We are currently involved in a Boot Camp. This camp is a training ground for us to receive our next belt in karate. The closer we get to our black belt, the more intense the training has become. It is as it should be.
During one of our camps one of our instructors told us what the ceremony was for those who had successfully achieved their next belt. They would stand in horse stance and all of the black belts would walk by and either punch or kick them in the stomach. It sounded a little barbaric to me, however tradition was defining. What he said next stuck with me at a deep level.
“There is something about surrendering yourself to total vulnerability that creates within you the knowledge that you can do hard things.”
I have spent a fair amount of time pondering this statement. Strength is something that I have sought daily, for it is a journey. The principle of allowing yourself to be vulnerable to find strength is quite powerful. It requires something of us , something that can be difficult to do… it requires that we look inside and see the places that need to be stronger.
This form of vulnerability is not the self-defeating, negative talk method that one may think. It is a humble, desire to improve ourselves inventory check. It is not the, “I suck because I am weak.” It is, “I have work to do, I want to become something more so I will overcome what I need to.”
For so long I viewed vulnerability as a negative quality. I saw it as something that shows my flaws. I feared it, because I feared that others would think that I am someone less. I was completely and utterly wrong.
I began a study of strength and I found that in every case, weakness (or vulnerability) was found. In 2 Corinthians (among many other scriptures) Paul spoke of a time he had sought out the Lord. The response he received allowed me to understand why we need to be vulnerable…
“And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee; for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake; for when I am weak, then am I strong.” (2 Cor 12:9-10)
As I have allowed myself to recognize and embrace the vulnerabilities that I have, I have gained a greater perspective. These weaknesses are not signs that I am less, or anything of that nature. They are evidences that I have growth that is available to me that will bring with it confidence, wisdom, and strength. As I do hard things, I find within me qualities that I never would have found otherwise.
I marvel that once accepted, vulnerability makes us stronger, more of who we are meant to be.