Last night I was watching a show on the ABC about suicide and they were focussing on men. They talked about vulnerability and how difficult it is for some men to open up and share what’s happening in their inner world. And that takes me to this article “Being Vulnerable”
My take on being vulnerable is actually being able to be present, honest and fully embrace the experience of life. Being totally open not adjusting yourself to soften that response that you may receive from a partner, work colleague or a friend. Being totally authentic and true to yourself.
What’s vulnerable you ask? Vulnerability comes from the Latin word for “wound,” vulnus. Vulnerability is the state of being open to injury, or appearing as if you are. It might be emotional, like admitting that you’re in love with someone who might only like you as a friend, or it can be literal, like the vulnerability of a soccer goal that’s unprotected by any defensive players.
So how do you become vulnerable and with that, totally authentic and real and not hide behind the masks that we all hide behind, for example, “the pleaser, I’m ok mask, the rescuer, the martyr mask, to name a few.
I see our personal development like an onion and pulling the layers back. Some people go gently gently and over the years slowly let go of behaviours and beliefs that are not helpful and there totally fine with that. Other people it’s not as gentle and a layer or two of the onion can be removed when a crisis is occurring for example like a death of a loved one, divorce, retrenchment.
What’s at the core of the onion when all the layers have been removed? Your authentic self, your true self the person who let’s go of who you should be. The person who connects with their true beliefs of who they are not the negative beliefs that are formed when your little.
So what’s the point I’m making here? It all comes down to your worthiness, loving yourself with a whole heart, 100% of the time. It’s about letting yourself be seen totally and fully and not masking and hiding parts of you. Its believing your worthy of your place on this planet, worthy of living, really living. If there’s any doubt in you then on some level, you are connecting with an unhelpful belief like
• I’m not enough
• I’m not slim enough
• I’m not clever enough
• I’m not important enough
• I’m not good enough……………
When your connecting with for example “I’m not good enough” this prevents you from living a full, rich fabulous life. You cannot pick which feelings you choose to feel. Many people choose to numb their feelings, putting them in a box with lid on them. Sometimes that lid wants to open ( the layers of the onion want to come off) however if you can avoid these feelings you will by:
We numb vulnerability which results in addictions, self-medications, anxiety, depression, stress, OCD, PTSD, relationship problems, self-esteem issues. When we numb ourselves we also numb joy, love, gratitude and happiness.
What does it take to live an authentic life? My take on this is The 3 C’s.
No, it’s not coke, caffeine and confidence.
I believe its Compassion, Courage and Connection.
Compassion begins with yourself first, full stop. Its having compassion and listening to yourself, what you feel and think. Taking the time to have a relationship with yourself first. Being there for you and being ok with your own company. We are taught from a young age to have compassion for others before ourselves. This is incorrect, you have to love yourself first otherwise you’re constantly looking outside yourself. Having compassion to shed a layer of the onion or put simply letting go of some baggage is a great place to start.
Courage is a value that sometimes you have to grow in to. Start off small if this is not innate in you. The courage to speak up, say what you feel and think, honestly, to be vulnerable. You may be rejected and that’s ok as long as you don’t reject yourself.
Connection is why we are all here. When a baby is born they will wither and die if connection is not there and hermits even on some level need connection. We all require different strengths of connection which is how we learn about ourselves from others. And of course connection with yourself and getting to know yourself intimately is crucial.
When you can let go of who you think you should be and just be you will know you are enough and will be kinder and gentler to yourself. Vulnerability results in happiness, creativity and all the wonderful joys life offers. Fully embrace being vulnerable and live, truly live.