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Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Guest Blogger - Embracing Our Vulnerability

With Gratitude - Elaine K. Williams

In the last few months, I have thought a lot about what it takes to allow ourselves to be vulnerable, to feel our vulnerability.  So much so, I have even found myself talking about vulnerability with my training audiences and retreat participants. I am noticing I am beginning to view vulnerability from a place of strength and not weakness. The term itself is defined by Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary as "weak and easily hurt physically or emotionally."

Yet, both personally and professionally, I believe that being aware of my vulnerability offers me the opportunity to know my authentic self. To acknowledge it, and not hide it from others takes strength. It also requires I am sufficiently secure within myself to manage it, to trust that my vulnerability is a place from which I can grow and gain wisdom. It is also a place from which I can connect deeply to others.

I have noticed for a long time now, that people don’t really connect in any deep way when they are in their perceived strengths. Their confidence, if not over-confidence, often leads to competition between them and interactions that are intellectual in nature. Whereas, when we are vulnerable and willing to acknowledge this place within ourselves, our connection is a ‘heart’ connection. It is an empathic connection, and the moment that happens it strengthens everyone involved…it allows everyone to simply ‘be!’

When I do not defend being vulnerable, I have all of my energy available to cope with it in a healthy way. When I defend by hiding, blaming, pretending, withdrawing, being aggressive, I put on a mask that says, “don’t see me, I am vulnerable right now!” That defense requires a lot of our energy and so it drains us. We put so much into ‘masking’ our vulnerability, we have little energy left to deal with it openly and from a place of self-love. What’s worse, it causes us to dis-connect from ourselves, and when we do that we have superficial relationships with others.

Disconnecting from our vulnerability also causes us to disconnect from the natural world. This is evidenced in the decisions we are making which negatively impact the balance of life on this planet.  Disconnected from our true selves, we create illusions and distortions and we delude ourselves by believing our decisions don’t affect anyone or anything else, including the Earth. Yet they do! We are all in a constant state of influencing and being influenced by each other. Experiencing our vulnerability fosters compassion and connection to each other and to the natural world. Authenticity is the solution not the threat!

So, embracing vulnerability can elicit self-love and self-care, and so it strengthens us and supports our authenticity. I urge you to observe yourself when you feel vulnerable. If you have a tendency to mask it, tune into your self-awareness and offer yourself a new thought and so, a new choice to greet it with openness and love. Your gift will be a keen sense of wholeness and well-being!

See the link to Elaine's blog at the right side of the blogsite.  Enjoy!

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