Vulnerability takes more courage than being cynical, strong, or powerful. It takes courage to be open, innocent, and willing to get hurt.
Although vulnerability encompasses openness and innocence to trust, it seems as though the willingness to get hurt is the more challenging aspect…at least it is for me. I crave the openness and the innocence but definitely do NOT long for getting hurt.
I have discovered is that it is most important for me to be vulnerable with myself. The more I can be open to all parts of me, the more comfortable I become with vulnerability in relation to other people. When I can see my wounds, shortcomings, and emotions as valuable creators in my life, it becomes less scary to share that with other people.
I cannot receive from others what I cannot first offer to myself.
If I long for vulnerability within a relationship and don’t first accept myself, I won’t be able to step into vulnerability with another. There will always be something in my way and interfering with the openness. I am often reminded that my feeling my feelings is where I could use an extra boost of courage and vulnerability. I know the transformative power of feeling my feelings, but it doesn’t mean that there isn’t an internal resistance. I don’t perceive feelings as a weakness, just messy. And messy can feel like getting lost in a sea of ambiguity. In reality, it’s rarely, if ever, this dreadful. It’s the mind trappings of why I would prefer not to feel my feelings, which can easily set up a barricade to vulnerability. Rejecting my feelings is rejecting a part of me. There’s a reason why I feel the way I feel and if I give myself permission to feel the emotions, I walk away with a little nugget that helps me grow.
Self-rejection is often the root cause of the cynicism and walls around being vulnerable. If one refuses to accept what one has experienced or how one feels, one will put on the front of being unaffected, stoic or even domineering. The end result is pushing others away with an air of aloofness when really there ought to be a neon sign that flashes, “There’s fear here.”
Why is it so scary to love who we are?
I am reading “The Diamond in Your Pocket” by Gangaji and she poses the question, “Are you willing to trust love rather than your mind’s protection from hurt?” It’s definitely a question worth pondering. Another angle to this question is, “Why do I continue to hurt myself through judgment and rejection instead of loving who I am?”
I want to love me more than I fear how someone else receives me or is able to love me in return. I want to love myself so fully that there is no room for question as to how I deserve to be treated. I want to be vulnerable enough to see the beauty in my rough edges. I want to grow from the experiences that I judge as “the ones not to share with anyone EVER” and release the shame around them.
As I give myself permission to be my emotion-experiencing, not-my-best-choice making, owning my stuff self, life feels a whole lot easier. I laugh more and let things slide. I allow others to see more of me, too. I’m certainly not claiming to have mastered all of this, but I’m stepping into vulnerability one toe at a time. Each time I do, I celebrate the courage it took for me to be me. When I catch myself getting wrapped up in concern about someone else’s reaction (or lack thereof), I choose me. I celebrate me. I am vulnerable with me.
I choose to trust loving myself so I can experience the intimate joy of vulnerability both with myself and with another.
Walking together in light, love, and peace 🙏