Vulnerability as a Strength – CMC Therapy

Vulnerability as a Strength

By: Giancarlo Simpson, LMHC



We Deserve to Feel Protected 

Many of my clients reflect on their inability to open up and connect with others as something taught to them growing up. Their stories are like many of our stories growing up, where our opportunities to be emotional and vulnerable are stifled. “What are you crying for?” “You a man and men don’t cry (said to a 5-year-old),” “Don’t tell your cousins because they talk too much,” and many more examples of us being taught to suppress our emotions and keep things to ourselves have also been what has hindered us from connecting wholeheartedly with others. We are taught early that our feelings and experiences are to be kept “in house.” The irony is that these feelings and experiences are kept “in house,” and the solutions to our dilemmas are not explored. No healing, just vibes


Repurposing Vulnerability

In my professional experience, I see people wanting more connection and struggling to obtain it because they feel uncomfortable opening up. They are uncomfortable sharing their needs because that makes them seem “weak,” and they don’t want to be vulnerable. Let's clear this up quickly while I have your attention. Vulnerability allows you to connect deeper with others, be open to change, and see things from a new point of view. We build deeper connections by enabling others to get close to us. 
Vulnerability allows us to learn and understand who we are and our narrative. Our vulnerability will enable us to evaluate ourselves and look within to make changes in our lives. Vulnerability allows us to see things differently and challenges our understanding of the world and ourselves. So many of us avoid exploring who we are entirely and avoid understanding the world around us because it may challenge our idea of self, which is threatening.
Vulnerability means you are open to being hurt, and who in the world wants to do that? I am not here trying to change the definition of vulnerability but rather challenge its use in our lives. We use vulnerability as a reason to maintain distance and be disconnected from others. We don’t want others to be too close because they may leave us or use what we shared against us. I get it. This is a real fear. I would argue that sometimes, we need to do a better job of discerning people, but that is a talk for another day. Vulnerability does not have to be what 
hurts us but rather something that can heal and help complete us. 


Vulnerability Takes Courage

I am here to say that vulnerability takes courage. Vulnerability can leave you feeling defenseless and helpless, but if you own your narrative (trust who you are), what you share will only strengthen you.  By owning your narrative, you remind yourself that you create the story you want to live and what you/how you share will only compliment it. Vulnerability does not have to create an experience where your happiness is at the burden of someone else. Don’t let anyone dictate your happiness. Ever. 


It is easy to shut someone out. Give yourself permission to be strong and to be vulnerable. Trust that you are on a journey, growing in self-love, and this new journey will provide new opportunities for connection and intimacy. 

But don’t pressure yourself; progress is a process. If you don’t give yourself permission today to be vulnerable, then do it tomorrow. You are deserving of connection and peace of mind. I want that for you. 


Stay blessed

Song to bump to: “Blessed” by Wiz Kid ft Damian Marley 

Video to watch: “Deep End” by Lecrae

Follow on IG: @The_Broken_Stereotype

We need to break generational curses, collaborate on strengthening our communities, decolonize how we see each other, and see ourselves, reimagining a world for ourselves where strength and vulnerability are interchangeable concepts. So, to my Black brothers and sisters. Let us come together, genuinely unified, truly together. Receiving who we all are in our purest forms.


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