Vulnerability: How To Embrace It And Better Your Relationships

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Vulnerability.

That pit of black mush that seems scary and unknown but glimmers your reflection back at you when you allow your eyes to glimpse into the depth of it.

It is what sets apart those who talk the talk from those who walk the walk.

It is what creates real growth and change and allows you to move forward in every single aspect of your life.

Vulnerability.

It is exactly what you numb out and shove deep down within yourself — using other methods of self-soothing behaviors to help you find happiness just so that you don’t have to feel the fear of being vulnerable.

Vulnerability.

The silencing of your vulnerability is sneaky and not always presenting itself in grandiose ways. Instead, it tip-toes silently and shows up in other ways — by overly focusing on perfecting yourself, making the uncertainties in life certain, and pretending what you do does not affect others. 

And with the tip-toeing of silencing vulnerability, comes the numbing of your joy, happiness, gratitude, authenticity, and contentment.

Within each of us is a certain level of desire to grow and feel strong and empowered and less self-conscious. Yet, there is a layer of shame that continues to thicken because we don’t allow ourselves to step outside of our comfort zone.

The shame continues to grow and the more you tuck yourself into your own ball of comfort and ease, rarely stepping out in big ways. Maybe a toe. Maybe a peek. But quickly you jump back in and repeat the same old cycles of past broken habits and dreams. 

Yet, not everyone lives life like this. You see those people all around you — maybe they are your heros, your friends, your parents, or someone you look up to. Regardless of who they are, they spark an emotion within you. They spark an inspiration or motivation, or maybe even jealously. They create a physical change of your energy. 

These emotion-provoking people have a few things in common: 

  • They have courage to be themselves and to be authentic 
  • They have compassion for others and for forces that are bigger than themselves
  • They have healthy relationships and are connected to others in a deeper way
  • They allow themselves to be vulnerable because they know that being vulnerable makes them even more beautiful

It all boils down to this — To break the vulnerability-shame trap, you MUST learn to love and allow yourself to be worthy of being vulnerable.  Here are 5 ways you can allow yourself to be more vulnerable:

  1. Ask for what you need. When we’re hurting, it’s easy to dismiss our pain or try to protect ourselves and the people around us by closing off. Be open and ask for what you need or what you really want. 
  2. Be willing to expose your feelings. I learned that the one true way of being more vulnerable and healing my inner shadows was to say how I was feeling and not feel bad for having my feelings. If you feel sick, then say it. If you feel disappointed, let that person know. This begins cultivating authenticity and feelings of inner worthiness of yourself.
  3. Say what you want. The gift of having a choice is so precious — unfortunately not everyone has that luxury. Yet it is super easy to stuff down our desires thinking that we don’t deserve what we want. This creates shame and feelings of unworthiness. Speak up and say what you want. If this is scary, start small by making decisions about where you want to go to eat or what brand of cereal you want to buy. 
  4. Express what you really think. It is easy to stay silent and not express your real opinions, especially in situations that feel threatening. But having a voice and being able to express your opinion is a gift and it creates a sense of unshakeable confidence. Again, start small if this is scary — for example, if your friend asks if you like her shirt but you clearly don’t, be kind, but tell her what your thoughts are. 
  5. Slow down and be present. This is one of the most important ways to open up to being more vulnerable. When you are in a rush or disconnected from your surroundings, it is easy to fall prey to habit or to not want to “rock the boat.” It is also easy to allow yourself to feel disempowered and not enough. Allow yourself to slow down and enjoy the little moments in life. This allows you to think through situations more clearly, learn how to listen to the small whispers inside you, rationally think through situations with strength and empowerment, and keep your stress levels low.  

Learning to be more vulnerable in life creates a sense of peace and empowerment. Once you muck through the fear and insecurities, there lives a place of freedom and relief. It is all about addressing the shadows of yourself and learning how to let them go, safely and completely. This may be a lifelong process but it is well worth it!

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