The vulnerability journey is one that just is not that easy folks. I think many of my clients come to me with issues surrounding vulnerability, and I myself, have my own issues with vulnerability I have been continuously working with. While vulnerability seems scary, there’s been moments in my experience where afterwards it’s like a huge sense of relief passes over.
This all makes me think of why we fear going to that place initially. Everyone handles vulnerability differently. Some flee, some avoid, some freeze, and if you are anything like me, you fight. There are moments when I feel my most vulnerable and I find myself getting angry, moody, dismissive, or hostile.
Disappointment is something that I associate with vulnerability. When I feel disappointed, I do not typically stay in this emotion long. Instead, it transitions quickly to anger. This is because I have been disappointed by too many people I care about . When I expect or foresee it coming, I feel anger. It has taken me many years to work through this. As I am writing this blog, I am curious to ask you, my reader, when do you feel most vulnerable?
With the negativity bias we face as we socialize and grow, we put up a suit of armor that shields us from these tender moments in one way or another. But what if the secret recipe to intimacy and fulfilling relationships is for us to shed this suit of armor? To let down our defenses and just be. My friend, mentor, and dear colleague Laurel House teaches a lot about what she labels “confident vulnerability” which is an openness that has an air of certainty and security to it.
We all have the capacity to be more vulnerable despite the fear. After all, fear is just one of the stories we tell ourselves anyway. It is a culmination of our past experiences where we learned and trusted, but things didn't go our way. And it won't always go our way, but that doesn’t mean we need to proceed with fear all the time. Instead, we can rewire our brains and be conscious of our feelings and thoughts so that we don’t react on autopilot when these vulnerable moments come up.
I don’t think it is much of a surprise that loneliness is plaguing society. Phone conversations where we checked in, talked, and connected, have been replaced with text messages and Instagram tags as means of bonding. Life gets busy and we can’t always have face to face communication, so in its absence how connected are we feeling? Vulnerability is the answer. Connection is as well.
We need to let down the armor, be open, so that we can be seen for who we are and truly feel connected to those in our lives. Let’s do this together. We don’t have to rip the band aid off. Let’s start slowly and build. This is a process that takes work. And if you need help, well, you know where to find me…..