Lessons: The Strength of Vulnerability

baby hedgehog

Something happens on the massage table. Some sort of truth-serum spills into the brain when the body relaxes. The tongue loosens, and a client shares a story with me. Every day, I am humbled by the vulnerability of people. As humans, we wake up, put on our armor and charge inot the world, fighting our battles, winning our cause, driving toward goals. Some goals require a ruthlessness or tenacity that shields our weak spots and protects our exposed areas.

But on the massage table, I hear the vulnerability that must be hidden during the day. I hear about risks you’ve taken that made you vulnerable to another person. Chances you took that exposed your true self to the scrutiny of others. I hear about the meaningful connections made when we make ourselves vulnerable.

Most of all, I sense the strength and acceptance of self of that person who has the courage to stand vulnerable in front of others. It’s a strength that grows with the telling. It’s a strength that unnerves or unbalances adversaries and foes. Vulnerability requires an acceptance of self that opens up the mind and body even as it exposes you to others.

And that acceptance of self, that mastery of your own weaknesses and foils: that is true strength.

Photo Credit: flickr.com CCL  user: monica arellano-ongpin


  1. Jerry Andrus said,

    July 6, 2011 at 9:32 am

    For more on vulnerability check out Brene Brown’s blog or website:


    She also has two talks on TED talks.

    Thank you for sharing Heather.

  2. Janice said,

    July 6, 2011 at 10:45 am

    I think we have to be bottled up most of the time, so a massage is one great way for release which I try to get in at least once every 3 weeks…..it keeps me limber and sane………

  3. Heather Wibbels said,

    July 6, 2011 at 9:08 pm

    Janice – Absolutely. Getting regular massage is what keeps me moving!

  4. Heather Wibbels said,

    July 6, 2011 at 9:10 pm

    Jerry – I had been thinking about this post for a while, and saw Brene Brown’s TED talk and it made so much sense to me. It really solidified what I was thinking about in terms of how vulnerability can be a strength. Glad to know others have heard of Brene Brown. Great TED talk.

RSS feed for comments on this post · TrackBack URL

Leave a Comment