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I’ve been thinking about what it means to be vulnerable. Vulnerability is described as being susceptible to physical or emotional attack or harm. Generally it is a word associated with weakness. Being vulnerable makes you defenseless.

Yet, it seems undeniable that we cannot be ourselves, our truest most beautiful selves, without exposing who we really are and when we do this, we are made bare. All the walls and defenses, the fortresses that we build to protect our raw emotion, to keep our sorrow and fear at bay, must come down for others to know us.

It’s a scary prospect to put ourself in a position to be judged and perhaps even ridiculed but to be vulnerable is to expose, without regret, the core of our being, to tear away the layers of self protection, to put our ego aside.

As I think about what it means to be willing or even able to let down our guard, to put away sarcasm, to drop our ability to dodge questions about ourselves, to let go of humor as a weapon, it makes me think that being vulnerable actually takes a rare inner courage. And, if being vulnerable takes courage then perhaps it is more a strength than a weakness.

Maybe making ourselves bare, making ourselves defenseless is really being brave and if exposing our truest self is brave than maybe being vulnerable is really being strong.

After all, don’t all truly good things come from being vulnerable? We cannot know love without it. We cannot be creative without it. We cannot change without it. We cannot know pleasure without it. We cannot be at peace without it. We cannot have faith without it.