Being Vulnerable Doesn’t Make You Weak
BY: NIKKI MICHELLE CHARNSTROM
I’m a crier. If I have to talk about hard stuff, you can bet tears will be shed. However, if I’m not in the mood to cry, the walls stay up and I hold back. Let’s be real though, who is ever WANTING to cry? The bottom line here, honestly, is I don’t want people to think of me as weak or broken—so, I don’t cry. I don’t let them in.
Vulnerability seems to come naturally to me—in some areas. I am realizing now I keep certain spaces of life secret and hidden away. I can’t seem to bring myself to publicly talk about the things that are hurting me most right now. Maybe, it’s because I still feel broken. Maybe, it’s because admitting the truth makes the pain more real. Allowing others into my personal spaces of confusion and grief doesn’t feel right—but will it ever?
I’m recognizing the hypocrite in me and that’s not easy. I tell other women to share their stories and be vulnerable, but I can’t bring myself to tell the world just what hurts me. What am I fearful of? Being criticized. Having my hurt belittled. Acknowledging it happened. Showing my weakness. Telling the world I’ve been scared to call it “depression” or “anxiety” because I don't want those labels is a BIG DEAL—for me, anyway.
As I continue to work up the courage to let you in and show you the shattered pieces of my heart, I want you to know one thing: your internal battles, struggles and hurts do not make you weak—neither does opening up about them. That makes you brave, girl.
This is something I’m holding onto in the process of healing and moving forward. Yes, brokenness is still very much present in my day to day—but how beautiful would it be if I let you breathe life into that hurt? You can’t lift me up if you don’t know what it is that brings me to tears.
Humanity is broken. We all struggle. We all hurt. It’s just the way this world works—but, that doesn’t mean we are called to go through it alone. The first step towards healing is releasing the hurt. The second step is allowing others in who can speak love, life and wisdom over you. The third step is believing you deserve to move forward in happiness.
So, let’s you and I rid ourselves of the belief that vulnerability makes you weak. It’s just not true. Being vulnerable is an act of courage and strength. Vulnerability says: I might not be healed and whole, but I believe I will get there.
Nikki is the owner and founder of Crowned Chics. She lives in the warm desert of Phoenix, Arizona with her beloved family. If she's not ferociously clanking away on her typewriter, she's behind the camera capturing moments for her business Charnstrom Captures Photography.