Vulnerability Over Vanity

By Brandon Alter:


Here’s the thing, you can’t have both. You have to choose. Will you show yourself in a painfully real way, flaws and all, and in doing so ALLOW OTHERS TO CONNECT WITH YOU? Or will you lock yourself within your prison of beauty and perfection?


In case you haven’t been able to tell from my recent posts, Mama is going through it right now (yes, I just referred to myself as Mama). She’s in an uncomfortable tunnel of transition, not unlike the contracted state of a caterpillar in a cocoon. And while we all know this is how you become a butterfly, it doesn’t make the process any less challenging. Basically what I’m trying to say here is: I’ve been a hot mess.

And that’s presented me with the opportunity to either put on a mask (and a filter or two) and pretend everything is alright OR be courageous enough to admit that life has brought me to my knees. I’ve been trying to do the latter. And, frankly, admitting that you are struggling, or in the midst of a crisis, is profoundly counter-cultural, but it’s also some next-level medicine. Because it opens up the door for other people to claim the same.

I don’t know why we are taught to hide our feelings. I don’t know why we feel like exposing our truth will make us outcasts.

But what I do know is by sharing your vulnerability and your struggle, you allow yourself to be seen.

And only by being seen for who we are can we be loved.

So even though these past few weeks have been the opposite of a disco dance party of the soul, they’ve also allowed for some of the most beautifully raw conversations and connections I have had in a long while. By dropping my mask, others have dropped theirs too. By releasing my need to present as perfect, I’ve built heartfelt bridges to the hearts of those I love. And I encourage you to do the same.


Your obsession with perfection is keeping you lonely, stuck; and it’s keeping you small. Let yourself be seen completely. It’s liberating and it’s thrilling and truly, it’s the only REAL way to live this wild and complicated life.