The Beauty of Being Vulnerable
Leslie is terrified of getting older, of her children leaving home, of being alone. These feelings scare her so much, she invents ways not to face her fears. Mostly, she lashes out at others for “making” her feel bad about “giving so much”. She wonders why she has so few truly close friends who she can be herself with.
Janice doesn’t walk, she swaggers. She doesn’t talk, she commands. When her children and friends head for the exit, she figures they just don’t have the guts to handle such a big woman. But she has an ulcer and she can’t sleep. Lately, she’s been having nightmares about being trapped. Deep, deep down, she’s afraid she’s really a little insignificant person after all.
It hurts to admit we are vulnerable. For so many of us, it means we are weak, helpless and open to attack by others or by whatever life throws at us. Our culture demands that we be strong, so we try our best to hide our fears and cover up our weak spots. We don’t want to be seen as failures.
But there can be beauty in vulnerability and value in exploring so-called weaknesses. By exploring our “dark” side, we can turn our fears and vulnerabilities into strengths. To paraphrase author Matthew Fox, “Our demons aren’t in the way; they are the way!”
Often, we believe that keeping a stiff upper lip will keep us strong. We hold a tight lid on our fears and pain, but in doing so, we also cover up and lose touch with our feelings. This, in turn, shields our hearts and separates us from our connection to humanity.
Instead, imagine the worst thing that can happen and explore your fears. It is often helpful to work with a therapist to face what it is you believe you are defending yourself against, and then to help you understand, accept and let go. This is a journey that can be long and difficult, but it’s only by facing our vulnerable places—not covering them up or running from them—that we come out the other side.
Another approach is taking time out, retreating, to an environment that is different from what we are used to. It enables us to hear a different voice from within. We fill the empty well and then have enough to give others too.
Being vulnerable is empowerment. We all have a wound, and when we allow ourselves to be vulnerable, we accept that wound and then we can move forward. Our wound is our blessing.
Being vulnerable hasn’t been very popular in our society, but this is changing. Words such as “humility” and “gratitude” and “forgiveness” are being used more frequently. They are terms that show a cultural shift towards accepting all human traits, negative and positive, strong and weak.
Author and therapist Beth Miller takes this one step further. In her book, Resilience: 12 Qualities to Cultivate, she calls vulnerability “falling apart” and urges that “it is time to bring falling apart into fashion.”
Being a student of life means being vulnerable—open to life, to learning, to experiences, to yourself and to emotions. Most of all, it means being willing to accept things as they are.
Being vulnerable comes easier to some than others. Here are some ways to explore being vulnerable
• Be honest with yourself.
• Look for deeper reasons or motives for your own behavior. Take responsibility for your behavior.
• Take a risk. Start by letting someone you trust know your weak places.
• Be willing to listen to honest feedback.
• Accept the fact that you have anger, and find words to talk about it.
• Let go of guilt and resentment. The past is past. Make amends if needed.
• Accept that you make mistakes. That’s part of being human.
Empower Your Feminine Voice Today—and Start Living Out Loud!
It can feel uncomfortable to open up and express yourself, especially with people you expect might not understand you or what you have to say. And so you stay quiet and protected, minimizing your contribution.
If you’re ready to dissolve your doubts and fears, empower your feminine voice, and discover the clarity and confidence you already have within you for success in your personal and professional life—then I invite you to explore our upcoming women’s retreat in Portugal.
CLICK HERE to get started.
Eliana Gilad is a Therapeutic Singing pioneer and best-selling author who has trained more than 10,000 conscious professionals, given two TEDx talks, and collaborated with internationally recognized thought leaders in the health, wellness, feminine leadership and new science genres. She has also presented at the United Nations, and her work has been featured in worldwide press.
Founder of Voices of Eden – Ancient Wisdom and Healing Music Institute, Eliana leads online immersion trainings, live retreats and sacred wisdom journeys to help professional women awaken to their feminine power and authentic voice for maximum health, wealth and wisdom.