This week I was sat in my local winebar waiting for a friend and overheard 3 forty something professional women talking about their relationships. ‘Well what John has taught me is what I don’t want in a relationship – I don’t want a full on relationship, lots of attention or marriage. I am more than happy with dinner a few nights a week and the occasional sex.’ Really? Seriously, is this the definition of a modern day relationship demanded by today’s professional, busy woman?
Oh god I hope not! What happened to love, to hopeless, all out infatuation when you simply cannot live without him and miss him even if you spend a few days apart? Or is this me? Am I a dated, old fashioned Disney romantic?
Or, is something else going on here? Is our reluctance to let go, risk and allow love in another symptom of fear? Are we suppressing our vulnerability as a form of self protection and control?
Sometimes love hurts; sometimes it does not work out; sometimes he cheats and you walk; sometimes you cheat and he walks, sometimes it becomes boring or family scenarios make it impossible to settle but and it’s a BIG but if the alternative to seeking love is dinner a couple of times a week with the occasional romp I will take bliss, however temporary it may be any day!
One of my favourite gurus on the subject of vulnerability is Brene Brown. She defines vulnerability as connection, what gives purpose to life, why we are here, and whilst some people embrace it others stay in ignorance and denial. People who embrace it have the courage, compassion and connection to tell their story of who they are with their whole heart, brave enough to be flawed and share their flaws with others.
Those that ignore it do so in several ways:
- They numb it by addiction, medication, obesity
- They make the uncertain certain and attempt to eradicate any discourse from their life. Everything is black and white, yes or no, do or don’t.
- They attempt to perfect – themselves, their kids, their environment
- They pretend that what they do does not have an effect on others.
I see all ateast 2,3,and 4 showing up in my opening story. Love has no certainty, you will only attract what you are prepared to give and every action has a reaction.
We must stop seeing vulnerability as a weakness as it is key to our authenticity and our story. A life where we take no risks is no life atall, unless you are aiming for mediocrity. People deserve to see all of you, flaws and all because as you attempt to numb the pain you also numb the joy.
Remember life begins at the end of your comfort zone. Be brave and know that regardless of your story you are enough.