Acts of Courage: Vulnerability (Part 2 of 3)
In my practice vulnerable expression is at the core of people’s well bring. It’s important to acknowledge ones vulnerability before finding the courage to move through it and claim ones power. Vulnerability can often be mistaken for weakness, especially in a power driven society. This misinterpretation of weakness is in fact a fallacy, given in truth vulnerability requires taking a risk of being exposed, and with this risk great strength and wisdom is gained through this act of courage and self-reflection. If anything there is greater weakness in avoiding vulnerability as this suggests the presentation of a brave front of stoicism, which in turn denies true expression. Ultimately, this denial of expression serves only to repress the parts of us that desperately want validation, and perhaps hint at a historical wound whereby we were hurt or discouraged for displays of vulnerability.
If we are to take the risk of vulnerability we usually look for conditions of safety. Naturally we don’t want to be judged or criticized for our disclosure. However, our discernment for safety in its subjective quality may also be at a heightened level of sensitivity if we have been hurt in the past, and so our interpretation of safety can sometimes be negatively biased; and we are swayed by the apparent “safe” way out. It’s important to check in with our feelings to bring attention to how we are being governed. For example, in our assessment of safety are we being overpowered by fears based on past experiences; experiences in which we retreated into a primal “freeze” mode as a reaction to the danger. These carried past experiences can often be stored as a trauma, and continue to create stagnation in our ability to take action and overcome challenges we are presented with. This is why it is important to undo some of this damage, so that with support, we can take action and confront our fears and discover a path of positive change that provides healing and growth.
With either yourself or someone you feel safe with, take the risk and opportunity to express vulnerably from a newfound sense of trust. Notice what healing and growth is discovered within you.
Author: David Kalmar