As I sit at a sidewalk table at a coffee shop in London, I can’t help but think about the impact of vulnerability. Like I warned you last time, this is an ongoing discussion in my life and something I am striving to be better with. The scary thing about vulnerability is the perceived pain in allowing yourself to be open.
I have experienced many levels of pain in my life. From having my tonsils removed at 21 to breaking up with my first love when we realized there are some differences we could never overcome. Some pain may take longer to heal but, in my experience, all emotional pain hits at about the same threshold. There is pain or there isn’t. It isn’t a 1 to 10 scale no matter how many times a doctor asks.
But on the other spectrum of pain is joy and unlike pain there are infinite levels of joy.
In life and relationships we protect ourselves and limit vulnerability so that we do not get hurt but I have found, even when I do that, pain is still there when it doesn’t work out.
This theory may seem crazy to you but what if we lived in the mindset that although there is potential for pain we know at what threshold it will come and if we allows ourselves to be vulnerable we could reach a new level of joy?
At this point of my journey, the risk of missing out on experiencing joy has much more at stake than being hurt. I know I can survive pain, I have experienced it and lived to tell the tale. I can’t bear to risk missing out on the reward of joy.