When the words ‘strength’ and ‘vulnerability’ are used in the same sentence, most individuals would do more than disagree. They would throw up their hands and wave their fingers to make it clear they are total opposites. Unless they were put together to annotate contrasting ideas, this would cause some major bias in opinion.
Humans as well as every other living species on Earth have survived by being the fastest, the strongest and the smartest. But vulnerability was not added. It’s a misconception. Vulnerability can sometimes save somebody’s life just as much as the other characteristics mentioned.
Think of the animals that play dead to escape danger. It’s a defense mechanism that keeps them from getting eaten because the animal they’re defending themselves against think they’re dead and most likely diseased.
They do this because they know the predator will not eat them even though they have put themselves in a vulnerable position. It’s a very effective method. If it weren’t, the predator would call their bluff and eat them anyway.
It has a small correlation. It’s effective and so it’s used. It’s a vulnerability because they are laying there completely defenseless if the predator decided to eat them.
So, why do so many people avoid or, better yet, fear being vulnerable in front of others?
I’ll give you a minute to think about that one.
The reason why we do not want to appear vulnerable in front of others is one reason and one reason only:
WE ARE AFRAID OF BEING JUDGED BY OTHERS.
Not showing vulnerability is a method of putting up a wall that keeps people out. But in the process, it keeps you in. People might see you as strong and put together but it can also have a negative effect on your ability to connect with others and their willingness to connect with you.
Let’s not get vulnerability confused with victimhood. The victimhood that I am talking about in this case is NOT someone who has suffered a tragedy or a loss. That’s REAL victimhood. The one I am about to talk about is FAKE victimhood. My definition of fake victimhood is a method of manipulation used by someone to attract attention by making others feel that they require a constant amount of emotional, physical or psychological support. So, just to be clear so you don’t misunderstand: anyone can have a bad day, week, year… but if you are taking advantage of others kindness, affection and attention by being a victim, that’s not ok. I strongly suggest you seek therapy, Reiki sessions, a support group, whatever works for you.
Now that it’s clear, vulnerability is not the same as victimhood. They may hold hands but they are not the same mold. They’re different in many ways. But I won’t get into that in this article.
So what does it mean to be vulnerable? Essentially, it is showing someone your true self, your true feelings; your true essence. You are baring all to whomever you’ve decided to open up to. It’s opening yourself up to someone and telling them: ‘This is who I am. I am showing the real me right now.’ It’s intentional. It’s deliberate and it’s always a beautiful thing. There is no wall they’ve put up. The armor is completely stripped away.
Being vulnerable in front of others especially can be the hardest experience for most. Some people avoid ever being in that state most of the their lives. The conditioning in most people’s lives involves people repeatedly telling them to ‘toughen up’; ‘stop being so sensitive’; ‘don’t cry’; ‘suck it up’. It is a nurturing process everyone is subjected to so they can fit in and be tough because only the tough survive; only the tough succeed. Some are so harshly conditioned in their environments that’s they become completely detached from their true feelings; their true emotions and their true self. This can affect them and their health in the long run.
To better understand this, remember how you were when you were a baby. You cried to communicate. When you are in elementary school years, the behaviors of crying and whining are no longer acceptable. You have to be independent and self-soothe. You cry ever so often but it becomes less and less accepted to cry in front of others. When you do, you hide it by running away or staying away until you’re done. Or you hold back because you were told that “it’s not what big kids do.” From teenage to adult years, crying becomes rare to obsolete. It happens only when your feelings have been suppressed so much you can’t bottle it up anymore. That can lead to so many health issues because we are not meant to bottle up our feelings. It gets locked in our bodies energy and creates a big imbalance because we are in denial. We become so detached from our feelings from suppressing it so much for so long that when it finally resurfaces from the overflowing of all the suppressed emotions inside of us we can become overwhelmed.
Emotions that are suppressed shows up in a variety of other ways. It creates side effects. There are numerous side effects but here are some to name a few:
Seeking professional help and finding what works best for you is vital. Never brush off what you are going through as unimportant. Your health and wellbeing always come first and need to be taken seriously.
When it is all said and done, being vulnerable can help the individual connect with themselves and connect with the others involved. Here a few things to keep in mind when you are feeling vulnerable or someone else is being vulnerable around you:
1. Leave the judgment at the door.
When you feel or somebody else feels comfortable enough to be their true selves with you, take it as a compliment and feel honored. The last thing you should do is see it as their demise. It’s not a downfall be in that state. Celebrate it! If you are vulnerable around somebody, pat yourself on the back. You have just witnessed a connection with your outer image and your true self. They became one, even if it was only for a brief moment.
2. It takes guts.
Just how some people can feel uncomfortable confronting others, the same discomfort applies when confronting your true self. Some people just don’t do it. When they do it feels so uncomfortable they wish they never done it.
That feeling of discomfort when in a vulnerable state is temporary and you will notice how eventually, over time, you will feel better than you had before. You have given yourself the opportunity to express how you really feel and once that happens it’s all downhill from there. Don’t ever beat yourself up for being honest with yourself and others.
3. How others feel about you is not your problem.
And how you feel about them is not theirs. When you find yourself feeling vulnerable around somebody and they judge you in any way, that’s on them. When somebody cannot handle you like that when you are opening yourself up to them, then that is a clear indication they have not met themselves in that way and therefore do not know how to handle someone who has. It is not personal. They’re just not ready for it.
4. Vulnerability is a path to self-empowerment.
The most self-empowered people are the ones whom walk around fully exposed, their true selves in plain view. They are full of love for themselves and for others. They are grounded, confident and kind. Their methods of dealing with things are always non-judgmental. There is no self denial. They know who they are.
A brilliant spiritual teacher spoke about one of his experiences with vulnerability. He said, “I was approached by someone with opposing views to my own. This person cornered me and started yelling at the top of their lungs, pointing their finger in my face. I just stood there calmly, letting them release what they needed to. I merely sent them love and light. It wasn’t long before their anger turned into sobs. I watched their face go from one emotion to another. Subconsciously, they saw me as a person they could release their emotions onto. Their own personal healing had reached another milestone. Their vulnerability was just an opening toward their true self-empowerment. I was honored that they saw me as someone that could help them heal.”
Vulnerability is a state of healing the fears that have kept our walls up, hiding our true selves. Once somebody exposes what would be a vulnerability, that is a milestone in the direction toward self-empowerment.
Leave a comment below! I’d love to hear from you!
***Remember, my articles are not backed up by any scientific research. They are merely from my own experiences. I offer insight to those whom are interested. Take it or leave it. ~Love and Light.