So many fears around this topic.
Fearful of appearing weak.
Fearful of being hurt.
Fearful of being taken advantage of.
Fearful of rejection.
Fearful of judgment.
It can often feel as though our mind and bodywork against us. This fear of vulnerability
holds us back in our intimate relationships, in friendships, as parents.
I will share a little about how my fear of vulnerability
would have me act at times as some may be relatable.
When dating I would give the impression to the other party that I didn’t believe that monogamous relationships could work. In fact, it was a genuine belief that I held. A belief that I created to help me balance the fact that the relationships I was in were unhealthy. It made me feel better believing that all were like that and everyone was just lying to themself.
I would in some ways encourage them to sleep with other people, bizarre, isn’t it? By either suggesting inviting someone else to our bed or by suggesting swingers clubs the lot. I felt so much that I would not be enough that If I could control the situation I would feel better and It would feel less of a betrayal.
I would remain detached in loving relationships, holding large parts of myself back because it felt too risky to go all in. So that it wouldn’t feel so bad when it all ended which it would of course because I was holding back.
My best of friends rarely knew what was going on in my life as I had created this air of perfection and that all was great in my life. I feared looking weak and being judged for my car crash of reality.
I did the same with my family, I lied to them day in and day out hiding domestic abuse, even when removed by police and placed in a women’s hostel. I feared being seen as a failure. Opening up.
I moved home alone countless times with young children because I didn’t like to ask for help.
I feared telling people how I felt about them.
Feeling vulnerable can take us back to feeling as we did as a child when we are feeling unsafe.
Thinking back to how the vulnerability
was approached when you were a child you can start to understand why you may feel so resistant to it.
My mother wound pretend as if nothing was happening at all, serious gaslighting went on. She would ignore how we felt and we witnessed her doing the same to herself. Her reactions almost felt robotic.
My stepfather would mock and shame you for being upset. We would be told that we were ‘pussies’, were ‘gay’, and would be ‘given something to cry about’.
When my sexual abuse came out and was brushed under the carpet my step-grandmother called me a ‘silly girl’ for having spoken up. My mother stated that we would lose our home and she would lose her job if I carried on and was I sure that I had even accused the right person?
In fact, I have nothing positive to say about how vulnerability
was experienced when I was a child. It was shamed, punished, and ignored or you were put through a guilt trip.
Now you may have had a different experience to me but chances are that perhaps you didn’t experience positive vulnerability
Our mind banks vulnerability
as not safe. It doesn’t want us to feel that way again because it’s job is to protect us from harm, physically and psychologically. And so we bank a coping mechanism and we steam ahead creating fears and beliefs around vulnerability
. Deep fears of being rejected and hurt, of our worst fears being confirmed.
The truth is that being vulnerable is the bravest thing you can ever do.
Yes, it leaves us open to potentially being hurt, rejected, judged, abandoned. But it also opens us up to deep and meaningful relationships, genuine connections, love, and trust. The things that we truly desire in life. Of being authentic and living life fulfilled. Something we never achieve when closing that door to vulnerability
Allowing yourself to be seen in all your glory, warts and all. Faults and all. Weaknesses and all.
We all have them. That’s the truth.
Think of the most perfect person you know. Yep, they have them.
Our beliefs often lead us to believe that we aren’t worthy of love, acceptance, compassion, and kindness if we aren’t perfect but we all know that is absolute bollocks.
We can know all this but still struggle so where to start?
Start with your biggest, nastiest, most twattish critic.
Acceptance of yourself, weaknesses, imperfections, mistakes, and faults.
Stop placing conditions on your worthiness and self-compassion.
Self-love can not be conditional.
Not when you reach that certain size.
Not when you have that perfect relationship.
Not when you have reached that particular position of your career.
Not when you have dedicated that time to your kids.
Self-love comes with no conditions attached.
Think of all that you have been through from day dot to this very moment.
Look at your body in the mirror and thank it, thank it for carrying you throughout all of that keeping you as safe as it possibly could no matter how you treated or spoke of it.
Think of all of your bad habits and coping mechanisms but appreciate them, they were born of shitty experiences that you pulled through and your mind kept you safe in the best way it knew how.
Look yourself in the mirror, she is your best friend, there through everything, a warrior and nurturer in one. Think of all you the tears, the laughter, the pain, the joy.
If anyone on this planet is worthy of your love, compassion, and forgiveness it’s you.
It’s time for you to become your own best friend and treat yourself as someone you truly love, respect, and admire.
Because you are the first hurdle.
After that everyone else is a breeze.