Permission to be vulnerable
How many times in your life have you been told how to be? Probably too many to count. You have learned it’s not ok to be vulnerable, to express your true feelings and genuine emotions. Even if you are breaking inside, your exterior exudes societies expectation of being ‘together’. As far as the rest of the world is concerned, you are ‘just fine’.
Responses to your feelings may have been to ‘think positively’ and to ‘cheer up’. Well-intentioned loved ones may have feared your unguarded emotions, while past experiences have persuaded you that vulnerability exposes your flaws.
Contributors to these stories, often project their own fears and beliefs onto you. Acknowledging your vulnerability and accepting you where you are, often means they have to acknowledge vulnerabilities of their own.
'Finding strength' has its place; it’s often the underpinning from which you are able to acknowledge pain, move through it and learn from your experience. But it does not come in the place of being vulnerable; it comes as a result of it. Being able to meet yourself where you are and show some self-compassion is where the true ability to live your life authentically comes from.
Every time you tell yourself that you’re ok, to ‘get over it’ and be positive, notice the energy this takes from you. Notice the energy its takes to pretend. The energy it takes to ignore your feelings. To suppress and restrict yourself and not feel able to communicate how you feel. It’s almost like keeping a secret from yourself and the world, which then gives it more power. Imagine this as an energy parasite you are carrying inside you eating up your resources; festering, making a plan of attack while you continue to tell yourself everything is ok.
Then imagine what it would be like to cry, one of the most honest outward expressions of genuine emotions. That release. I’m not fine, this is me right now. I am vulnerable.
Unmet emotions have a tendency to not go away on their own. They lie in the background buried but not dead, waiting for the next life experience to grab onto and magnify.
The next time you tell yourself that you are not allowed to be vulnerable, remember how much energy and reserve this takes from you. Further, being inauthentic to your own feelings also leaves you vulnerable, especially to yourself.
Emotional wounds require attention in order to heal.
I do believe in change, growth, goals, happiness and creating healthy mind-sets. I do however believe it’s from your authentic self, perfectly imperfect, vulnerable and wonderful that you are best place to do these effectively.
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Caroline Wellingham - Accredited Career and Life Coach, NLP PractitionerJuly 12th, 2017