Is it possible to love someone or have feelings for them without making yourself vulnerable? I’m pretty sure the answer to that question is no.
As I think about this, how can a person get to know someone or have them know you if you don’t risk something? If you walk around with a wall around your heart and let no one in your life the only risk you take is being alone.
Vulnerability is seen as a bad thing in our society, especially for men. To be vulnerable is to allow for transparency and possibly show your weaknesses to someone. Doing so risks the chance of getting hurt and giving up your independence. Sometimes being vulnerable is to allow someone into the places of your life and heart that you never have before. For some people, being vulnerable just means admitting your feelings to someone and risking that they may not return them.
In my opinion, vulnerability isn’t a sign of weakness, it is a sign that you are strong enough to put your heart on the line for another person, or for the sake of love.
Madeline L’Engle said, “When we were children we used to think that when we were grown up we would no longer be vulnerable, but to grow up is to accept vulnerability. To be alive is to be vulnerable.”
I think a main aspect of vulnerability that needs to be understood is this: emotional vulnerability should not be mistaken for emotional insecurity. Emotional vulnerability is not being over emotional or over indulgent in feelings or expression of emotion. It is not about jealousy, clinginess or over-obsession. All of these things occur when vulnerability is felt by someone who is insecure.
We all fear vulnerability to an extent because it means we are emotionally unprotected. In my opinion a person is ready to be vulnerable in a healthy way when they are secure enough to do so without unhealthy behavior.
If you are afraid of being vulnerable, think about the reasons why. What are you afraid of? Is it better to have tried and failed than to constantly wonder what would have happened if you didn’t put yourself out there?
No one ever regrets doing something as much as they regret NOT doing something. Because it’s definitely better to know, than wonder.