I think concerts are an incredible representation of vulnerability. If I could go to a concert every night, I would. Live music provides an avenue to let loose, feel, and live in the moment. We don’t stop and feel enough, and it’s a uniting experience to be at a venue with thousands of people who are just…. Living.
Sunday night, I attended the John Mayer concert. I grew up listening to Mayer. He was there in the hard times, the great times, the beautiful times. I can tell you where I was when I listened to certain songs. His voice is raw and his talent humble.
But it’s a different experience entirely to see other people enjoying those same songs, to see other people reminiscing on how each song got them through some time in their lives.
While he played his song Slow Dancing, the couple beside us started actually slow dancing. When he played Who Says, an older couple started jumping up and down with excitement. When he played Gravity, a whole family started holding hands and swaying back and forth. Maybe you don’t know these songs; it doesn’t matter. The point is that in almost any other situation, these people would have been labeled as weird. They would have seemed out of place, chastised for their openness, and would probably have felt embarrassed after not too long. But at concerts, living and not caring about those around you is the norm.
What would our world look like if concerts weren’t just this oasis but were actually every day life? What if we got excited about whatever makes us happy, cried when we remembered something sad or a hard time, embraced the ones we loved in the midst of a beautiful moment. We shy away from this vulnerability in the “real world.” That’s weakness, too fluffy, too emotional. But when I look around TD Garden at the 15,000 people being completely vulnerable, I know we all secretly crave it. Though maybe outside of concerts we shy away from it, we actually wish we could be vulnerable, and that others would be, too.
It’s been 2.5 years since I started my journey of vulnerability, and I’m sure people have thought I’m weird. I’m sure I’ve embarrassed myself, that people have labeled me as too emotional.
But I’ve never felt more alive.
I feel the way I felt at that concert on a regular basis, in getting meals with friends or doing spontaneous activities. Because I am not afraid to feel, nor to fall in love with living. I’m not afraid to say what I want, what I need, who I am, who I’m not.
You know the feeling of being at your favorite concert. Imagine feeling that every day. That’s what living a vulnerable life feels like.
Maybe you think this vulnerability stuff isn’t for you, but then again, you probably wouldn’t be reading this blog if you thought that. But more likely, you might think you already live a pretty vulnerable life.
This concert was a wakeup call for me that there are still areas where I fail to be vulnerable, but where I need to be and want to be. I was standing there realizing that even that day I had failed to embrace the world around me, to say what I was thinking, to live passionately. It was an amazing reminder to keep on chugging along at a vulnerable way of life.
Are you truly vulnerable? In all areas of your life? Think about that concert feeling. Do you let yourself feel alive and emotional like that on a regular basis? I hope so. If not, I challenge you to truly lean in to vulnerability. It’s changed my life, and I know it can change yours, too.