To be joyful is to be vulnerable
by Sarah on August 17, 2016
Vulnerability is becoming a more socially acceptable concept. The increase in awareness, study, conversation and application across all spectrums of society is significant. This discourse has primarily been around letting go of perfectionism and embracing authenticity, cultivating deeper relational connections, as well as an increased value in taking courageous risks in order to be innovative, creative and accomplished.
In classrooms, conference rooms, coffee shops and churches we are letting go of what we perceive we’re supposed to be and embracing who we truly are. This movement is creating a powerful cultural shift in how we engage in our relationships and find meaning and purpose in our achievements.
In my personal journey, alongside years of working with individuals, couples and groups, I’ve discovered the outer edge of transformational vulnerability is allowing ourselves’ to experience the fullness of JOY.
To be joyful is to be vulnerable.
This looks different than admitting our mistakes or being compassionate toward ourselves’ in our weakness, though these are all important aspects of this process. Rather, it looks like risking to delight in our in-the-moment experience while feeling the discomfort of its impermanence.
Joy touches the most tender, vulnerable parts of who we are. What if I experience deep contentment in this moment and then it’s gone? What if I express my exuberance and someone tells me to be quiet, to not be so dramatic, to act my age? What if I allow myself to feel the deep gladness in my heart and then I experience hurt, rejection or abandonment?
It’s risky to experience joy.
The other side of joy is not depression, it’s fear. We are afraid to experience joy. We fear the unknown; we fear loss and disappointment and to protect ourselves’ we anticipate the impending collapse of our bliss. But, we can choose to live a different way.
I’ve decided everything is uncertain: it’s the true nature of things. In this reality (or instead, this infinite possibility), I can choose to be in my life and embrace the unknown or I can choose to never experience the fullness of joy because I fear what I can neither predict nor control. The choice is up to me.
Are you ready to experience more joy? Cultivate gratitude in your life. Want to feel more alive? Give yourself permission to be playful.
Let’s Practice: When you notice you feel vulnerable, acknowledge the feeling and then express gratitude for something you feel thankful for. Then, go do something fun that makes you giggle like a little kid!
I’d love to hear your thoughts. Please leave a comment below.