Vulnerability is not safe but it’s the key to growth and adventure. Vulnerability is a state of potential injury and harm. Those last four words are enough to stop most people from being vulnerable. We gladly trade safe and predictable for potential injury and harm. We’ve been conditioned to think that predictability is what makes a good “grown-up.”
Our hunger for the predictability will overwhelm our desire for something more every time.
Most people think that life beyond where they are is about planning and pushing but it starts with curiosity. Are you open to what you don’t know? Are there possibilities you haven’t thought of? Or are you so scared of something unplanned that you’ve closed your life to anything not cataloged and engineered for?
Vulnerability and curiosity are partners. Vulnerability is a sign of resilience and health and curiosity is the spark that can lead to vulnerability. What if you were more curious?
What are you wondering about? Anything?
What would a better job be like?
What would it be like to enjoy my family more?
What if I asked for help?
What if I don’t know all the answers?
What would it be like to have more joy?
What if this is the time that it really works out?
What if they don’t leave?
Have you stopped wondering? Has the curiosity in your life dried up? Are you defending your certainty about your life as a defense against being vulnerable?
With a closed fist, there’s no room in your hand to hold anything new.
The openness of vulnerability is the foundation of joy and vulnerability starts with curiosity. We need to cultivate the wonder in our lives and wonder starts with imagination.
Can you imagine a love life?
Can you imagine a fulfilling career?
Can you imagine a healthy body able to carry you where you want?
Love, career, and health are great areas to start with.
Practice seeing it. Give it detail. Take it in, in all its texture. Then ask the question, I wonder how I might get there? Who would I need to be, to be that person? What would I need to do to live that life? Get curious and feed that curiosity- screw the cat.
Most of us see a lack of vulnerability and openness in our lives as a sign of repression and fear. I think we suffer from having nothing worth being vulnerable for. We have lost our dreams where the potential for joy and satisfaction is greater than the possibility of harm.
Visualize your life. Get curious about what it might take to make it real. Step into the moment. You’ll breathe in vulnerability like the fresh air it is.