by Kim Olsen, Bachelor of Chemical Engineering, Salesperson and Youth Disability Worker, Warwick, Queensland, Australia
Some time ago I realised that when we are in our heart, we are invulnerable. At the time, I thought this meant if we are vulnerable in our relationships, we can’t get hurt. I now ‘know’ this is true, because I consciously did this and observed and felt it for myself – however, it means so much more than I used to think.
I tested this awareness ‘with my heart’ and allowed other people to know me as much as I could muster at that time; my then version of being ‘an open book’. I was still at this time trying to be what I thought others wanted me to be, so whilst being as real as I was able, it was still not the ‘full me’ – I was still being what I thought the world wanted me to be. The fact, however, that I was making the choice to be in my heart opened the next door and I made a giant step forward; I was starting to feel what true vulnerability felt like for me.
In real terms, when a particular relationship ended, I could see more clearly what had happened and was happening. I found this to be a much better way to be – both for me, and the other with whom I was relating – compared to how I had previously been. I did not feel hurt, as I would have done in the past, where I held back who I truly was and had expectations that others and the world be a certain way back to me. Although I did not feel hurt and did feel more complete, I was still not accepting of myself or others fully: at this point I did not even contemplate the depth of truly connecting to myself or another.
I now see that I was relating to others and being myself through a ‘shield’. I had created a shield that allowed others to see only what I wanted them to see; it also defined my reactions to what was happening with chosen, conditioned responses. I now understand from my experiences how taking my ‘shield of protection’ and its mechanism of ‘how to cope’ into the world has in fact shielded me from true relating in my life (of course this was not a conscious decision). It feels like even though I learned these ‘behaviours’ from my parents and others, that they were also part of something that I was familiar with.
We take our ways of coping and unwritten contracts into our relationships. In line with my shielded way of living, these are the behaviours that apparently save us from being vulnerable, but at the same time guarantee that we can’t achieve a ‘heart-felt’ connection with the other. So sits the paradox of ‘dependent love’.
What I have learned from presentations on relationships by Serge Benhayon has opened a more complete world to me. This includes that being vulnerable is so much more than what would be found in the understanding of ‘emotional love’ – which is always based on getting your needs met by another. I now realise that ‘being love’ and ‘being vulnerable’ includes being present in a way that can’t happen if I am leaning on my patterns and behaviours, which have been developed to be accepted and to cope in this world, i.e., to ‘look strong’ or ‘get through’.
Getting past these patterns and behaviours opens up a different world; in this world I have the true confidence to be me. From this space I can live from my heart and in truth be open and ‘vulnerable’, which means allowing others ‘in’ – this shows them all of who I am and allows them to also be ‘as they are’. With my choice to be and live my truth, I can see that I am invulnerable – nothing can hurt me when I am in the fullness of me because I am not seeking anything from anyone – I am just being me with them. It is clear to me that by being vulnerable (and even fragile, which to me equates to being real, open and seen in truth), I find true strength.
I am not even looking for forgiveness from those for whom I fell short. It was in all-ways an unwritten contract and I was always doing the best I knew. I am grateful that through those so-called mistakes I can now ‘see’ who I truly am. I can ask myself why I did this. Was it through the teachings of my parents and others? Yes, they were the examples I took on. However, I feel this happened because that was the continuing pattern I had created. So in a sense, I chose those ‘lessons’ both because that was what was familiar to me, and that was my challenge to work through.
I am not regretting what I have experienced in this life. I am grateful to have now come to this realisation and way of living, which has been made easier to see clearly from the talks on vulnerability and relationships by Serge. Also the way he expresses his own openness and vulnerability is for me a special example. As a consequence, I am taking off my shield and getting to feel the strength of being vulnerable.
I now choose full vulnerability.
Vulnerability leads to invulnerability. I love that paradox.