I recently read a quote that truly made me think about my relationships, purpose, and experiences over the past few years.

Dr. Brené Brown is a research professor at the University of Houston, author and TED Talk presenter.   Concerning vulnerability she states,

When we lose our tolerance to be vulnerable, joy becomes foreboding.  (We say) I’m not going to soften into this moment of joy, because I’m scared it’s going to be taken away.  We’re trying to dress rehearse tragedy so we can beat vulnerability to the punch.

Wow!  This really resonated with me.

As a man raised in the United States with a very Western view of manhood and manliness, vulnerability was never part of my vocabulary.  Whenever the concept did come up, it was something to be avoided.

We are taught to be strong, tough, impenetrable.  However, I never realized that lack of vulnerability also prohibited joyful living.

I have always been a “hedger”.  Someone who held back and avoided risk.  I could envision all the bad consequences of a situation, and thus did not venture into the unknown or potentially dangerous due to the fear of failure.  In order to remain in control of my environment, I avoided vulnerability.

However, relationships require vulnerability.  They require giving of one’s deepest self.  They require sacrifice and openness.  God has illustrated the extent and need of vulnerability for establishing relationships.

God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.  Romans 5:8

The ultimate sacrifice was paid for us.  God became vulnerable to restore our relationship with Him.  Vulnerability didn’t bring permanent sadness or grief, but rather everlasting joy.

I have been missing out on a portion of the joy of living because I have tried to protect my inner self and avoid vulnerability.

To change this pattern is one of the reasons I blog.  It open up to others, make myself vulnerable, but also make myself available to enjoy the richness of life.

These are things that matter to me, and I thank you for joining me on the journey.

How about you?  What can you due today to make yourself more vulnerable and enjoy the fullness of life?

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About John Forrest