From time to time I expound about the benefits of being vulnerable… about the potential relief, understanding, ideas, and/or sympathy that’s possible when you open yourself up in some way and share something that we often don’t. It’s a risk, certainly. And, I’ve heard many accounts of how it pays off.
I want to tell you Jenny’s story, which, to me, represents one of the most vulnerable things one could consider doing: Jenny webcammed her home delivery for family and friends.
I asked her about why she did it and about what she got out of it. Because, in that moment, I could only see what a sacrifice it would be to share yourself so openly. Not only exposing her naked body to others, yet also allowing others to see how she physically and emotionally dealt with the birth process. I couldn’t help thinking that I’d want to wait and know that I did okay before I allowed others to view anything like that. I’d be wrapped up in not only how I was doing, but what others would think about how I was doing. Jenny was able to set all of that aside and focus on the joyful gift she was giving the loved ones in her life. In her words, “I got the feeling of joy that they were able to ‘be there’ when they couldn’t afford the time off work or couldn’t rush on such short notice. They were all SO HAPPY to have been included and I felt like my sharing really made them more a part of my life.” Jenny got to feel special and her loved ones got to feel special. She points out, “only a handful of people could say that they’ve seen the birth of their grandchild, nephew, or friend’s kid live on webcam!”
That others experienced the birth process with her made the experience richer for Jenny. She knew she had a community of people rooting for her and celebrating with her. And, after the birth, when she talked to those who watched, Jenny didn’t have to relay some of the basic details or logistics of what happened. She and her loved ones were able to immediately jump into a deeper level of sharing about how the experience felt and what the experience meant to them – rather than needing to relay chronological details of what happened when.
Jenny received a lot of acknowledgement for what she accomplished. She was delighted that others witnessed her home birth achievement. She wanted to be known for that, and I love that she owned that desire for recognition. And, there was something bigger at play there too. She had the knowledge that she made a contribution in the world by letting people know that if she could do this, others could too!
With Jenny’s willingness to be vulnerable, her friends felt loved and happy, Jenny got validated and acknowledged, the relationships deepened, and the idea of a home birth being a viable and positive option was further shared.
Please join the conversation: In what ways have you opened up? And what have you received in return? What do you think is possible when we are vulnerable?