One of my favorite movies is the movie Hitch. What’s amazing about Hitch is how unbelievable human it is. You have people rolling around in their insecurities, their flaws, and, their imperfection. But, what is ultimately true about Hitch, is that the main characters are searching for something more. They’re searching for human connection. Connection with the opposite sex, and, in the case of Kevin James and Will Smith, connection in a friendship.
Connection is a hard thing isn’t it? I am a classic introvert. I don’t like participating with many people at once. But, I still long for human connection. For years, I struggled with this. I bounced in and out of friendships, in and out of dating relationships, not having that “spark”, or that connection with people. For years, I also carried secrets that haunted me. The secrets caused me to feel insignificant, unimportant and not enough for my friends or girlfriends. This feeling of shame haunted me, it made me feel like if I shared this part of my life, no one would love me or care about me. This part of me was unacceptable. Who I was unacceptable.
Shame is best described as the fear of disconnection. Over the past year, I have made some of my closest friends. I made known my insecurities, my brokenness, my secrets that caused me to not feel like I was enough. The only reason, I feel any bit close to these people, was because I took a courageous step of being vulnerable with them. To let them see all of the parts of myself, that I didn’t even want to see. But, the only way for connection to happen, is to allow others to see us fully emotionally, psychologically and spiritually naked. And, as we let others see our tears, see our brokenness, see our emptiness, that void slowly becomes filled, and, that fear that we are not worthy of connection, slowly fades. Because, as we allow ourselves to be loved, and, filled with love, then we can give it away to others. This is the utter importance of vulnerability.
The healthiest people I know, embrace vulnerability. These people who embrace vulnerability, are not afraid to go into the inevitable places of darkness in our lives (anxiety, depression, death, betrayal, failure, etc…), because, they know that they won’t walk in these places alone. This has enabled these people to walk in those places with a sense of joy, of being understood, of being loved, and, cared for. They live their life knowing their accepted.
One of the terrible parts of being human, is that when we try to push aside all of the bad, empty, painful feelings in our life, we also push aside all of the feelings that bring us joy, happiness, and belonging. The truth is, is that I am completely and utterly imperfect, and, so are you. But, when we allow ourselves to be seen, to be known, to be imperfect with others, we allow our hearts to be loved unconditionally, and, we can begin a process where those bad, empty, painful feelings can find healing and be worked out. When we open ourselves up with others, we can begin to feel enough for others, but, more importantly, for ourselves.