Welcome to love month. Yep, that time of the year when we all turn red and pink and declare our love to a significant other. Now, I am the first to admit that it feels amazing to receive a beautiful bouquet of flowers and even better to gift someone them too.

Interesting thought that in January we make amends with the previous year and start fresh (a kind of self-reflection) and then in February we make amends with those closest to us and start fresh (others reflection). Then in March we will make amends with the cold winter and welcome spring (outdoor reflection).

What is the driving force that pushed us towards these fresh starts, these reflections, that seem to be cyclical yet almost needed in our lives? When it comes to the concept of love, what jumps into my head is the essence of vulnerability.

Vulnerability Exposed

Being vulnerable, although done without much thought at times, in its most sincere moment is the essence of inner purity. Vulnerability exposes us to who we truly are. That real, raw, person lays in the heart of vulnerability.

Beyond that vulnerability opens us up to being judged, whether good or bad. Vulnerability takes guts, it takes strength, it takes self-esteem to allow others to speak into our lives. Now, we must address that all of us have certain skeletons in our closet (if you will) that we don’t want out. This is unresolved fear most of the time… fear of rejection, fear of manipulation, fear of loneliness… that someone might discover our true self, or the mistakes we have made along the way.

The strength that comes from exposing the inner self grows exponentially when we are bold in that vulnerable state.

Vulnerability Leveraged

The beauty of being vulnerable is that we each own the key to how that door opens (generally speaking). This means that the greater our self-worth and self-pride (the good kind) are, the greater our ability is to leverage those vulnerable parts of us.

Three elements come to mind when I think about leveraging my personal vulnerability. They are being real, raw, and relevant. Each of them must be present for true vulnerability to be experienced.

Being real is being honest, having integrity, and speaking truth. A kind of a ‘what-you-see-is-what-you-get’ mindset that every person desire to have and wants to receive from others. Truth should be filtered through the reality of the current moment. Being real is taking responsibility for the words we say and actions we take.

Being raw is living with authenticity. This is the essence of removing all lies from our talk… including self-talk, which is where most lies come from. When an event happens in a person’s life and they find themselves in a place where they can no longer ‘hide’ publicly the rawness comes out.

This raw authentic living must be filtered through relevance. Being relevant is the discernment factor. Having tact and understanding timing is essential with being real and raw. Just because something is true doesn’t mean that everyone needs to know or needs to know the depth of a certain subject. Relevance is that ‘need to know’ concept.

Vulnerability Placed

When we interject solid truth into a conversation with real and raw relevance, pure vulnerability is created. This is what draws us towards another person or vice-versa. The ‘need to know’ concept is where we place those vulnerable moments. Sharing everything with everyone is not vulnerability and we don’t need to share with everyone to be vulnerable.

There are two groups of people who get the privilege of being in the ‘need to know’ status. They fall into a personal group and a professional group. The personal group is your immediate family and your significant other. The professional group includes people you pay and people who pay you. This is your clients and those whom you are clients to.

Vulnerability is living in alignment to your values. Your values define you; they are what draw others to love you and they are what spur you on when loving others.