Wednesday, July 15, 2009

take a risk

If you had the chance to be vulnerable, would you? Is it something you enjoy? Is it a state of being that is imposed upon you or do you have a role? In moments of vulnerability, I have felt exposed and wide open. When I am in that space, I need one thing - to be supported. However, the hardest part about putting yourself out there is that you don't know the response you will get or if you will indeed receive the support that you need. It is a risk we take.

I think that being vulnerable scares us and therefore when we see it in others it can lead to fear as well. And when we sense fear we have the tendency to want to flee. I wonder if that fear may be the reason people have a difficult time being with those who are vulnerable and even supporting them in their time of need.

In our society, vulnerability tends to be seen as a weakness. I would argue that to be vulnerable is to be one's authentic self and therefore is to be strong. Being vulnerable in front of another person takes courage. The thing about being vulnerable is that you are naturally showing up. You are being unbelievably present.

If you are weighing the benefits and risks of being vulnerable in front of someone else, think about the relief and goodness of being supported. And even if you don't get the support you need, you still know that you have been your true authentic self and that counts for a lot.

Sunday, July 05, 2009

asking how

I am often fixated on why. Why are we here? Why do people act the way they do? Why is there love? Why is there hate? Why are we curious? Why do we fight in wars? The list goes on and on. I could ask "why" questions forever. But maybe a better way to go about it is to ask how. How do we love each other? How does one person affect another? How can we find peace with one another? How do the pieces fit together? How can we sense that there is something beyond us? The question of how leads us to more concrete answers. It leads us to a place we can hold on to, a place we can spend some time in.

If we can get to a point where we ask how instead of why, we may be closer to getting out of our heads for a while. I find that I dwell in the why questions which can lead to unnecessary worrying and circular thinking. When I think of people who are doers and motivated to get things done, my impression is that they spend some time thinking about the whys, but then quickly move on to the hows. The how answers are more solid and help us move forward. I want to practice this way of thinking.

Are you searching for concrete answers in your life, but asking "why" questions? I am not minimizing the importance of why. I am merely suggesting that moving towards "how" might get you a little bit closer toward the solid answers you are looking for.