Vulnerability, in all of it’s many fascinating facets, can all-too-often be seen as a form of weakness…an unforeseen territory that catalyzes tremendous fear, when in fact it is the exact opposite. Being vulnerable, and removing the proverbial mask (toward yourself and others), can and will serve as a highly significant and helpful tool in your process of actualizing your True Self, and deciphering whom you are in your core. That is, this action is a mechanism by which to build total and sheer strength which will liberate and guide you to a place where you are truly living and not resting comfortably within your comfort zone. You are capable of reaching a place where your “comfort zone” is vulnerability, and you occupy this space willingly, confidently, and in a balanced, aware state of consciousness. The quote that a lot of us have heard, “life begins at the end of your comfort zone,” holds a great deal of truth, of which I will analyze further here.
As with most avenues to promote successful and lasting “inner work” we must begin with ourselves. Very often, we will either consciously or subconsciously (or both) build a reality within ourselves that is essentially hiding from the truth…existing in a space where we are not being honest with ourselves – in whatever subjective detail that entails for you in your life and lived experience. That is, the truth is often a “scary” thing to face, and therefore we avoid doing so out of fear and lack of desire to experience any kind of pain or “negative” feelings. However, experiencing this ephemeral pain or any other presumably “negative” feeling that may arise is absolutely essential to reaching a place where we can shed our excuses and become vulnerable – with ourselves first. Realizing that this avoidance is simply due to a transparent “feeling” sort of takes the power away from the fear, and allows you to recognize that you aren’t going to keel over when facing these truths. In fact, by doing so, you will liberate yourself from the often cumbersome reality of constantly running from true honesty, which alienates you from yourself and leaves you in “no mans land” so to speak.
For example, one may inherently feel as though they are living an idle life, not fulfilling their true potential, however as a coping mechanism, they consistently have an inner dialogue where they tell themselves “it is all ok” and “they are doing just fine”. This makes it “easier” and allows one to continue in this way of life, avoiding the more challenging and proactive aspect of embarking on a journey to actualize that which will most fulfill them. It is keeping them in a space where they don’t have to be vulnerable to the often “bad” feeling of knowing you aren’t actualizing that which you know you are truly capable of. However, if the conscious and brave decision is made to face these truths, fearlessly, and with the strength that is vulnerability, one can finally unhinge themselves to begin investigating new avenues to live by and henceforth figure out new ways to actualize their true potential. There are tons of ways we can avoid doing these things, and regardless of the “vice of choice”, it is essential to metaphorically shed your armor and stand in the mirror, looking at yourself with clear eyes and saying, “I am ready to get to know myself, in all of my beauty and light, and it is then that I will discover my inner power and profound, cherished passion in this life!”
Often times, individuals will run from our deny themselves the freedom of truly getting to know themselves our of fear of what they may find. The acknowledgement and investigation of what is often referred to as our Shadow Self can be a rather uncomfortable experience, as we are vulnerable to the potential that there may be come characteristics housed within this realm that we would rather not see or recognize to be true. However, in our core is our True and Higher Self – our authentic essence – and therefore our organic self-identity does not equal our Shadow Self. If you’ve ever heard reference to your own “Inner Divinity”, which is equal to that whom you truly are, you can begin to lessen the fear and avoidance of investigating your Shadow Self, as you consciously realize that these elements are dispensable, and do not comprise the authentic foundation that makes up your soul…your core…your True/Higher Self. Embracing this is key to allowing yourself to freely and vulnerably dig deep and shed your fear of acknowledging your Shadow Self, which will in turn release it’s hold and power over you, and allow you to awaken to the True magnificence that is your True and Higher Self. It is then that you may embrace this identity, and consistently live from this space on a daily basis.
Then comes the equally significant aspect of becoming vulnerable in our relationships with others. We are all inherently born in a vulnerable, free, innocent state, and as we grow up we often experience things that teach us that being vulnerable can catalyze hurt, and therefore it is “best” to stay closed up, as to avoid this said hurt and remain comfortable and “safe”. We develop protective strategies and false/limiting beliefs to avoid these painful feelings, and keep others at arms length as to ensure that they can not hurt us. Yes, being hurt at the hands of another is far from enjoyable, however the key here is to realize and understand this conditioning and actualize your own power of choice in that it is up to you as to whether or not you will allow the words, behaviors, or expressions of another to actually effect you.
YOU DO NOT HAVE TO FEEL HURT AT THE HANDS OF ANOTHER EVER AGAIN IF YOU CHOOSE TO CHANGE YOUR THINKING ABOUT THIS WHOLE ISSUE.
This is called emotional freedom.
You get to choose. You always get to choose.
For example, you may have spoken up at one point (putting yourself in a vulnerable position toward another), standing up for a wrong doing or hurtful action, and received a backlash of sorts, which made you feel badly about yourself. Due to this, you go forth “keeping quiet” in successive circumstances where your voice isn’t being valued or acknowledged as a protective mechanism by which to avoid the hurt that you’ve experienced in the past. I would go as far as to say we’ve all done this to some degree. It isn’t until you awaken to the powerful notion that in order to actualize your own self-worth, self-respect, and self-love, you absolutely must stand up for your personal beliefs, boundaries, thoughts, emotions, etc. and you must fearlessly teach others how to treat you in the process…in a manner that is reflective of the aforementioned self-love, worth, and respect.
The quote in a previous blog post of mine, “you teach people how to treat you by what you allow, what you stop, and what you reinforce,” is highly relevant in this regard, and this most certainly involves vulnerability. It is important to note here that you can certainly be vulnerable without being a “push-over”.
Not allowing someone’s expressions to negatively effect you isn’t apathy or “letting someone get away with something”…it is a space of occupation that is emotionally free. You deserve to live this freedom. This freedom gives you the happiness, love, and joy RIGHT THIS SECOND that you deserve to live every day for the rest of your life.
Becoming vulnerable to the potential hurt that you experienced in the past by being honest with yourself and others is a liberating entity all its own, in the sense that you don’t have to sacrifice your own self-identity and dignity in this process any longer. By this I mean that you can choose not to allow someone else’s expressions to hurt you…you can choose to see vulnerability as a strength that will further demonstrate to others how you wish to be treated. You can choose to see this in a whole new light: vulnerability allows you to move, grow, change, express yourself…it does not open you up to be hurt, because you have now chosen that you are the master of your feelings and you are emotionally free: no matter what. For example, if someone were to say something like, “you are too sensitive…or, you are weak, or you are _______ (insert any kind of negative and judgmental term here)”, you listen and acknowledge their expression (possibly stating something like, “I’m sorry you feel that way”), however, you do not go forth believing inherently that you are “too sensitive, too weak” or anything of the like. You realize consciously that that person is simply living their truth and seeing things form their own idiosyncratic perspective, of which you essentially have no control over…
What they say is theirs, it is not yours. WHAT OTHER PEOPLE SAY AND DO IS THIERS: IT IS NOT YOURS. Stop concerning yourself with this.
You have full control over yourself, and how you wish to see yourself: THIS IS THE MOST IMPORTANT FACTOR OF ALL. You see, we are all doing the best that we can, with what we have, where we are, at the awareness level that we hold at that point in time. When someone attempts to be hurtful to you, it doesn’t mean they are a “bad person”, it just means that they are simply living their respective journey and expressing themselves from their own reality…learning as they go as well. It is when we realize that everyone comes into our life for a reason, to inherently teach us something, that we are liberated from the fear and become, if anything, intrigued by the process…seeing our own vulnerability as a true source of strength and avenue by which to teach others how to treat us in a reverent, mutually fulfilling way.
No one has control over how you feel but you, and no one’s behavior can permeate your being in any way unless you let it. Start today to train yourself to be the owner of yourself, you hold all of the power as to how you feel and especially over how you feel about yourself. Right now: stop allowing anyone, anyone, to make these decisions for you. You control your world, period. Leave everyone else to their own.
The way people treat other people is a direct reflection of how they feel about themselves. So: are the people around you living their self-love? Does their own inner battle, limiting beliefs, and self-loathing show in the way they treat you? These are the roots of ill behavior, treatment, and expression. Please understand this. Do not internalize another’s ill expression. There is nothing to be afraid of in your choosing to be vulnerable because you are the master of your world: no one has the power to characterize your feelings unless you give it to them, so don’t give it to them!
This point is two-fold. Vulnerability can catalyze a bit of an uncomfortable space as you learn the keys to emotional freedom and choose to live your self-love and power by disallowing anyone to characterize your inner world other than yourself. It also opens you up to the profound, blissful, glorious entity that is love. We all want to be loved, by ourselves, as well as by others. It is a ubiquitous entity that is essentially, in my opinion, the essence behind all that is the human condition. It is what fuels us on a moment to moment basis, and what guides us throughout our life. Love involves vulnerability in the sense that in order to truly allow ourselves to feel and experience it, we have to open our hearts to the degree that this profoundly powerful emotion can seep in, soaking the threads and fibers of our being in an authentic, raw way. It is only when we choose to drop our guard, and open our hearts, that we can truly liberate ourselves to this profound gift in our lives, and truly live the incredibly amazing life that each and every one of us is deserving of living. Consistently, and often subconsciously, living in a protected space that is based on the avoidance of past hurt is a very limiting space to occupy.
It’s all about giving yourself the permission to actualize what you are truly deserving of: which is living and feeling absolute, all-encompasssing love on a daily basis. Those said hurts happened for a reason, to teach you that which you don’t want. That being said, it is entirely possible to absorb your lessons and move on, giving yourself permission to open yourself up again. This is a risk of course, yet the biggest risks often provide the biggest rewards, and that is absolutely true in the case of love! Love is a pervasive deal – it is experienced in our relationship with ourselves, as well as our relationships with others, whether they be familial, platonic friendships, the relationship you have with your work and the world around you, as well as romantic partners. It is only when we embark on the odyssey of reaching full and total vulnerability that each of these significant relationships can reach their full potential.
Furthermore, regret can also arise in this process, additionally putting someone in the protective future stance of avoiding risk or vulnerability as a means of ensuring that they never feel this unpleasant feeling of regret again. As a dear dear friend of mine has always taught me, “never regret anything,” for every action, expression, thought, behavior, relationship, or decision that you’ve made was made for a reason, to teach you your inherent life’s lessons so that you may move forth with an arsenal of tools and resources to utilize in your present and future – bringing you to a more aware, conscious, informed state of being. Everything is always serving you, always. So let it your life and all of it’s events serve you. Feeling regret does a disservice to yourself and your intended lessons. Regret is an illusion and it needs to be thrown away right now, today, this second. You must essentially subject yourself and remain vulnerable over and over in order to truly absorb these lessons, and hence fulfill your absolute and true potential as an exquisitely beautiful human soul and being.
Yes, you’ve made mistakes, I’ve made mistakes, we’ve all made mistakes, tons of them in fact. However, it is essential to shift your perspective to see these presumed mistakes as a roadmap to your present and your future. You do not have to hide from them or punish yourself with the subconscious belief that you don’t deserve love because you’ve made mistakes in your past. You are human, and if you didn’t make mistakes you wouldn’t learn, and hence you wouldn’t truly be living. Sometimes we have to make these mistakes over and over until the inherent lesson eventually solidifies within us. However, the key is to have full, vulnerable, honest compassion for yourself throughout the entirety of this process and hence reach a place where you find true and deep comfort in occupying this authentic, lived space.
You see, one can only make true and tangible strides toward personal growth and evolution while occupying a space of vulnerability: this is the space where our mechanisms are unlocked and our guards are down, granting a wide open freedom to explore, reevaluate, and truly feel all of the many dynamic elements of our inner landscapes. Trying to grow and evolve outside of a space of vulnerability is like trying to go 60 miles an hour in bumper-to-bumper traffic – it isn’t going to happen :).
Being vulnerable equals living with strength, sheer awareness, honesty, openness, and ultimate personal power. The process of reaching a point where you find comfort in vulnerability as opposed to fear is a challenging one, yet oh so worth it in our respective journeys of actualizing whom we truly are…our True and Higher Self. It is a brave new world, so to speak, and it is never too late to implement these exceptionally liberating and awakening tools into your every day reality. You are meant to live in sheer happiness, great personal fulfillment, and experience true and abounding love always…this is your birthright. Breaking down your walls and embracing your raw vulnerability will bring you to the place were you may experience each of these aforementioned gifts, and hence allow you to share your True, brilliant, perfect beauty with the world and those around you.
You are perfect just the way you are right now.
Break down your limiting walls and limiting beliefs.
Live your self-love by loosening the reigns and jumping in.
Vulnerability = strength and power.
You’ve got this!
Copyright © 2015-2017 Megan Westbrook – Flow Surge Healing