Vulnerability vs Authenticity

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mentalhealth / wellbeing

What if, in our relationships with others, instead of being driven by a need to be ‘authentic’

we instead tuned our senses to moments of vulnerability?

Sometimes I wonder if we are more concerned about striving to be authentic in the presence of others than we are about allowing ourselves to be vulnerable in the presence of others.

And I wonder if we forget there is a difference between the two –

that they aren’t one and the same.

That authenticity can happen outside of relationship, but vulnerability – can’t.

What if vulnerability is more about what happens when we are learning to be with

others

than it is solely about being with

ourselves?

What if vulnerability is directly hinged to our capacity to not only expose
ourselves (as with authenticity),
but our capacity to be exposed to the lived-reality of
others?

When it comes to vulnerability, it’s not only about our capacity to be ‘real,’

but also our capacity to have an open heart towards and be changed by
whatever is another person’s
‘real.’

Not a single one of us are immune to vulnerability – but we are probably all well practiced at tuning out from such moments out from time to time

– they are awfully awkward and uncomfortable, after all.

But if vulnerability IS a change agent – a site of innovation and creativity as Brené Brown would vouch – then in this polarizing climate we ALL need to lean into it –
now more than ever.

We need to seek to not just be authentic with others, but vulnerable with and to them.

What if collectively, moments of vulnerability were seen to make up at least part of the change agent that is needed for us to start moving toward,

rather than away from,

each other?

What if when it comes to relationship we consider authenticity as that which happens alongside vulnerability rather than as something totally separate?

Would we be less scared to show our faces?

Less threatened by the existence of others?

The Author

30. Counsellor + Post Grad Theology Student + Ponderer + Writer + Do-er of hair.

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