The Reality Of Vulnerability
We think of the exposing of our vulnerabilities, as one of the worst possible things that could ever happen. The last thing we want, is for the the world to get a glimpse of them. Our perceptions of vulnerabilities make us feel quite unguarded. Even just the word alone of vulnerability, can bring a sense of uncomfortable and taboo feeling to one’s mind. I know that’s sure how it used to be for me.
I used to think I understood what it was all about, but I actually had little to no knowledge of it. We always seem to fear the subjects that we don’t really understand. And that was certainly the case, when it came to everything about my vulnerabilities. I feared them, before I really even knew anything about what they were.
For the longest time, my habit of steering clear of any type of acceptance or awareness of my vulnerability kept me in the dark so much. I didn’t really understand what they represented, and I didn’t have any desire to learn.
It was as if, there was this whole side of my world that I didn’t even know. I believe that vulnerability can give us the ability to really see inside of us, and often all the way through us. We can then be introduced to all the many secrets and fears that we keep from the world. Secrets that we even keep from our own selves too.
Our subconscious can be very strong when it comes to holding down, what we don’t want to know, and don’t want to share. And if it isn’t our subconscious mind smothering an understanding of what makes us vulnerable, then it’s another side of our mind playing tricks on us. Making us believe that vulnerability equals shame.
We go on living and keeping so far from our own vulnerability that often times, we don’t even have a clear understanding of what truly even makes us vulnerable. If we struggle to get a grasp on vulnerability, how could we expect to know which things made it?
I think my entire process of working through my vulnerabilities, started to unfold for many different reasons. First off, I used to think that vulnerability meant weakness. So of course, I had a sense of shame about dealing with it.
When I started to enter a world of mental health problems, depression, anxiety, addictions, and so much more, that was when the true sense, and understanding of my vulnerability started to unfold.
I began to learn that the building blocks to who I am, are often built around my past experiences with the vulnerabilities I have had. I also started to see that drug addiction was a clear form of self medicating, when it came to trying to numb and hide any thoughts of the things that made me vulnerable. The more I did that, the more and more I wanted to keep masking them.
Everything seemed so twisted and backwards. Vulnerability was not making me weak, but instead it was my attempts at hiding my vulnerability which actually made me weak.
My journey has been a lesson about vulnerability. It continues to teach me that although it shouldn’t necessarily be advertised, it shouldn’t bring shame unto the way we feel about ourselves, and the lives we may be living. It can be okay to not want to wear our vulnerable side on our sleeves, but that doesn’t mean we have to live ashamed of it.
This is only the beginning. It’s the tip of the iceberg.
Much of the tough part of this type of journey, comes the realizations that are very close, and personal to us. Intimate to the relationship we have with ourselves.
We can use our vulnerable side to practice showing courage. It can be a brave mood, to share what’s most personal to the outside world.
Not being afraid of this, gives us not only a sense of courage, but a feeling of relief, and a letting go of stress. When going through things like mental health improvement, or addiction treatment, we can really be held back, if we are not willing to let go of what is vulnerable.
When we present our vulnerability to the world, and share our experiences that we have gone through with it, we can really advance our own wellbeing, and we can feel moments of healing from things like depression, panic, and anxiety.
MICHAEL PATANELLA, Author, Publisher