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Try Vulnerability

Alyssa Robinson shares why she struggles with vulnerability.

I don’t understand vulnerability. There. I said it. I’ve seen all of Brene Brown’s Netflix specials, watched a few Ted Talks, and read a couple of her books, but when it comes to practicing vulnerability, I just don’t get it.

Until recently, I considered myself an open book. Even today, I honestly answer any questions without hesitation about sex, politics, religion, all of the heavy-hitter topics. I’ve always enjoyed openly sharing thoughts and opinions on issues that most people are afraid to talk about. But two years ago, I took my first Enneagram class and learned more about myself than I knew there was to learn. I am an Eight on the Enneagram. If you’d like to learn more about the Enneagram I invite you to attend the Unshallow Enneagram class we have coming up on September 26. Learn more about it HERE.

One of the shocking things I learned about myself as an Eight is that I struggle with vulnerability. When I first learned this insight about myself, I denied it. After all, I was willing to talk to anyone about anything. However, the more I studied the Enneagram, the more I realized that is so far from the truth. The truth is I was willing to talk to anyone about anything I felt like I had control over or anything that presented me as a strong woman. I openly talked about sex, politics, and religion for the shock value, not because I was being vulnerable. I wanted people to think I was unafraid and bold, but on my terms.

So what’s the topic I’m unwilling to talk about? Feelings.

Opening up about my true, raw feelings to someone is terrifying to me, especially the most tender feelings like embarrassment, shame, or sadness. I’m usually willing to talk about feelings once I’ve finished processing them and have come out the other side (because I’ve reined them in), but I don’t want to let people in when I’m experiencing feelings in the moment. I’ve learned that I do this because of fear. I’m afraid! I want to keep people at a distance because I’m afraid of being rejected or betrayed. The mantra that I was given in my Enneagram class is, “Vulnerability is not weakness.”

Vulnerability is not weakness.
Vulnerability is not weakness.
Vulnerability is not weakness.

I want to learn to take my perceived fearlessness and turn it into actual bravery. It is brave to be emotionally present. It takes courage to leave the safety of the walls I’ve built and share my most fragile feelings with others. Vulnerability is strength, and vulnerability is brave. I still have to convince myself of these things every time I step into a situation that requires vulnerability, but I am trying.

I invite you to explore vulnerability with me in our September worship series, Unshallow. Check out the trailer to learn more and try being vulnerable with me.

Posted by Alyssa Robinson at 3:00 PM

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