For me, one of the most attractive qualities in a person is vulnerability.
When they let down their guard, let their feelings bubble over – the good, the bad, and the ugly. Not a sign of weakness but strength. No longer is a person prepared to mask their sadness, loneliness, confusion – to go it alone in stoic silence.
For many a year, I stood in silence, unable to articulate myself in a world I found overwhelming and confusing. I flinched at the touch of loved ones, and remain tight-lipped even when surrounded by lifelong friends, I was a closed book. I felt misunderstood, and I was for I never revealed anything about my inner world.
In 2005 a colleague sensing my unease asked me point-blank ‘ you have never really shown your vulnerable side to anyone, have you?’ We were out at Friday night drinks. I did not respond, I just ordered a double gin and gulped it down.
That was 11 years ago, I still recall that confronting question for at the time, it was true.
August 2016, and I am commuting to work in Sydney from the South Coast. On the train journey, I listen to my Mothers iPod to pass the time… And when I feel inspired, I write.
I have reacquainted myself with the band Coldplay, in particular the album ‘ Rush of Blood to the Head’ song eight’ Warning Sign’. I have been listening to this song on high rotation. Lead singer Chris Martin sings from the heart, lays it all bear for the world to know he is missing his lover. It is an achingly beautiful song, sung by a man who is clearly suffering loss and hoping that through song things can be mended.
It struck a chord.
Vulnerability in song form – it is ever so moving, ever so relatable. One connects with the honest tone of voice, the emotional turmoil evident in the lyrics.
It is an enabling song, connection between people.
And that us what being vulnerable promotes – human connection.
No wonder I was so god damm lonely!! Why oh why Mr Martin did your song fail to break me in two, let the flood gate of tears unfold. How did I miss the bleeding obvious’ Warning Sign’?
Put simply, I wasn’t ready to acknowledge my own vulnerability and was scared witless by this quality in others.
But now, different story. I have perfected the recipe for human connection – trust, familiarity, love, honesty & a desire to be present.