to get out of the difficult situation. Here is a letter to all those loving souls, who had good intentions and great suggestions, but lacked the courage to listen.
First of all, thank you for your support, I sincerely appreciate it. However, advice is like a double-edged sword. It can be more harmful than helpful, if served at the wrong time.
Me being emotionally vulnerable and sharing the challenges I go through, does not mean I am expecting some advice from you. I might be just feeling low at the moment, and sharing it to take some heaviness off my chest. Articulating what I am going through helps me understand the situation better as well. I am not expecting any magic from you. So please, don't take the burden of fixing my situation; it doesn't need fixing, it just needs to be held with love. If at all I need your advice, you can trust me to ask you.
This as not an opportunity to showcase your knowledge. It is not the best time to educate me on how I could have avoided the situation, or how you have dealt with similar situations. Also, please don't ask me to take it easy be strong or look at others who are having bigger challenges in life; I know it all, but that doesn't help now.
Listening and silence would help. But if you are not comfortable with silence, saying that you don't know what to say, or how to help would make me feel much better than your attempts to fix me.
Let go of the need to help me, and be totally present with me. This presence and undivided attention would help. In that presence I would experience care and know I am not alone. It could make me feel more settled and I may ask for your suggestions, and that's the time your words could help me, but not before that.
A sensitive soul