No matter what heights we reach in life we all start naked and completely and utterly dependent. There is an amazing intelligence behind our complete neediness in our formative years. For later, when we are basking in our hubris and cock sure attitude, the fall back to vulnerability will not be for the very first time.
Vulnerability is not some occasional uncomfortable experience in our grown up lives. Vulnerability is the essence of our very being. It is ever present, running like a river, connecting all our false and real projections. It is one moment away from us when we feel most glorious. It will steal like a thief in the night the drunken sense of our invincibility.
Real power is never gained without bringing its dance partner, vulnerability, along. Real vulnerability is a pathway to authentic power.
In shutting out our vulnerability we shut out our humanity…our ability to feel with, to feel…to be soft and tender and wanting. Without engaging vulnerability we will never access our full power. For power without heart and compassion is not power but idiot might.
Vulnerability will find you. It is not something you can run from. It will find you through grief and loss and death and your own age.
The simple question for the wise leader is when will you choose to embrace vulnerability? Do you choose it now…to bring your whole self, power and vulnerability all together…do you lead from heart and soul? Or will you guard your vulnerability like some nasty skin disease, and instead lead from bitterness and fear?
We fear vulnerability because we have not be taught how to stand comfortably in it. It often wears the cloak of shame.
Start with small steps. Start by speaking to one or two trusted people truthfully about how you are really feeling. Start with being comfortable in not knowing.
Start small and move daily towards real power, dancing so gracefully with its ever present partner, vulnerability.
Photo credit: Christine McDougall (that would be me)