What is your response when you are shown vulnerability? How do you meet it? Interact with it? So much of our wounding comes from our relations with those in our lives, but true healing can also come when we bring vulnerability into shared light.

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As you can probably tell from the recent spate of posts, vulnerability is my most favorite topic of late, and in class, we’ve talked about what vulnerability means, how we protect from it, how we hide from it… but we haven’t talked about how we respond to it in our relationships.

As humans, we have a pull towards intimacy & love but we also have a pull towards protection. Completely opening up to share what really scares you, what really embarrasses you, well, this leaves us wide open to being hurt. And, sometimes, you will be hurt. You’ll be met with a criticism, a laugh or a painful remark. But, sometimes, you’ll be met with a wider opening, a deeper sharing and a stronger connection. Worth the risk, yes?

Adrienne Rich shares her beautiful definition of a relationship of love as,

An honorable human relationship — that is, one in which two people have the right to use the word “love” — is a process, delicate, violent, often terrifying to both persons involved, a process of refining the truths they can tell each other.

It is important to do this because it breaks down human self-delusion and isolation.

It is important to do this because in doing so we do justice to our own complexity.

It is important to do this because we can count on so few people to go that hard way with us.

 This week, let’s work on looking for moments of vulnerability with our friends, partners and loved ones. Moments when little risks of honesty are taken. When you catch one meet it head on. Shoulders squared. Eyes and heart open. And, then keep it going. Offer your own little bit of truth. Take the risk.