The Fierce Beautiful Strength of Vulnerability By Cylvia Hayes


Last week I did something terrifying.  In order to move forward I faced a threat and immersed myself in extremely traumatic memories and experiences.  All I could do was trust the assurances of a stranger that I had good reason not to trust.

It was a place of extreme vulnerability and that is a place in which I have never been comfortable.

I was raised to believe tears were a sign of weakness; anger a show of strength.

But as life has torn and tempered, honed and healed me I have seen how backward that thinking is.

It takes tremendous courage to be vulnerable, to put our tender parts in the hands of another.  To have faith, to trust.

True strength is shown in our willingness to reveal our very humanness, pieces of ourselves we may think of as unflattering.  We look upon these threads in the tapestry of our Selves as shameful, but sometimes, taken as part of the whole, they are among the most beautiful strands.

One thing I’ve learned through this recent difficult season of life is that no one is invulnerable and real strength is exercised when, having had the armor ripped away and our soft, fragile parts stoned, flogged and flayed, we choose not to harden or hate but to soften even more.

A ribbon of lava because of its warmth, fluidity and flexibility cannot be broken or constrained.  It’s only when it turns cold and grows hard that it stops moving forward and can be chipped, cut, blasted and broken apart.

For any of you currently struggling with shame and vulnerability I highly recommend Brene Brown’s work and her TED talk which can be viewed here

Cylvia Hayes

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