May 1, 2015

THE POWER OF VULNERABILITY





THE POWER OF VULNERABILITY

I have had many conversations with people relating to relationships & vulnerability. I have realized it was a subject which needed to be further discussed in detail. I consider myself to be someone who isn’t afraid of being vulnerable, but I think my definition of vulnerability and the definition by others may either be seen differently or it may actually be two different things. So I am going to actually breakdown exactly what I consider vulnerability and why it has a lot of POWER.

I looked up the actual definition of vulnerability:


1. capable of or susceptible to being wounded or hurt, as by a weapon:
a vulnerable part of the body.
2.
open to moral attack, criticism, temptation, etc.:
an argument vulnerable to refutation; He is vulnerable to bribery.
3.
(of a place) open to assault; difficult to defend:

a vulnerable bridge.



This definition explains it very well. When we think of vulnerability, we think of weaknesses or setbacks. We think that it makes us more susceptible to harm and/or danger. I am here to tell you that does not have to be true for you; in fact it’s NOT the case at all. The only way you can be vulnerable is if you are hiding something; if you are hiding your truth; if you are maintaining appearances. You see when you live very strong in your own truth; it can never be used as a weapon against you. If you are not trying to protect it, you won’t have to defend it.


1. VULNERABILITY INVENTORY
Try to check in with yourself ever so often so you don’t have to deal with feeling vulnerable. Know your own truth; know your flaws and your weaknesses. Know and understand everything which makes you YOU.

If there is something within yourself or your life you feel ashamed about, simply try to understand why you feel shame or embarrassment about it.


2. WHY EXERCISE 
Once you have identified what makes you feel vulnerable, you then have to try to understand WHY it makes you vulnerable. We have all attached an emotional value to our morals, and beliefs. Understanding WHY you feel this way will allow you to really see the weight you put on this particular weakness or flaw. Begin to ask yourself WHY you feel or behave a certain way regarding this behavior/weakness or flaw. Continue doing this until you get to the answer. Not the answer that makes you feel comfortable, but the answer, which is your TRUTH. The answer, which will be the STARTING point of change and personal growth for yourself.

Here is an example of the WHY exercise.

TRUTH, WEAKNESS OR FLAW:  TARDINESS

Q: Why am I always late?
A: Because I’m always juggling so many things.

Q: Why am I always juggling so many things?
A: Because I have so many responsibilities.

Q: Why do I have so many responsibilities?
A: Because I take on more than I can chew

Q: Why do I take on more than I can chew?
A: Because I want to help everyone

Q: Why do I want to help everyone?
A: Because I don’t like saying
no when they ask me for help.

Q: Why do you not like saying NO when friends/family ask me for help?
A: Because I like to please and it really bothers me if my friends & family are displeased with me.

Now you can stop here if you want or go further. But for the sake of this conversation, I will stop here. We have gotten enough answers as to why you are always late and that is a great start for two main purposes.
1. Uncovering your TRUTH and
2. Trying to fix the flaw.

This is an example of if you went further:

Q: Why does it bother me if my friends & family are displeased with me?
A: Because It’s important to me to be liked and favored.

Q: Why is it important to me to be liked and favored.
A: Because I don't like feeling left out and ostracized.

As you can see you can keep going and unveiling the deeper reasons and answers to who you are; how you have become who you are and what has influenced you to be who you are.

In this exercise, we wanted to find out exactly why tardiness was an issue and we found the root of it. Now that you know your TRUTH, we can decide what we would like to do with it.


This brings us to the next phase.





3. OWN IT, EMBRACE IT & RELEASE IT

Now once you know WHY you are always late, you know there is nothing to be ashamed of. It’s nothing to protect. The reason you are late stems from taking on too much & trying to please others. That comes from a great place of intention. You are always late because you are always trying to take care and help others. You are always late because you probably value your friends' & family's happiness more than you value personal time. This is not a bad thing, and it’s definitely nothing to feel embarrassed about; it’s nothing to protect or feel vulnerable about. Not only do you know why you are always tardy, but you can also decide how you want to change it to try to continue this journey of life and personal growth.






4. NOW LIVE



Ahhhh, Freedom. A word we all love, yet we are not all willing to do what it takes to achieve freedom. The 1st time you attempt that exercise can be a bit daunting and nerve wrecking. Once you get into the flow of it you start to see how refreshing and self healing it actually is. You are now able to grab the steering wheel of your live and decide where & how you plan on driving your life towards growth and self awareness. You are also free from having to protect one of your flaws/weaknesses. You are already aware of your "flaw" you are aware of it's origin and because you know your truth, it doesn't hurt when someone else mentions it or highlights it to you. It is such an amazing moment to me when someone mentions one of my weaknesses/flaws {as if it were a negative thing, as if it were ammunition}  and I follow it up by saying , "Yes, I'm aware I have a problem with that & this is the reason why". It's amazing how their face changes, they now realize there gun is no longer loaded, and because I am so comfortable and aware of my truth they are more aware of exactly how tight their armor is on. They feel so vulnerable all of a sudden because they are now aware that the "thing" they are trying to "protect" is the very thing I am willing to reveal, share & discuss. There is an immense amount of freedom in that experience and way of living and you deserve to live in that space. to live in that space of freedom and self awareness. Don't be held hostage by vulnerability and the desire to appear flawless. There is no power, strength or freedom within that after all is there? 



BONUS!
When you forget, or go back to your need 
to defend yourself, always remember these words.



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11 comments:

  1. Very good post and so true! I love your advice on embracing your weakness turns it into a powerful tool! As a crazy busy creative designer and mother, I appreciate the wise advice!

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  2. Great post! I recently read a book by Brene Brown on the subject of vulnerability. It's a hard thing to embrace because we are taught not to show our vulnerable side. But you are right, it is the only way to truly be free.

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  3. Great article! I have been making a conscious effort not to be defensive. It really bothers me when you are trying to address a problem with someone close and they shut you out and instead of recognizing the problem, are defensive. I agree, there is a lot of freedom in recognizing and facing your truth and not trying to avoid and be defensive.

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  4. I've read some of Brene Brown's extensive work on the subject - it is so freeing to stop seeing vulnerability as a weakness and start building your freedom and strength from it. Great post, Tonisha!!!!!

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  5. Love this blog post! So true and a great reminder! Thank you!

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  6. Great post! Excellent exercise for getting to the root!

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  7. I love this article! I especially love how just asking yourself a series of questions you can uncover the truth and the root cause of some of our flaws. If we would do that in every situation in life, we could really understand ourselves and change in areas we need to

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  8. Christina RodriguezNovember 3, 2015 at 3:02 PM

    Very good advice and the exercise is great!

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  9. I love the "why" exercisesas they help get right to the source of why I am doing this thing. It's so helpful in cultivation a daily practice of self - care and self - love. Fun to read article, Cheers!

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