Vulnerability isn't the most popular approach to life. I bet it isn't even in the top 10. But for us to live real and be authentic we must start with vulnerability. We must be willing to lay ourselves out there no matter what. In this first episode under the "Let's Get Tryin'" banner, we start with a look into the art of vulnerability. We look at how God created us to be unashamed, authentic people. That's where we grow. That's where relationships grow and that's where the world changes.
”Authenticity is more than speaking; authenticity is also about doing. Every decision we make says something about who we are.” - Simon Sinek
There's a difference between vulnerability and authenticity.
Authenticity is when our external actions match our internal beliefs and feelings.
Vulnerability is exposing your true self; the good and bad in a way that's risky and relationally dangerous.
Vulnerability isn't the negative word that we might view it as. It's actually how we were intended to live. More on that in a moment. The hard thing about vulnerability, though, is that it's risky. But risk doesn't always end badly. It could change our lives for the good.
Vulnerability is...It's trusting someone who has hurt you in the past. It's loving someone and being open to the risk that they'll hurt you. It's having kids. It's going to work everyday. It's even sharing your blessings with others.
Meant to be Vulnerable We were created to be vulnerable. It's how we were intended to live. Here's what I mean by that: God did not intend for us to live ashamed. Shame is the enemy of vulnerability. Every single time you withhold vulnerability, you're reacting to some sort of shame.
15 The Lord God placed the man in the Garden of Eden to tend and watch over it. 16 But the Lord God warned him, “You may freely eat the fruit of every tree in the garden— 17 except the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. If you eat its fruit, you are sure to die.”
18 Then the Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper who is just right for him.” - Genesis 2: 15-18
25 Now the man and his wife were both naked, but they felt no shame. - Genesis 2:25
The fall made us feel shame. It made us see vulnerability in a negative light.
8 When the cool evening breezes were blowing, the man and his wife heard the Lord God walking about in the garden. So they hid from the Lord God among the trees. 9 Then the Lord God called to the man, “Where are you?” 10 He replied, “I heard You walking in the garden, so I hid. I was afraid because I was naked.” - Genesis 3:8-10
Earlier they were naked and felt no shame, now they’re aware of their nakedness and find themselves ashamed.
Vulnerability got replaced by shame.
You're No Longer Bound by Shame
From a mental level, you are only bound by shame if you allow yourself to be. A life of vulnerability fights against that feeling of shame. If you're a Jesus follower, this should go without saying but thanks to what Jesus did on the cross we should no longer be overpowered by shame. Vulnerability can now be restored back as a part of our community with the Lord.
“But you belong to God, my dear children. You have already won a victory over those people, because the Spirit who lives in you is greater than the spirit who lives in the world.” - 1 John 4:4 NLT
Vulnerability grows real relationships
In the same way that vulnerability draws us back to the Lord, it also draws us back to one another. Everyday we interact with different people — our family, friends, co-workers. Those all have differing degrees of relationship, but vulnerability allows those relationships to grow and become real. Imagine if you had that kind of relationship with your spouse or sibling. Imagine if they knew you in such a way that you never had to feel alone in your struggles. That's vulnerability. Wow! How beautiful that would be.
Vulnerability creates Authentic Living
From those real relationships emerges something really powerful — authentic living. This means that you start to live a life that's free from the bondage of shame or the pressure of culture to be someone that you aren't. Authentic living spreads into every aspect of your life.
Identify several people you trust that you can be vulnerable with.
I think it'd be great if these people spanned across your life (so one person from your family, one person from your friends and one person from your work)
This allows you to be focused in your vulnerability about specific things. I have this in my life and man does it help tremendously.
Admit you don't have all the answers
Within those vulnerable relationships, it's high time we acknowledge that we don't know the answers to everything. These are the places we throw off the world's pressure to know it all and embrace the uncertainty of things. There's freedom in that.
So if you're talking to a person you trust about a specific situation that is really ruling you then name it. Say it out loud. Tell them, "I don't know what to do."
Ask for help
One of the most vulnerable things we can do is lay down our pride and just ask for help. This goes along with not knowing all the answers, but it's the next step to it. We must be able to say to those we trust, "Help! I don't know what to do."
Don't be afraid to acknowledge hurt
If one of those people you trust has hurt you, this can be a difficult thing, but it's also a safer place for your to practice that vulnerability. Say your spouse said something that felt like they were belittling you. If that's the case, then you need to have the freedom to acknowledge your hurt, set some boundaries and grow that relationship. If you hold it in, you're robbing yourself of the opportunity to strengthen that relationship.
Now if someone outside your circle of trust hurts you, I believe it's important to still go to those people you trust and acknowledge the hurt you felt. From there I believe it's important for you to evaluate the other relationship and ask this question, "Will this grow our relationship?" Will your telling them they hurt you be beneficial or not? Honestly, sometimes it won't be and you'll need to process this within your inner circle. But if it's really a relationship then you need to share that hurt you felt with the person who hurt you. Maybe you had a friend or co-worker throw you under the bus in a meeting at work. Well I believe you need to be vulnerable with them. If we aren't vulnerable in how others hurt us, we're only inviting them to hurt us again.
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FULL EPISODE TRANSCRIPT
Vulnerability is not the most popular approach to live, I bet it isn't even in the top 10. But for us to live real and be authentic, we have to start with vulnerability. We must be willing to lay ourselves out there no matter what, in this first episode under the let's get trying banner, we start with a look at vulnerability. We look at how God created us to be unashamed authentic people. And that's how we grow. That's where relationships grow. And that's where the world changes. So let's live real be authentic, and let's get tryin.
All right. Welcome back, everyone. And welcome to those of you who are hitting the podcast app for the first time. I am so pumped That you're here this first episode under the new banner. Let's get on with Aaron Lee. It just excites me. I love this new direction so much. And for me personally it hits the core of the life I want to live. I'm continually learning how much people need authenticity. And Aren't you guys tired of the garbage that we're being fed by the news and out there in the world. I mean, there's just so much negativity. And I hope that this is a time where we can take a stand against those things, a stand that I personally believe could change how both the world views things and how we treat one another. And so don't give up. We've got to hold this together, get a hold the line together, and we're in this together and there is hope. Before we jump into today's topic on vulnerability, I'm excited to announce a new segment to the podcast and instead of introducing it, I'll let the music do it for us. Here we go.
This is so ridiculous. Please don't take that too seriously. I'm just trying a new segment having a little fun with it. As you heard, it's an authentic minute with Aaron. This is a segment where we, we take a quick moment to share a quote, story or encouragement to those of us who are seeking to live authentic lives. So today's authentic minute is a quote from one of my favorite authors, Simon Sinek. If you've been listening to the podcast, you've probably heard me quote him before. Here's what he says. Authenticity is more than speaking. Authenticity is about doing. Every decision we make says something about who we are. I love that quote, for so many reasons, but I love it because it's about a lifestyle of authenticity, not just saying authentic things every now and again. The challenge for us, especially those of us starting out in this life of authentic living is kind of we have to shift our mindset we have to change Thinking and authenticity, it has to be something that is an opportunity to encourage others rather than something that we say. And by being authentic people, we encourage others to be authentic people. So let's, let's hear that quote one more time. Authenticity is more than speaking authenticity is about doing. Every decision we make says something about who we are. So that's our authentic minute for this week. We'll continue these each week. And hopefully there'll be simple but challenging reminders for those of us who are trying to live real and be authentic. Well, as I mentioned, in this episode, we're talking about vulnerability.
A couple months ago, I did an episode on this topic, and it was called fear of vulnerability. I want to be upfront with you. And I want to say that I feel like I approach that episode with the incorrect lens. I didn't look at it the right way. And if I want to be the leader and guide for us, I also need to be vulnerable about When I feel like I've fallen short, so ironically, I need to be vulnerable about vulnerability. And what I feel I got wrong in that episode was, was first that I was confusing authenticity and vulnerability. And I'm sure some of you, you're like, Whoa, I mean, honestly, what's the difference, right? The difference is actually really important. And I mentioned this in the last episode, but authenticity is when our external actions match up with our internal values and feelings. So if you're battling against talking about someone behind their backs, but yet, you still do it that's not being authentic. But if you stand up against that, you are being authentic. Now vulnerability on the other hand, vulnerability is exposing your true self, the good and bad in a way that's risky, and relationally dangerous. When we practice authenticity, we are seeking to be real and not fake.
When we practice This vulnerability we're being open to attack. And and it's just, it just means that we're more raw and that there's more opportunity for attack. So I know this seems negative, but vulnerability isn't this negative word that we might view it as it's actually how we were intended to live. And more on that in a minute. The hard thing about vulnerability, though, is that it's risky. But risk doesn't always end badly. It can change our lives for the good for us to talk about vulnerability means that we've got to be able to say, Okay, I'm going to take a risk and put my protective guard down. It may backfire, but but this is what I have to be willing to do. And here's the problem. We love to put vulnerability in a box. We think if it isn't a negative thing, then it isn't vulnerability. But that's just not true. While it does require us to share our weaknesses, it also requires us to share strengths. It's funny to me like I mentioned earlier, how vulner Ability requires vulnerability. Have you ever thought about that, you have to be open to the idea of being open, to show your strengths and show your weaknesses. But let me tell you what vulnerability is. It's trusting someone who has hurt you in the past. It's loving someone and being open to the risk that you'll be hurt by them. It's having kids, it's going to work every day. It's even sharing your blessings with others. That's what vulnerability is. Okay? So if I want to practice what I preach, I have to be vulnerable with you all. And some of what I'm going to share is probably stuff you deal with. While there may be some other things that you have a hard time understanding and that's okay. But if you've been a listener to the podcast, especially early on, you know that I went through a difficult season of bullying from my kindergarten years of school to my fifth grade year school and this is shaped by Basically, it's basically shaped the good and bad of my personality. Now, if you would ask me, would you change it? I would say no. And I am who I am because of it. But the problem with our wounds is they'll, they may mold us into the person that we are today, but they're still wounds and those wounds can bleed over into our relationships. And they can be reopened and they can be wide based on how people respond to us. That's what makes vulnerability so hard, is were exposing those wounds and the possibility of being hurt again. And I'd say that the number one thing for me personally, my number one wound that has been opened by that season of bullying is the desire to be wanted, because I was rejected so often as a kid, I desperately seek the approval and love of anyone and everyone I meet. Even if I don't like you, I want you to want me around. I see. I know. I know. That it's totally messed up and my need to feel Wanted is a monkey that I carry on my back even to this day. I'm currently 35. So for 30 years, I've lived with this guy on my back. Now say that it goes even further than just the desire for you to like me, it can be seen in my actions. full transparency, though. I'm the guy who will say something inappropriate in front of other guys to gain their acceptance and feel wanted. I'm the guy who will overanalyze the way you're acting and assume that you're mad at me. And then in my paranoia, I'll try to buddy up to you to make sure that I'm not the one who caused you to feel this way. So see, it's hard for me. And it's funny how me telling you this stuff makes me feel shame, but I believe it's because shame doesn't want me to be vulnerable about it. All of this is my wound. Is it the right way to live? Absolutely not. Am I alone in these things like this? Absolutely not. We all have something. Shame is going to keep us From being vulnerable and authentic about it. And we'll talk more about shame in just a second. So I want to ask this question though. Are you willing to lay it out there to people you trust? Are you willing to acknowledge that maybe you haven't been living a very authentic life? You have to be able to ask the question, am I really showing externally, what I value internally? So earlier I mentioned that we were created to be vulnerable. It's how we were intended to live. So here's what I mean by that. God did not intend for us to live a shame and shame is the enemy of vulnerability every single time you withhold vulnerability, you are reacting to some sort of shame. Let's take a look at a passage of scripture that is foundational in our understanding how God created us to be vulnerable.
In Genesis two we see that God created Adam and placed him in the Garden of Eden God tells him Now listen, Bub, you can have anything you want. You just don't eat from this one tree. That's it, enjoy the party, live it up, stay out as late as you want, and just don't eat from the knowledge of good and evil forage. So time passes, and God knew that wasn't good for Adam be alone. So he created Eve, Adam woke up from asleep. And before his eyes was the most beautiful woman on earth. You get it... anyway. And I'm sure what he says was, you do it for all my friends, fans out there. Just a couple of verses later, we find this verse. Now the man and his wife were both naked, but they felt no shame. That's Genesis 2:25. But they felt no shame. Simple, right? No big deal. But wait a minute. This is a big deal. Don't you see? I don't see many people, sane people, that are walking around my neighbor hood, naked feeling no shame. Let's be real. There isn't much more vulnerable than to be naked in front of someone else. But why is that? Why does it make us uncomfortable? Why is it now awkward for me to take off my shirt? At the swimming pool? It's probably because a too many Oreos. Nevermind. Why do we use the tactic of picturing people in their underwear when we were afraid to get up on stage and talk? I see I believe it's because of the fall. The Fall made us feel shame it made us see vulnerability in a negative light. When sin entered the world, it said hold up. You need to protect yourself. This is way too vulnerable. Now don't miss the forest for the trees. I'm not saying you should go live on a nudist colony. We're talking about vulnerability and shame not nakedness. When my anxiety is in depth calm one. Shame is something that can really take hold of me. If I'm hurting shame wants me to think That my anxiety is something that no one wants to hear about, or that no one cares about. So in my shame, I try to hide what I'm feeling so that you won't judge me. before Adam and Eve cracked open the knowledge of good and evil fridge. They weren't ashamed of the most vulnerable thing ever. But after the fall, the story began to shift. When they took that fruit and ate it, shame took hold. Genesis three eight through 10 says, when the cool evening breezes were blowing, the man and his wife heard the Lord God walking in the garden, so they hid from the Lord among the trees. And then the Lord God called to the man, where are you? He replied, I heard you walking in the garden. So I hid. I was afraid, because I was naked. So earlier they were naked and felt no shame. Now they're aware of their nakedness and they find themselves what? ashamed vulnerability got replaced by shame. So let me ask you this. Do you ever feel shame? If so, when? If not, are you sure? Shame comes in all kinds of forms. It comes in the morning when you step on the scale. It comes when you're not quite able to get that cowlick in your hair to lay down. It comes when someone gives you the cold shoulder. It even comes when intimacy is rejected by your spouse.
Several years ago, Jerrica and I were planning to move out of our first home and we were in the midst of cleaning this thing up. And we decided that we wanted to get rid of some of our stuff and we found some things just weren't worth very much money. So we would place them out by the road, put a label on them it said free so anybody want to stop and pick them up. They can just take them on this particular Saturday. had several friends over helping us and one of the items that I found in my old little shed was this broken bike. And so I was like, Alright, I'm gonna take this and then take it out by the road. So I grab it, my buddy grabs a couple of things from the shed and we start walking toward the road. About the time I laid the bike down, I heard a voice. And as I looked up, I saw two guys on road bikes. And they were clearly serious riders, they were wearing expensive gear, sunglasses, and those, whatever those awkwardly skin tight shorts, but by the time I could process what they said, they were past me. The guy had looked directly at me, and he had said, Who would want that crap, and then proceeded to turn to his friend and laugh. Oh, I could feel my blood pressure capping off on the top of my head as they continued to pedal down my street. I had had no more in a moment. One of weakness I yell out, hey, jerks, a few seconds passed, and then I raise my head up toward my hand that is now in the air. And I realized that my giant rocket of a middle finger was up in the air. And before you ask, yes, I was already a pastor when this happened. Listen, I'm a pastor. I'm not Jesus people. Fortunately for me, the two gentlemen had already gotten out of earshot, so they had no clue what I'd done. But immediately shame took over, not only in the, in that moment, was I compromised by the cruelty of the cyclist. But now I felt so much shame. Shame that I was the worst pastor on the planet shame that my friends saw what I did shame that the non believer across the street might have saw me do it. This wrecked me in it wrecked me for several days and then and then shame came to a head to my horror, I was sitting in my office at work and one of my co workers walked into my office and said, Did you get rid of that crap? Now for a moment, I was confused. And then that nightmare began to replay in my mind and at the moment that I got to the point where I was looking up at my bully, I realized that underneath the sunglasses, and underneath the helmet was my coworker. And he had been riding with one of his friends, and happened to be riding by my house at the perfect time that Saturday morning. It's funny how we all make stupid mistakes. But what really gets me is how we let our shame drown out any kind of vulnerability. For me, I was insecure. My co workers comments spoke right to my insecurity and especially because I didn't know it was him. I just thought it was some dude being a Jerk. So I can tell you that I defended my actions that day, because I wasn't going to tell my wife, my friends or my neighbor, how insecure I was. I let shame block out vulnerability. Another way to look at it is I was Naked and Afraid. So I hid.
So where do we go from here? What's the life of vulnerability look like these days? First, let me tell you the benefits of vulnerability because I think you're probably still questioning whether it's worth it. And these are so important. So please listen closely. The first thing you need to hear is, you're no longer controlled by shame. Yeah, you heard me right. From a mental level, you were only bound by shame if you allow yourself to be bound by shame. A life of vulnerability fights against the feeling of shame. And if you're a Jesus follower, this should go without saying But thanks to what Christ did on the cross, we should no longer be overpowered by shame vulnerability can now be restored back as a part of our community with the Lord. First john four forces, but you belong to God, my dear children, you have already won a victory over these people, because the Spirit who lives in you is greater than the Spirit who lives in the world. The next thing I want us to see is vulnerability grows real relationships. In the same way that vulnerability draws us back to the Lord. It also draws us back to one another. Every day we interact with different people, our family, friends, co workers, all have differing degrees of relationship. But vulnerability allows those relationships to grow and become real. Imagine if you had that kind of relationship with your spouse or sibling. Imagine if they knew you in such a way That you never had to feel alone in your struggles. That is vulnerability. Wow. How beautiful would that be? The next thing is vulnerability creates authentic living. For those of us who want to have real relationships, this is powerful. This is something really powerful and it's authentic living. This means that you start to live a life that's free from the bondage of shame or the pressure of culture to be someone you aren't authentic living spreads into every aspect of your life. So all this sounds amazing, I'm sure sounds fantastic. But I wouldn't be doing US Justice if I didn't give us some practical ways for us to practice vulnerability and hear me it's going to take a lot of practice. It's going to feel real awkward and you're going to want to give up but don't This is way too important to life. The first thing we have to do is identify several people we trust that we can be vulnerable with. And I think it'd be great if those people spanned across your life. So one person from your family, one person, from your friends, one person from your work. And this allows you to be focused in your vulnerability about specific things. I have this in my life and man, does it help tremendously. The next thing we have to do is admit that you don't have all the answers. And boy is this one hard within those vulnerable relationships. It's high time we acknowledge that we don't know the answers to everything. These are the places we throw off the world's pressures to know it all and embrace the uncertainty of things. There's actually freedom in uncertainty. So if you're talking to a person you trust about a specific situation is really ruling you, then you need to name it, say it out loud. Tell them I don't know what to do. And the next piece of that is asked for help. One of the most vulnerable things you can do is lay down your pride, lay down our pride and just ask for help. And this goes along with not knowing all the answers, but it's the next step to it. We must be able to say to those we trust, help, I don't know what to do. And the next Don't be afraid to acknowledge hurt. If one of those people you trust has hurt you. This can be a difficult thing, but it's actually a safer place for you to practice that vulnerability. Say your spouse says something to you that made you feel belittled. If that's the case, then you need to have the freedom to acknowledge your hurt, set some boundaries and grow that relationship. If you hold it in, you're robbing yourself the opportunity to strengthen that relationship. Now if Someone outside your circle of trust hurts you, I believe it's important to still go to those people you trust and acknowledge that you're hurt and that you feel this. From there. I believe it's important for us to evaluate the other relationship and ask this question, will this grow this relationship? Will your talent telling them that they hurt you be beneficial or not? And here's the thing, honestly, sometimes it won't be. And you'll need to process this with your inner circle. But if it's a real relationship, then you need to share that hurt you felt with that person who hurt you. Maybe you had a friend or coworker throw you under the bus in the middle of a meeting at work? Well, I believe you need to be vulnerable with that. You need to tell them that if we aren't vulnerable and how others hurt us, we're only inviting them to hurt us again. I know this whole conversation about vulnerability can feel like a fire hydrant of knowledge. But you have to do it. And you can't feel like you're alone in it. That's why we're talking about this stuff. And also, I want to shout out to just the men that are listening. I know for men that this can be even harder to see value. And a lot of times we see this as weakness. And all I asked you to do is pray that the Lord would guide you and direct you on the subject. If you need to re listen to this episode, then do it. But don't believe the lie that vulnerability is weakness. Don't believe that it's a shameful thing. I promise. It can be free, I promise it can be life giving.
Before we finish up this episode, I'd like to introduce another segment to the podcast called Ask me anything. This is a segment where I'd love to have some audience participation. Now listen, this will be incredibly embarrassing if no one asks me any questions. So please, if you've got questions, please, please ask them them. And you may be asking, How do I ask those questions? Well, I'm glad you asked this a lot of stuff. Anyway, head over to errante lead calm and hover over podcast and then click the link that says Ask me anything. All you got to do from there is fill out the form and shoot me your questions. And just just like the title of the segment, you can ask me anything. You can ask me questions like Aaron, why are you so cool? I mean, that'll take two seconds to answer. Or you can ask things like how can I be more honest with my friends, whatever you want to ask that can be asked on a Christian podcast you can ask me. So today's first ask me anything question comes from my wife. Jerrica she's the best question asker I know and her question is, when do you feel most in tune with yourself? For me it comes when I have purposeful solitude and alone time. What I mean by that is that I can't just be alone for the sake of being alone. I have to Shut off my phone, take off my Apple Watch, sit down with my Bible, and a physical book or project where I work with my hands. And then I'm able to think the Holy Spirit usually is able to steady my chaotic mind and that's when I feel most in tune with myself. And I guess I would say it's when I feel peace, like I'm being the person I'm supposed to be. Alright, thanks, babe. for that question. Remember, I would really love for you to participate in this. So head over to errante lead calm, hover over podcast, and click Ask me anything.
Well, I'm having way too much fun with the stock, Stinger, music clips, whatever you want to call them. But yeah, I'm having way too much fun with those. Anyway, I hope you found this episode of the podcast helpful and encouraging to live real and to be authentic. Could you imagine a world that's radically changed by authentic living a life that wasn't caught up in itself but but more in the love of Jesus more living a life like Jesus, that would be a totally different place and I think it would be awesome. Also, please, please, please before you turn off this episode, hit that subscribe button, tell your friends and family get the word out. That would mean a lot to me. One other way that you can help support the podcast is by picking up a T shirt or sweatshirt at our online store. Those proceeds go directly back into the podcast and helping offset the cost of running it and you know what you get a super cool shirt or sweatshirt that you can help promote the podcast and it looks super cool. And how you can do that is again go to errante lead calm and all you got to do is click shop and that would mean the world to me as well. Also, be sure to like and subscribe and follow us on Facebook, Instagram and YouTube and You can find the show notes over at errante. Lead calm, be sure to sign up for the newsletter. Thanks for being here. I love you all. Go Live real be authentic. And let's get tryin'
Transcribed by https://otter.ai