When I looked up the definition of “Vulnerable”, the Merriam-Webster dictionary says it is “capable of being physically or emotionally wounded.” What the dictionary didn’t say was that once we open ourselves up to possibility being hurt or wounded, we can come back emotionally stronger. We can also better empathize with others by sharing deep, personal experience that connect us as humans.

Easy to say, but hard to actually practice…. Wait, it’s actually kind of hard to say, too (for me, anyway). This topic isn’t something a lot of people consider or talk about. But I’ve found that I can understand a person or conversation better if I too, am vulnerable with them.

Here in the Midwest, we have this habit of asking people how they are. We usually get the typical response of “good.” I think it’s common to brush under the rug how we truly are. It’s problematic that we accept “good” as a response when we ask somebody how they are.

If they are just ecstatic and for example, they just won a million dollars, they will let you know. But if things aren’t “good”, when asked the question “how are you?” we respond “good.”

There is so much pain in the world for someone to just respond “good.” Conversely, if we let people be vulnerable and talk about how they truly feel, they can deal with the grief or pain they’ve felt. After that, they can continue to enjoy the grand wonders of this life.

 

-Abby

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