vulnerability

Vulnerability as a Path to Power

When you are unable to withstand feeling vulnerable you lose your inner power. When you suddenly feel vulnerable, this is great opportunity to grow into your most powerful and compassionate self. It's so difficult to remain steady in the face of feeling vulnerable, so this is not necessarily an easy path to tread. Here are effective steps to take to turn your vulnerability into one of your most powerful assets. Step 1. First become proficient at knowing and owning when you feel vulnerable. This might seem basic but it's an integral and empowering first step. When you feel vulnerable the instinct to protect takes over. This might arise as a withdrawal, an automatic move into a place/space that feels less weak (like getting angry), or shutting down energetically and emotionally. Notice what your automatic habits are and then learn to stop the habitual response. Instead still yourself inwardly and outwardly. Be still, be present and inwardly confirm - I feel vulnerable right now. This is an enormous first step.  Not having to move away from the feeling of vulnerability is the brave path.

Step 2. Notice your vulnerability story. What's your history that caused this kind of "thing" to bring up vulnerability for you? Let me give an example. When I am in any situation in which it can seem as if someone is rejecting me, I feel vulnerable. This will show up as me moving away from the situation as quickly as possible - to withdraw, to disappear. I've had to learn to stay still, to feel the feeling of "inner shrinking" and to just let it be, without it necessarily being about "rejection". Instead I make efforts to be aware that it is just as much about whatever is happening with the other person or the general situation.  I've learned to remind myself this is not about me, but simply about whether I really want my voice to be heard. I've had to learn to assert myself well when it doesn't come naturally to me. Sometimes I do speak up, and sometimes I don't care all that much. I've grown support circles in which I am heard regularly and valued. I don't feel rejected by those I love and who love me well. It's just not about that anymore - that's my new story. And that's the story I now hear, instead of the old rejection story that had to do with other's not caring about or wanting me.

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Step 3. Let your vulnerability remind you of everyone's vulnerability, growing your compassion for the human race. As humans, each one of us is vulnerable and experiences weakening feelings. Observing your vulnerability and seeing your automatic protection methods gives you a chance to hold the truth that everyone has these feelings and can be in automatic protection mode. How sad that we adopt these patterns and habits in which we can't simply be our true selves naturally and comfortably! Let your vulnerability allow  you to grow your compassion for others who unconsciously mask themselves, turn on the offense or shut down in the many ways we do, to attempt to feel safe. Let your compassion be the ruling force inwardly.

Step 4. Learn how to create safety from within so that the outer environment is less important. When you know how to care for yourself and allow your vulnerability compassionately, non-judgmentally and lovingly, the outer environment is less important. You can become the guide to help others learn how to treat you well. When you no longer judge yourself, you will not want others judging you, in fact you will not want it in your life at all. When you treat yourself lovingly, you will want more loving and kind interactions with others as you become proficient at offering and accepting love.

Step 5. Embrace your vulnerability. When we forget that we are all vulnerable, we can develop unpleasant habits to be around. These can show up as behaviors and attitudes that state - I am stronger, greater, infallible and untouchable. Without knowing it, we often send signals that others are repelled by when we think we are making ourselves more attractive. Inauthentic behaviors and attitudes are acknowledged energetically by others even if they aren't acknowledged openly and consciously. These dynamics set us up to enter into conflicted relationships and experiences right from the beginning.

Embracing your vulnerability is authentically empowering and gracious, the most loving and kind expression of acceptance you can offer yourself. For those wanting a life of fulfillment and authenticity, it's a path with immense potential!