25 Mar 2013


So spring is in the air and soon that first green will appear, that fragile green that dresses spring in all its glorie. The tulips and other flowers peeking out in the garden but here the cold is making them grow slow, waiting for the time to come to blossom. It made me think about vulnerability. I recently did a discussion and I will share my thoughts and the input of all the wonderful people who were there with me.


We all feel vulnerable. Most of us accept more or less we do and others do not like to feel vulnerable. Perhaps our upbringing told us to be strong. Or we have been so hurt in the past that we try to protect ourselves thinking that showing vulnerability will in the end hurt us more.
When do we feel vulnerable? Or better when do I feel vulnerable, after all this is my post. I do not always choose to be vulnerable. It is my choice to show others when I am vulnerable. To be vulnerable connects me to others. I need to connect. I used to think that strength, being cheerful was the best way to connect. I failed so many times, I was scared to really connect. Why? I hardly shared any of my vulnerabilities with others.

So what makes us feel vulnerable?

It could be in everyday life. The feel when you have to give a speech in public, to be exposed in front of all.  Flying in a plane and being fully in the hands of the pilots is hard. You might have to wait for that phone call of the doctor. Asking for help, initiating sex, being turned down or feeling not part of the group. All of these can make people feel vulnerable.
But if taken in the right way it might make you feel sad, or momentarily vulnerable but usually it is not the end of the world and most of us know how to get back on our feet again. But, there are those who are scared for their vulnerability.

Excruciating Vulnerability

You suffer form this when you are scared to show your vulnerability, when you want to fight or are even trying to avoid being vulnerable. If that is what you do, it is most likely that you suffer from low self worthiness and of belonging. When you constantly wonder if you are good enough. The most difficult thing of connecting to others is the fear that we are not worthy of connection. But how can you learn to make that connection? How can we change? The best way to change is to learn from those who do it.

Wholehearted people.

Do you know them? They wander trough life so easily. They smiles, make you feel welcome. They are not haughty or show any improper pride they are simply authentic in how they behave and what they do. Wholehearted people are those who find they deserve love and belonging. Why do they deserve that? Simply because  they have a few assets that helps them to cope with life. They do have the same difficulties as others. Still they are better off because they can cope better in life. They cope better with the ups and downs of life.
I honestly hated them, I thought them strangely enough not genuine in their interest for me. I couldn't even belief their interest was authentic and real. If they offered help I would not really accept it or I would fail after some time to truly accept it. I personally would rather walk away form it. They didn't push me away! I was very able in pushing myself out of the picture. I had a whole defense mechanism that worked perfectly to keep all out of my life. Have I fully healed form this? No! I can still at times when I am very vulnerable have this deep desire to retreat instead of seeking help or face what I find difficult. But I also realized that the feeling of deserving, the need to open up is necessary to be a Wholehearted person.

How to deal with vulnerability

What do they have in their package to deal with vulnerability? They have courage, compassion, connection and worst of all they even embrace the dreaded vulnerability. So lets look at those:

  • You need "courage" to be imperfect. 
  • You need "compassion" to be kinder to yourself than to others, because you cannot be kind to others if you are not kind for your self.
  • You have connection as a result of "authenticity"
  • You "embrace vulnerability", so their vulnerability makes them beautiful

All 4 of them are very important within D/s. Strangely enough, how can we connect, be compassionate and have courage if we do not share our vulnerabilities? How on earth can we be authentic if we are not authentic to ourselves? How can we achieve full trust, intimacy and the connection needed within D/s? We have to admit to our anxieties, our fears. Not only the one tied to the rack is vulnerable, the one who is tying the other to the rack is as well. Because when you fail, you have to have the courage to own up to it. You have to have the courage to speak up, not only the submissive but also the Dominant. If you are hiding your feelings it will end up in disaster.

Different ways to hide your vulnerabilities.

Some hide their vulnerability by being "perfect"  Trying to behave, act talk and do always perfect. Trying to look perfect is actually thinking you are otherwise not good enough. You have to be your best always. It is also a way to keep other people at bay and on a distance. It is hard to connect with a person who is perfect.

Another thing people do is "numbing" vulnerability. How do we numb vulnerability? For example a girls thing, like shopping, some by excessive eating or playing in SL. But we cannot numb the emotions that comes with vulnerability, like grief, shame, disappointment and fear. So as soon as they return we will feel vulnerable again and do our feel good things again, shopping eating etc.

Some make the "uncertain certain", so they do not have to show their vulnerabilities.
This one is usually more a trait of the Dominants. The, I am so darn right and you are so fucking wrong, attitude. The more afraid we are, the more vulnerable we are so we do not accept discourse or conversation, we only accuse and blame. It might feel easier to hide in blame and not try to see the perspective of others. 

"Pretending" is a good way to hide vulnerability. For example you can pretend nothing happened, or something is not a big deal at all. But in that case we also pretend that our reactions do not hurt or has no effect on the other. It means you don't have to say sorry, but you also hardly react or talk when another says sorry to you.

How we can deal with vulnerablitly

It as simple as it is difficult. Simply be vulnerable, show your vulnerability when necessary do not hide it at all. You do not have to be an extrovert. Introverts are usually very good in one on one conversations. Love wholeheartedly, even when there is no guarantee. Practice gratitude and joy. Stop thinking of what might happen, but be grateful for the moment you have. And feeling vulnerable is feeling alive. When we are kinder and gentler to the people around us it will ultimately mean that we are kinder and gentler to ourselves.
The most important thing you can do is to think of and say to yourself:"I AM ENOUGH."


choji said...

This was a good read :)

ara said...

Thanks CHoji But your petals are good reads too, I enjoy them!