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Embracing Authenticity: The Power of Vulnerability

Hello loves!

It's the second week of 2024 (which is wild) and that means it's getting a little bit harder to keep up with New Year's Resolutions. According to a poll by Forbes, "only 8% of respondents tend to stick with their goals for one month" while another study shows that "23% of people quit their resolution by the end of the first week."

Now, I'm not bringing up these stats to scare or shame anyone about keeping up with their resolutions. Nobody is perfect and there are plenty of reasons why people quit so soon into the New Year. Some (like myself) overestimate how easy it will be to create a new daily habit. Others may have unexpected circumstances that derail their plans. And some are just tired of trying so hard for seemingly little results.

Regardless of the reason, the majority that fall off their resolutions have one thing in common-- they tried to do it alone.

Often, our New Year's Goals are reflective of our flaws and things about ourselves we wish we could fix. Some of them we might be open about, like saving up enough money for a dream vacation, while others, like finally overcoming a destructive habit, are more private. And trust me, I firmly believe there is nothing wrong with keeping things to yourself. A private life is called private for a reason.

But when it comes to improving ourselves, we shouldn't be as tight-lipped about it as we are. To truly live an authentic life, we need to open up with our trusted inner circle and share what struggles we are dealing with. We need to embrace Vulnerability, even if it's scary, and let down our walls around the people who care about us most.

Now, I've written on this blog before about why it's important to have a community and support system in life, so today won't be about that. Instead, I want to talk about why Vulnerability is good for us and can help us on our journey to living an authentic, genuine life.

Vulnerability Strengthens Our Relationships.

I'm sure this seems like an obvious statement. Yet vulnerability with others, especially the people we are closest to, seems to be where we struggle most.

It's in all our shows and books under the guise of my mortal enemy: the miscommunication trope. People create fake accounts online to share their deepest fears and struggles with a community of faceless strangers. Goodness, even one of the appeals of therapy is being able to share everything about yourself with someone you don't know.

Now there's nothing wrong with this (other than the miscommunication trope because enough already) or other ways of expressing struggles. In moderation. Obviously, be careful what you say on the Internet because it lasts forever, and disclaimer, I am the hugest supporter of therapy and counseling.

But none of these should replace talking to real people who know you and love you.

The closest people in your life should also be the ones you know you can trust with anything. They should be people who are kind and understanding and able to offer advice. When we choose to be vulnerable with them, we are actively showing that we trust them, and they can trust us. It creates another layer of intimacy and trust between you and that person, which strengthens your bond.

Vulnerability also lets us be held accountable.

See, I was going to bring it back to New Year's Resolutions eventually.

Once we've established a secure bond of trust with our chosen person or people that we can be real with, we can invite them into our journey of improvement. Getting an outside perspective on anything is always helpful, but especially with something that can be so biased like self-growth.

The people we trust can help us stay accountable, and we can do the same for them. Whether it's through weekly check-ins, becoming workout buddies, or just sending each other encouragement can make a huge impact. When you allow yourself to be vulnerable and share what you are trying to work on in your own life, the people around you can offer their input on what specifically you could work on. They can also remind us of the good that's already in us, and what our strengths and talents are. In short...

...Being Vulnerable Reminds Us That We Are Enough.

The reason being vulnerable is so scary is exactly the reason why we need to let ourselves be vulnerable with others in the first place.

When we're authentic, we're the best versions of our true selves. We aren't trying to project a fake image of ourselves, we aren't forcing ourselves into activities we don't enjoy, and we can live a full life.

When we're vulnerable, we're our complete selves; not just the good parts, but the parts that hold our fears and traumas and flaws too.

To be vulnerable, we have to take down our walls and admit-- first to ourselves, then to others-- that we don't have it all together. We aren't perfect and the mistakes we make aren't always funny or endearing. Some of our hearts are deeply scarred from betrayals; others ache with guilt.

Our vulnerable selves aren't pretty or put together or admirable.

Yet trusting someone with this side of ourselves and seeing that they love us even more for it is the most beautiful thing in the world.

Knowing that there are people in the world who have seen your brightest highs and darkest lows and still love standing by you is a gift. It gives you the confidence to be your authentic self, to love who you are, and to love others more too.

So while being vulnerable is terrifying-- and understandably so-- it is so rewarding.

Find the right people, or even just that one person, and slowly start letting your walls down around them. Allow yourself to be seen and loved and valued because every part of you is worthy of love.

It's okay to trust, and let people trust you in return.

Love y'all!

"My friends at Corinth, our hearts are wide open to you and we speak freely, holding nothing back from you. If there is a block in our relationship, it is not with us, for we carry you in our hearts with great love, yet you still withhold your affections from us. So I speak to you as our children. Make room in your hearts for us as we have done for you." --2 Corinthians 6:11-13

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