I’d like to expand upon that. Not only is vulnerability the key to personal strength, but also the means by which we can create a stronger and more connected society on a larger scale.

We are all walking around with our own sets of insecurities, our own worries and issues. The married father with no kids and the single mother of three have different anxieties, that’s for sure, but there’s a common thread that weaves its way between us all.

We have an innate desire to hide this side of ourselves from the world. The natural instinct is to do what is necessary to appear strong to others, pushing our problems down deep inside and only sharing them with our closest circle, if anyone at all. Social media has only made this worse, as we seek to create the greatest highlight reel and hide our behind-the-scenes struggles.

This serves to create two problems.

The first is the more obvious issue, that we become weaker as we try to deal with our problems by ourselves. We end up comparing our behind-the-scenes to others’ highlight reels, and are left feeling even more insecure and alone. “Am I the only one having this many issues? Why does everyone seem so happy and successful? Something must be wrong with me.”

The second, and much larger problem, is that we alienate each other on a personal and even cultural level. This manufactured strength serves to deepen the divides we feel between each other. “Those people have it so easy. Those people don’t know what it’s like. Those people don’t deserve what they have.” Those people.

It is hard to hate those people when you can see that they are juggling their hopes, dreams, insecurities, and failures in much the same way you are. It is difficult to find the desire to attack when the soft underbelly of their emotions is presented in a moment of trust and pure openness.

The first step is paramount to this process. The first step is to be vulnerable yourself, to let others see your emotions and insecurities and hopes and dreams and to trust that they won’t strike (much like starting this blog). You will find that your life fills with more like-minded people, those willing to bare their souls and connect on a deeper level once the armor is shed. You will find that your instinctual reaction to seeing your enemy’s weaknesses will change from the desire to exploit those weaknesses to the desire to connect with them and heal them.

When we, as a society, are more vulnerable, we can more easily see that we are all the same. It’s hard to hate someone when you can see yourself in them.

Be more vulnerable. Become stronger in the process. Help others find their strength. This is the key to unlocking our true potential.


December 9th, 2016

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