To be human is to be vulnerable, but that doesn’t mean that accepting this is therefore easy.
To surrender to this truth can be an incredible challenge; that is if one even wants to. And as a way to avoid this truth, one can create all kinds of walls and defences. But while this may allow one to avoid feeling vulnerable, it can only lead to more pain.
I believe that one of our greatest needs is to be who we are. And to do that means being vulnerable. There is no choice in the matter; we cannot be our true self, if we are not willing to be vulnerable.
They go hand in hand and our interrelated. However, when it comes to being vulnerable, I believe that there are two meanings. One is true vulnerability and another is the result of trauma or pain that has been experienced
When we feel things, we typically feel them in our heart. This is the area where our sense of vulnerability is primarily felt and experienced. And it is here that pain can build up and weigh us down.
The heart wants to give and express itself and if this is stopped due to the fear of being vulnerable; it is going to create suffering. The intention may be to avoid suffering, but the thing that is trying to be avoided, is nevertheless experienced.
Here, one knows that there is no way to avoid being vulnerable and accepts this; as they are not willing to deny who they due to the fear of what may happen to them. And if something bad does happen, then it is often secondary to the good that is experienced by being vulnerable.
This is not to say that one goes about this without thought, it means that one has the discernment to know when it is right and when it isn’t. To show how one feels and to be who one really is without a second thought.
While it is clear that this is the ideal, there are often many blocks involved that stop one from doing this.
Although being vulnerable can mean something that is empowering and fulfilling, it can also mean many other things. Ones ego mind will have formed many associations round what it means. And if one doesn’t feel comfortable being vulnerable, it could be due to the ego mind having formed the following associations:
· That one will be taken advantage of
· That one will be rejected
· That one will be abandoned
· That one will be hurt
· That one will be humiliated
· That one will be controlled
· That one will be betrayed
These associations and many others that I haven’t mentioned, will be see seen as the truth by the ego mind. When it reality, they are often what has become familiar and therefore safe to the mind.
However, while at a basic level this is all they are, the affect that they are having is monumental. These associations are what will define how one perceives reality.
At an external level; with the situations that one attracts and the people that one meets. And internally; with how ones feels, thinks and the sensation that arise in one’s body.
The causes of these associations are probably in ones childhood. Later adult life can also have an impact on one’s ability to be vulnerable.
How ones caregivers, siblings, and grandparents responded to one as child will play a massive role. As a child one is completely vulnerable and has no way to protect oneself. The kind of environment that one was brought up into also matters. Was it safe and peaceful or unsafe and hostile?
And then the kind of experiences one has had as an adult in relation to being vulnerable also matter. The kind of relationships that one has had and if they have allowed one to be vulnerable or not, will all play a part here.
The ego mind is simply doing its job of keeping one alive and although these associations may be creating problems now; at the time they were probably what kept one safe.
To let go of the past and to have a more balanced approach to being vulnerable, one may need some kind of assistance; either from a therapist, healer or a coach. It may be enough for one to just become aware of what their mind is holding onto and to change it through thinking and acting differently.
Oliver JR Cooper
Author, Transformational Writer, Teacher & Consultant.
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That which is contained within these articles is based on my own empirical understanding and is true for me at the time they were written. However, as I continue to grow, what I perceive as the truth will inevitably change and as a result of this - parts of these articles may not reflect my current outlook.