**This blog post was a collaborative effort using a shared-writing experience model. The topic of vulnerability was explored. Our writing was intertwined and ideas were unraveled to shape this post.
Vulnerability is trending.
Trending in the direction of something that is viewed less as a sign of weakness and more as a demonstration of great internal strength.
Much like “success”, vulnerability has varying definitions and the manner in which we might find ourselves searching for ways to achieve it.
And so I found myself in that place of discomfort. Surrendering myself to those who I put my trust in. Those who took the time to listen and engage.
It shook me. It threatened my securities.
Then something happened. Something unexpected.
I discovered a courage I didn’t know I had. A wave of confidence I had not felt before. And a profound sense of liberation.
In that moment I became my authentic self.
Which took me back to my bench.
I found yet another thing that I wasn’t looking for. And oh, that feeling was there all over again, but seemingly brand new.
It was all at once emotionally exhausting and yet the fingerprints from this overt expression of vulnerability are painted everywhere on me like a badge of emotional honor.
I’m wearing it proudly now.
I am my authentic self. And with that, I am truly present.
Now that I’m out there like this, the dividends are kicking in.
I feel more connected to people with whom I get to share these vulnerabilities. Relationships, the core of our being, are deepening and acceptance of who I am grows each time I let my guard down.
If I hadn’t experienced this, I wouldn’t have believed it.
There is an intensity to this process. A potency that challenges us.
And I can’t think of a more worthwhile venture.
Such is the lesson of Vulnerability.