I GIVE THANKS FOR VULNERABILITY
When you think about it, we are usually taught to focus on what we perceive as our strengths and use these to the best of our ability. This is great advice and should help us make good progress in life, but if we really desire self-fulfilment we need to be open to areas of vulnerability. These areas could be regarded as the weak links in the chain so it is important to identify what makes us feel vulnerable- how do we actually feel?
Vulnerability can take many forms. We might feel exposed, taken advantage of, un-necessarily angry or develop nervous habits or addictions. If you have a feeling that makes you uncomfortable it is basically highlighting an area of vulnerability that would benefit from some attention. This might be something you have never considered. What we should aim for is to feel comfortable most of the time which means we have more self control – not quite the same as choosing to do things outside our comfort zone in order to stretch ourselves and grow.
Let’s consider anger. It is possible that an angry person might be seen as strong because of their impact on others. But anger is basically a form of defence which replaces the ability to hold a reasonable conversation. Anger is a very basic level of communication and cannot be misconstrued. The other side of this coin is the weaker person who feels threatened by the anger. Neither of these people are in a good place as we basically have an aggressor and a victim, both unhealthy positions to occupy.
So how can we make changes? Once you have identified your vulnerabilities it’s time to do something about them. Usually we need to visit our past. Every feeling we have has roots and until you find out what’s causing the problem you will only ever be able to deal with the symptoms. Sometimes dealing with symptoms will prove sufficient to help you bluff your way through life until your new behaviour starts to feel so good that you actually embrace it; but to know the cause enables true healing. The nature/nurture argument inevitably kicks in here and whilst declining this debate, both may have an impact upon our behaviour, habits, thinking patterns, pre-conceptions and so forth. The way we relate to others is based almost entirely upon our own agenda and experiences. As we go through life and experiment in different scenarios we have expectations as to the probable outcome. We find ways to cope and protect ourselves. This is good until we meet someone who comes from a totally different environment or perspective. It is impossible to visualize yourself in another person’s shoes, so we need to understand ourselves. When we can see how something might impact on another person, we are able to adjust our approach to ease the situation whilst remaining strong.
The best thing about this is that as we overcome our vulnerabilities we become much stronger. The expectations we have will change and we become more deserving of experiences we desire. To clarify this point, think about the huge number of people who are afraid of public speaking. If you are talented in any field you might be required to address large groups as you climb the ladder. If you are generally just nervous a course in public speaking may really assist you however, if your fear is a result of being bullied or abused you might have been made to feel insignificant or even stupid. People who have suffered in this way will need more in-depth help and might need to take a different approach based on valuing themselves.
I have come to realise how important it is to embrace vulnerability and instigate change. You really can move on from the old you and become a much more confident, competent person. This will not happen over- night and we may need to revisit some of the lessons because our vulnerabilities can be over-ridden but not always obliterated. Every change takes time and practice. When you sort one thing out you may become aware of another- brilliant- Personal progression means you are very much alive!
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