The Strength of Vulnerability

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This week in my Facebook group The Spiritually Conscious Traveller, I asked a question, “What does vulnerability mean to you?” I was very pleased to see that most responded believing vulnerability is a strength and that its empowering.

That’s a wonderful shift of thinking in terms of what some people think vulnerability means. One dictionary meaning says: it’s the quality or state of being exposed to the possibility of being attacked or harmed either physically or emotionally.

Other dictionaries even call it a weakness or a weak point or uncertainty. Generally people tend to feel uncertain when we’re feeling vulnerable. Kay del Vallecito, a close friend of mine, reminds us that the Latin root of vulnerability means “able to be wounded.”

She goes on to say, that “the capacity to be authentically ourselves and share any part of our story knowing there are many people who would judge it and trusting that those judgements cannot hurt us, because we have integrated the learning and healed the core wounding. Vulnerability is the strength behind knowing and recognising that we are not perfect. To be honest, is to be vulnerable, and to make oneself vulnerable is to be infinitely strong.”

And that is absolutely true. Sometimes when we’re feeling vulnerable, whether it’s from emotional attack, imminent physical danger, or economic threat, that not knowing sends us into the great big unknown, the “what if,” and this is when we can really make a choice to feel weak and spiral down into fear, or where we can sit with our feeling of uncertainty and turn our energy upwards to faith, trusting what we know – that everything is actually all going to work out somehow and that everything is happening in its divine time and place.

Just the other day my best friend came over and we were talking about the things that we had realised about ourselves over the weekend because we had been in different social situations and all of the stuff that had come up for each of us.  We had an extremely profound conversation and it was so wonderful, because there we were, being really open and vulnerable with each other, showing each other our foibles, our weaknesses, our thoughts about where we might be able to grow or expand or how we realised things about ourselves that we didn’t like, and we shared willingly.

Okay, it’s easy to share with your best friend because you trust that they’re not going to judge you. But I felt really empowered and strong in our sharing, I felt honoured to receive her truth and safe to express mine. I really wish and pray for every one of you that you have at least one confidante who you can share your innermost being with, free from fear of being judged because it really helps to talk to each other. Oh what a different world we’d live in if we could do this collectively as a human race!

We were comparing ourselves to 30 years ago when we were 30. And laughing about our loudness, arrogance, how ‘out there’ we were and how the world revolved around us yet somehow back then we (thought we) had the answers to everything and we just knew so much and had to let the whole world know!

The difference of us now in this phase of life where we can integrate the things that we’ve learned with our time here on this earth and apply some of our wisdom yet still be triggered. Be okay in our not knowing. Still feel things but instead of either justifying our response to it, we quietly integrate the learning, as Kay so eloquently said.

Even environmentally when feeling vulnerable a number of years ago, I was sailing across the Atlantic Ocean and we hit a squall and quite honestly, I’ve never been more terrified in my whole life. It does send you out into the great big unknown, and there was nothing I could do. I didn’t have enough experience on the boat to actually do anything except sit there, clipped on, and pray. And I prayed out loud, and had a deep knowing and feeling as though it really wasn’t my time to die. But I didn’t know about any of the other people on the boat – what their contract with their lives were – and I didn’t want to live with somebody else falling off the boat or any further trauma than the squall itself which was bad enough.

It was a terrifying time. I felt extremely vulnerable, but instead of just sitting there in total fear, the only thing I could do was pray and focus on the outcome that I wanted. Sometimes when you’re feeling vulnerable, that’s all you can do. And I do believe it is a strength.

If you’re in that moment of feeling afraid or the ‘what if’ or the not knowing, realise that you can turn within and surrender up that fear to a source greater than yourself, so that you can have some kind of holding because the reassurance and holding we’re calling on is not coming from someone else’s arms. It can only come from within and from God, source energy, your angels, your guides, whatever you want to call it, to give you support and strength.

Look at all of these people who are coming forward and talking about their beliefs in a time of great uncertainty and division and they’re being brave about it. They’re losing their licences and livelihoods over it.

I had to look it up but there was a photograph of a young unidentified Chinese man who stood in front of a bunch of tanks in Beijing on June 5, 1989, the day after the Chinese Government’s violent crackdown on the Tiananmen protests. It really stuck in my conscience because I thought wow, this is a very powerful photograph. And here was a man standing up for what he believed putting himself in actual grave danger and how vulnerable he must have felt in that moment. But did anybody look at him and see weakness there? I sincerely doubt it.

So sometimes we have to take ourselves out of that vulnerability to realise the strength that we’re actually holding. I’ve often said that the strongest people are the ones who can be the most transparent, who are not trying to put up these big shields. These big blocks and walls to keep us hidden, to keep all of the skeletons in the closet, because what if – God forbid – we’ve ever made a mistake! We all have a past so have you learned from it?

And why not share all of those life lessons? Because when we’re not sharing our vulnerabilities, then all of that shame, blame and guilt get stuffed within and become suppressed. Vulnerability is really a huge umbrella subject.

I encourage all of you to find strength from within when you’re feeling vulnerable or uncertain. You’ve likely been triggered because that root core wounding hasn’t been healed. This is why we feel upset or afraid in the first place because there’s some unknown part of ourselves jumping up and down inside of us creating anxiety. I encourage you to find out what that unhealed part of yourself is so that you can heal that.

The things that used to make me feel afraid, angry or scream and growl don’t even ruffle my feathers anymore. Because I’ve done the work to heal the core wounding. The things that I noticed that used to upset me now might just be an observation or I’ll just roll my eyes and think, ‘oh, that old thing again…’ instead of getting angry or giving any energy to it because it doesn’t have its grip on me anymore. That’s a much easier way to live than constantly being in a state of anxiety, feeling afraid or feeling weak with vulnerability.

With vulnerability you want to be able to stay in your alignment. Stand up for what you believe and be strong because you know that it’s your truth and that you’re held and that everything’s going to work out in a divine kind of way.

So if you’d like to find a new way to step into your vulnerability, and find those hidden belief systems that you haven’t quite cleared up yet, then I’d really love to speak with you and help you find the way through on your journey so that you can be strong in your vulnerability and stand in your power 24/7.

If you feel you’re ready now to move your energy and be present in your Spiritually Conscious Travels then please book a call with me.
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