What Is Vulnerability?
Lately I have been thinking about how I experience vulnerability. Due to my recent desire to understand and embrace the full range of my emotional response to what has felt like overwhelm with life challenges, I have found myself on new ground, Rather than deny any uncomfortable feelings I am opening up to welcome and explore new dimensions of myself, including vulnerability.The experience has spurred conversations with like-minded spiritual seekers about what it means to allow myself to feel vulnerable. In the past when the subject of vulnerability has come up I usually avoided it. This time the conversation focused on opportunities for growth yielded from feeling one’s vulnerability. At first, I found myself sidestepping the conversation, and then I stopped to ask why. I asked myself and my friends directly, “What might vulnerability offer that I am afraid to experience?” The responses I received from my inner self, enhanced by comments from friends were insightful, profound and changed my view of what true vulnerability means.
Is Feeling Vulnerable a Negative?
Many of us believe that feeling vulnerable is a negative – a state of feeling helpless or indefensible to others who might be able to take advantage of our weakened position emotionally, physically or mentally. This is an old paradigm, so to speak, of vulnerability – feeling weak like a victim. It comes from beliefs – mine or others – that I am unsafe, insecure or unstable. While certain situations in our childhood or past might fuel these beliefs and contribute to our present understanding of vulnerability, shifting our thinking about vulnerability offers many positive rewards along our paths to living an authentic, joyful life.
I realize now that it is possible to transform beliefs about what it means to be vulnerable, and a more positive mindset allows us to accept and feel vulnerability without fear. The old paradigm is based upon an egotistical perspective that wants to protect and shield us from detrimental situations or experience, which is all right and good, but the basis of that paradigm is the belief that we need protecting, that someone can hurt us. The truth is that once we recognize our power over our emotions and thoughts we can set our boundaries and no one can truly hurt us unless we give our permission.
True vulnerability opens the heart to be all that we are, to accept and cherish the human blended with the divine experience of life on earth, to find the compassion and caring that creates change in our perspectives of one another and the evolution of us an individuals and societies. This may seem to contradict the tenets of the MeToo movement or instances where domestic violence, police brutality, racism or child abuse are prevalent. But when we stop seeing ourselves through the eyes of beliefs steeped in a fear-based world and realize that we are the embodied power of love, able to create a love-filled world, then that belief becomes our rock, our inner strength, our north star, our core essence – always available to fuel our creative expression in the world. We now see ourselves and experience life much differently; indeed, our reality shifts. We feel compassionate, caring; and as we come to understand suffering or struggle as a common human experience we consciously uplift ourselves making a difference in how we shape our lives.
Being vulnerable today means that I am ready to go to my next level of awareness and insight – spiritually, emotionally and mentally – unconditionally. I am ready to tune into my intuition, trust in my intentions for creating a life of well-being and love with no judgements. When I am vulnerable now I am open to new revelations about myself, not stuck in the past or limiting myself with excuses why I cannot enjoy what I desire. I open my heart, like a book, and let others read it, unafraid of how I might be perceived because I am comfortable with my story. This is the real me, ready to accept and connect with who I am on a pure, authentic, positive level.
Other Ways Of Experiencing Vulnerability
There are other ways to experience vulnerability like looking up at a starry sky and feeling awe over our celestial and earthly magnificence. The strong emotion of awe is profound and magical; it allows us to be vulnerable, to be filled with the emotional energy of essential goodness which permeates and at the same time transcends daily life.
It takes a bit of courage to let down the guard, reveal the truth that vulnerability frees, live authentically and allow the world to know us as we know ourselves. Freedom is the gift of vulnerability – willing to be in that open space of feeling and receiving the goodness we truly are and deserve, confident in our connection with the energy of divine love.
I am curious about what vulnerability means to you. Please share your thoughts and feelings in the comments.
Enrollment is now open in my online course “Becoming Who You Are Meant To Be”. This self-paced course will be taking you on a deep dive within in order to understand who you are meant to be and make the shifts in your awareness and thinking to get the results you want to live life passionately, joyfully, and satisfied.