If you all have been keeping up with our Love Your Life Challenge this month, you will see that today’s task is to learn a new skill, or improve your knowledge around a new subject. This assignment is intended to facilitate the development of yourself spiritually, mentally, intellectually, emotionally, and/or physically. However, before we can even begin to do this, we have to take time to recognize areas of our lives that may need some additional attention. In doing this, we will each be forced to confront our weaknesses, and may become uncomfortable trying to complete this task. To help you all embrace this potential result, we would like to address the idea of vulnerability, and the benefits of this concept.
In order to truly get to know ourselves, others, and ourselves when we are interacting with others, we must be able to allow room for vulnerability. We must be able to be vulnerable in the sense that we must be completely transparent and honest with our feelings, thoughts, and ideas, knowing that these products of consciousness may not always be well-received by others, or even by ourselves. However, how can we expect to grow as individuals, if we are not pushing past our boundaries and comfort zones, into unchartered, and presumably uncomfortable, territory? This is true in all areas of our lives, whether we are discussing career paths, hobbies, friendships, or even love.
For example, there has been a New York Times piece floating around regarding the idea that it is possible to fall in love with anyone, and that there is a formulaic way to do so. The process involves asking another individual a series of very intimate and probing questions, followed by four minutes of staring into each other’s eyes. As the author puts it, there is this sense of “accelerated intimacy” that results, and the questions allow you to not only get to know the other person on a very genuine and deep level, but also lead to an improved understanding of yourself. I found this piece fascinating, and believe that a large part of its efficacy is tied to this idea of being vulnerable, and comfortable in this state, especially in the presence of another individual. When you are able to learn the innermost thoughts, fears, and beliefs of another person, while also expressing these same things yourself, it is the shared vulnerability and freedom of being able to be honest, without the concern of judgement, that allows two people to fall in love. If more people lived by that mindset, and we each took the time to truly listen to others, and make a definitive effort to reflect that we are engaging and respecting their time and energy, the world would be a better place.
Not that we believe we should all start looking longingly into each other’s eyes for an extended period of time, but there is a definite heightened level of discomfort and awkwardness that comes with staring at someone. In doing so, we must be comfortable with placing our entire focus on another person, and be secure enough in ourselves to recognize that they are doing the same. When you allow someone to stare at you, and you respond by staring back, there is a level of exposure that many of us have probably not experienced. You are providing the other party with a window to analyze you on both superficial and deep levels, which is a terrifying thought. This only reiterates the idea that this openness leads to vulnerability because we are less able to hide what we consider our flaws from other people, and also from ourselves. These flaws and weaknesses, however, are more beneficial for development and improvement than our strengths, or areas of security. We must show our most true selves, as opposed to only reflecting what we envision as our “best” selves, to others. This is necessary in order to attract individuals who will be the best fit for us, and the most loving and supporting of our true nature. We must learn to drop the expectations we have set for ourselves, and our behaviors, and start focusing and working towards intentions we have set for ourselves.
So, take time today to confront your weaknesses, or areas of your life and/or yourself, that make you uncomfortable. Recognize that you are not lesser of a person for not being perfect, and having areas of yourself that can be improved, and love the fact that you are human! By taking responsible risks, and experiencing new activities, foods, or people, you are also giving yourself the chance to find new strengths and passions, and/or to justify any of your pre-existing dislikes.
Set intentions to seek out new and different experiences, and love yourself enough to try to accomplish them.
What new activity or subject will you try today, and how do you hope to improve yourself through vulnerability? How do you define vulnerability, and what is your typical reaction to this feeling?
Thank you all for reading, and we hope you enjoy some new activities, books, foods, and other great things this week! As always, please share with us 🙂
Love and Light,