A Pat on Vulnerability
About five years ago someone said to me, “Who can say no to you?” I kind of got irritated, and thought, why would you be concerned about who could say no, and not who could actually encourage me? At the time I didn’t understand what I do now.
So many times we all just need a hearing ear to confide in, vent frustrations, or simply to just be truthful and confess our sins or weaknesses. We need a true friend, not just for passive listening, or a half listening individual only desiring to give advice, but a deep friend whom we can be vulnerable with, and know they can also be the same with us. This is what the Vida team here calls a Mentor.
We all desire someone of this kind, but the problem is, they are simply hard to find. Or so many times people are just looking for titles and are not willing to get deep, or more often we are not willing to be vulnerable with anyone; especially if we struggle with insecurities of some kind, which every one of us to some degree does. We all too often have experienced rejection, people have taken advantage of us or simply we feel used….. whether it was our fault or not we feel used to some degree not to trust others anymore. Or simply so many times we want to know other people’s vulnerability without expressing the same weaknesses ourselves. Most of the time, there is no trust in such a relationship, as the only thing it shows for is. One is weak, and the other strong.
On the other hand, a true friend in a mentor of this kind is rare, since this individual does not just rely on their expertise, experience or titles to share with you or guide you, but they also communicate that you matter to them. Since you do mater to them, they actively seek to invest their time, resources or whatever necessary to add value to you, and just let you know they are there in whatever the situation. A true characteristic of this individual is that. A confrontation, or your weakness will not deter them from loving you enough to correct you where you are wrong and stay with you through.
To be true to ourselves, one can never find such a mentorship one sided. In other words, its less like counseling and more like coaching, you walk with each other hand in hand. As the saying goes, everyone needs a Paul, and everyone needs a Timothy. If you are a leader, you know this is so true. It is always hard to try and lead others while you cannot give them a definite example of whose leadership you are under yourself and your are truly vulnerable, with them as friends, and less as a title or hierarchy. Are you truly vulnerable and humble yourself?
In the last twoand half years, I have had the privilege of working along side a really wise guy, whom I came to call a mentor in my personal life and family life. You may wonder about my judgment of of wise people but I will share with you one character trait he has installed in me, that before I have always dreaded to venture into.
!Vulnerability! When I first met Daniel, I thought he must be a really boring individual, as his nature, he takes his time to talk and express himself from deep within. It did not take me long, that from time to time as I expressed my own struggles he would also share his struggles, but there was always a difference. I would carefully select words of expression as not to sound so bad after all, but Daniel always seemed the opposite. I would wonder, how can you seek to share such struggles with people supposedly whom you are leading and still expect them to follow your leadership? The answer seemed simple as time went by. I begun to realize that whenever Daniel shared something he was struggling with, is the more people actually trusted him, and it’s the more he gained people’s hearts and deep confidence.
Here is what I have learned through my relationship with Daniel:
- Be humble enough to share your struggles with others
- When you communicate from the heart with people, you can also expect people to be honest with you
- Don’t be afraid about getting hurt, it’s the only way for you to communicate that you really care about others.
- Do not worry about people who may not choose to be in your boat because of your struggles.
If it has been such a long time ever since you had a persona of this kind in your life, pray for God to lead you into a true deep relationship with such a mentor. Talk to some of the people in your life who are strong enough to say no to you, and love you to hold you accountable. And finally, say hello to vulnerability, it’s only through which humility can be expressed which is the most vital human venture of all time.
Do you have a person whom you can confide in? How about you, do you look to add value to others this way?
Written by Donald Kamese