Just finished watching the following TED talk, courtesy of some long-distance sexy friends: http://www.ted.com/talks/brene_brown_on_vulnerability.html
Things that have been whirling around in my head are making a little more sense. Things related to being open to possibilities, being open to bad and good experiences alike, being an open person, and being open to both intimate and less-than-intimate encounters with people.
Being vulnerable means giving yourself up as the person you are: I am who I am, with all of my imperfections. And yet, I am deserving of wonderfulness and happiness. Being vulnerable means being satisfied with my imperfections, and letting others in to see myself for the wonderful person I am.
I have noticed that every time J and I decide to continue a relationship with other open friends (sexually or non-sexually), I have this moment (anywhere from five minutes to a few weeks) of "oh, shit." And it wasn't until I watched this TED talk that I realized that that "oh, shit" moment stemmed from intense feelings of vulnerability. And for the most part I think, I have allowed myself to feel vulnerable and to ultimately open myself up to new connections with other vulnerable, open, and happy people. That intense moment though allows me to sort of swim through an uncertain wave of: what if this turns out to be really bad? what if there is rejection or disappointment? what if it actually turns out to be really good? what if it's just sort of okay? I don't know what is going to happen by opening up to these people!
Opening up and letting vulnerability be a part of life and forming new connections means letting in the bad with the good, and being open to not only the fear, rejection, disappointment, frustration, and anger but also to joy, gratitude, connection, love, and acceptance.