two women near yellow sunflowers

In A World Afraid Of Vulnerability, Be A Safe Place For People

We live in a world where a lot of people are afraid to show us who they really are. A world where “I am fine” is what people say when they couldn’t be feeling worse. A world where vulnerability is only seen to be for the faint-hearted. A time where people have never felt more alone in this widely connected and globalized world.

Yet it does not surprise me at all. If it has been so normalized to run away from our own emotions, which are a very normal part of the human experience, then how can we be a shelter to another person’s heart? When instead of trying to know what shakes the person in front of you, what keeps them awake at night, or what makes their soul shine, we just want to pass time blabbering about mundane things and anything that’s stripped of real emotions. Then it’s normal for people to feel so lifeless.

I wish more people knew that vulnerability is cool, that their fears are valid, and that their pain needs to be heard. You are not an outlier. I am sorry if society tries to shut you up. I am sorry if people don’t give your heart the space to breathe through the storms. I am sorry if you’ve opened up to the wrong people and decided that it’s better to keep it all to yourself. You are brave and you are strong and you are a person of real substance. You are a rare gem in this world because you choose to show your humanness, because you choose to speak about your worries and dreams and shortcomings just as much as the pretty and shiny things. You are real.

My hope for this world is for people to feel more heard, for people to allow themselves to be less shielded, knowing they’ll be met with more ‘me toos’ and a willingness to understand. I hope that when someone comes to speak to you about their trauma and grievance, you try to be a safe space for their trembling voice. I hope that when someone shows you the less confident side of themselves, you show them it’s okay. I hope that when someone speaks their heart out about their passion, you try to be truly interested in the details.

I truly hope that in a time where people focus on success and perfection and being admired, we might also have the ability to be our rawest selves without ever feeling less of a person because of it.

About the author

Amira Abdel-Fadil