Vulnerability is a Gift

Sigmund Freud

Too often children are taught not to cry. “Be tough; don’t cry. You’re okay.” Maybe their feelings are hurt or they are afraid. Appropriate validation of his or her feelings and reassurance is essential for healthy emotional development. However, if those feelings are ignored or pushed aside repeatedly, it may teach the child to feel insignificant and to build protective walls. This can manifest in an older child or adult as overweight issues or addictive escapes into drugs, spending, alcohol, sex or even work.

Brene Brown

It truly takes courage for an adult to melt down those walls and allow feelings of human vulnerability. It requires being honest with yourself and others about who you really are; it short, it requires acknowledging and becoming your authentic self. To fully feel unspoken pain and accept it, is a catalyst for healing. In some cases, this may require the assistance of a therapist. Perhaps the comforting ear of a close friend or loving family member may suffice. At the very least, journaling is a wonderful outlet to release those secret feelings.

vulnerability

Truly experiencing joy requires knowledge and acceptance of the darkest recesses of your sadness and disappointments. If you are unable to be fully open to all of life’s experiences, you are depriving yourself of meaningful relationships and your deepest joys. Vulnerability is not weakness; it takes strength to be vulnerable in the face of your sorrows or shame. Weakness is not allowing yourself access to the full spectrum of human emotions. Truly, vulnerability is a precious gift that you give to yourself because only those who live with it can fully embrace all the beauty and joys life has to offer.

Additional Resources:
The Power of Vulnerability
How Being Vulnerable Can Expand Your World
Ten Journaling Tips to Help You Heal, Grow and Thrive

8 comments

  1. Shirley, you hit the nail on the head! Sometimes our fondest joys come out of our deepest moments of sorrow. Our children need not be sheltered but learn from the experiences life has to offer.

  2. I love this post – it is so true… but why, when feeling vulnerable, even though it gives birth to some of the most wonderful and creative ideas I ever had… I still feel like disappearing in a war proof tower and hide until the feeling of being hurt all over the place has been gone?

    • That’s a good question, Raani. Many of us withdraw physically and/or emotionally when we are hurt to protect ourselves from any further pain. It makes us feel safe and gives us a chance to process what’s going on. Accepting the pain, though, as part of the healing process and finding a comfortable way of nurturing ourselves are steps to moving past it. Writing in a journal is a good way to release the feelings…and for writers especially, it can generate that creativity you spoke of. That raw state when the defenses seem to have been stripped away is such fertile ground for turning something devastating into some positive healing energy.

      I appreciate the time you took to read the article and comment. 🙂

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