Vulnerability is sexy. Yep. Stay with me here.
Mostly we tend to want to hide our vulnerabilities for fear of ridicule and disconnection (at least that’s true for me). Or, fear of actually feeling feelings that make us uncomfortable like grief, disappointment, and worse, shame–the ultimate disconnector!
Yet it’s our vulnerabilities, our openness to life as it unfolds, that provides us a sense of aliveness, joy and creativity.
Check out the picture to your right. It’s from the Vulnerability is Sexy wall at the Conscious Capitalism Conference I attended in Chicago last week, a business conference of all things.
At check-in participants received a bright teal postcard asking us to write down our vulnerabilities. Amazingly, people wrote them out!
Throughout the conference Corey Blake and his Round Table artists were creating this wall from those bright teal postcards. At every break folks were checking out the artwork, the sentiments shared and talking about them.
While conversations at the conference ranged from business to branding, values we all share stood out: to do good work in the world, to have clean water and air, to care for our children and parents, to not only belong to a community but to contribute in meaningful ways–and to live life fully.
All these conversations had at the center the commitment to what I’d call an ethic of right action and love, especially the ones at the wall. By publicly sharing our vulnerabilities, now artistically captured on the wall, what was perceived as weakness or disdainful or a simply a secret to be hidden away, became a source of energy and connection.
Our strength and frailty as human beings, our foibles and idiosyncrasies are our creative source for engaging with life as it unfolds each moment. Our willingness to stand right at the edge of what makes us most uncomfortable is the training we need to engage most deeply with those around us, to offer ourselves and our contributions to the larger world, whether in business, teaching, community service, health care, . . . . to stand in dignity in our place in the world.
Our interconnection is not only obvious and necessary, it’s good business. It’s healing to the world and likely to the planet. It requires owning our vulnerabilities . . . . .admitting mistakes and failures, acknowledging not being an expert and maybe needing help, owning our difficulty with emotions at times and other people often . . . yes, our vulnerabilities connect us to ourselves and what it means to be human and compelling.
And that’s pretty sexy.