Something many of us yearn for in our relationship is a sense of security. We want to feel like no matter what, we will not be hurt in this love. Where there is doubt or insecurity, we view it as a sign something is wrong- that something needs to be fixed. If we can eradicate insecurity and vulnerability, then we think we will be “safe” and happy. But I’ve recently realized my attempts to feel invulnerable and secure make me more insecure through the loss of connection. Connection is what gives purpose and meaning to our lives. Humans are wired for connection and we need it to survive. There’s really only one variable separating the people who have a strong sense of belonging from those of us who struggle and long for it. Those who have a sense of belonging believe they’re worthy and embrace vulnerability. To me, vulnerability is the willingness to say “I love you” first, to put yourself out there even though you might get rejected. The willingness to open up and invest in a relationship even though it might not work out. It’s fundamental to true connection and love, but it’s scary and uncomfortable. My goal has always been to be in control, stay guarded, and avoid vulnerability like the plague. That’s why I’ve numbed uncomfortable feelings with drugs for so long. Unfortunately, you can’t selectively numb emotions. I can’t numb vulnerability or insecurity without numbing joy, gratitude, love and happiness. Accepting vulnerability is letting go of the idea of who I think I should be so I can be authentic, which is necessary for love, belonging and connection. Vulnerability isn’t comfortable for anyone but it’s what makes people beautiful. My life becomes very unsatisfying when I spend all my energy trying to be secure. True security means welcoming complexity, comfortability and the unknown. It means becoming vulnerable because that’s how we connect to one another- rather than being secure, in control and alone.