Vulnerability is ‘in’

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.

266 thoughts on “Vulnerability is ‘in’

    1. Yes, that feels fitting also Matts. They go together, because once we let go of our shield of protection, we are seen in full – warts and all, and hence the vulnerability…but if we stand tall in being all that we are, what do we have to fear?

  1. As I am working on my reactions at the moment I can really relate to this blog and see how I have been living from my hurts and reacting and shutting people out in all sorts of ways, ignorance, arrogance, aggression and being just plain rude to them rather than reconnecting to my heart and being open to feeling vulnerable and letting them in and showing them all of me and allowing them to do the same. My experience has been when I do connect with people in my vulnerability nothing can hurt me because I have no expectation of them I am all of me in the safety, true strength and love of my vulnerability .

  2. I love the title of your blog Kim and your parting words “Vulnerability leads to invulnerability. I love that paradox.” I agree with you, vulnerability is most definitely ‘IN’.

  3. Absolutely Kim, isn’t this a great thing, “Vulnerability leads to invulnerability. I love that paradox.” And that this is a very real experience for many who have dared to go there is amazing. We also I feel have to constantly be vigilant that we stay open and vulnerable, as this seeming protection that is not so, is a huge momentum.

    1. So true Shirey-Anne, on reading your comment I recognised the huge momentum I had created in having to have a shield of protection to feel safe, but in fact this shield did not protect me, as I hurt myself even more by keeping people out, not trusting people, and not sharing myself….. That said, I have walked many new steps, made different choices like self care and learning to love myself which has supported me to slowly but surly let go of my protection.

  4. I don’t regret the process of my learning through this life either for I know that these things happened for me to learn and grow from where I was to where I am now as my unfolding occurs and is on going every single day. It is not so much what happens but what I make of it that decides whether I have returned any nearer to the light that I came from.

  5. This is a paradox that I still shy away from, but one that is at the forefront for me right now. You have inspired me Kim to keep being open and transparent, to feel when my protection wall is up and test out life with it down. This for me is one of my greatest fears.

  6. To live a life in total transparency is to live a life in full. This is what I see through the work of Universal Medicine and this is what I witness through Serge Benhayon.

  7. This is such a lovely understanding of how we learn to be and how we can change things so that we are more loving and open with ourselves and others. Being vulnerable means we can feel and be open to so many things that would otherwise pass us by. When I run through my life in full protection, I miss seeing and feeling all the delicateness and love others have to show me. I miss so many opportunities. Being vulnerable is beautiful.

  8. Kim I love that you share the process of allowing yourself to be vulnerable – that how by taking the first step the next layer of allowing was revealed. Your appreciation of the process is something I can learn because my habit of self critique when I slip up is really just another layer of protection.

  9. When we allow ourselves to feel vulnerable we drop all the guards and shields we use in our everyday to protect us which allows us to open up and feel the rawness and true power of being transparent.

  10. Thank you Kim, I used to hide my vulnerability and see it as a weakness, but as your blog so beautifully shares vulnerability is a strength and when we embrace this quality it is powerful to feel.

  11. ‘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’.’ Brilliantly expressed!

  12. The shields we hold to protect ourselves in relationships in fact do not truly serve us as we might feel protected, fact is that through this protection we are not able to give expression to our being in full and not only continue to hurt that vulnerable part of ourselves but also that of all others we are with.

  13. nothing can hurt us when we are in the fullness of ourselves, being fully in our body and present. I will remember this little gem the next time I am feeling hurt by some-one, usually a family member and go into reaction, giving my power away.

  14. Just hearing or reading the word vulnerability calls for surrender and I melt into my body with ease. Vulnerability is knowing you’re divine and being open to seeing other peoples divinity even if they are not choosing to live it, then we can really never be hurt by what others may do.

  15. It is only a paradox because we have taken vulnerability to be a sign of weakness, and this is especially true of men. Yet to be vulnerable in my experience takes a certain type of strength, a deeper quality than the outer protection that feels so much easier, in an effort to keep the world out and from seeing how fragile and sensitive we truly are. Yet when we share our vulnerability, magic happens…..

  16. once we start to allow those shields to drop, we can really start to feel how what we thought was protecting us, was actually keeping us separate from life, and also how much energy it took to keep those shields in place.

    1. It is so life enhancing to realise the energy exerted to maintain our shields is draining while being vulnerable is in fact energising.

    2. Absolutely true. It’s one of those ironies we have created to keep us in the illusion that being an individual, separate from others is what we are meant to be.

  17. I really do love the idea that allowing ourselves to be vulnerable is actually the biggest ‘protection’ of all, without it actually being protection.

  18. I remember when I used to feel vulnerable I would go straight into protection and then one day I allowed myself to feel that vulnerability and it allowed me to feel how delicate and fragile I truly am, and when I feel vulnerable it is actually an opportunity for me to be more of me.

  19. Don’t we all go around carrying a load of protection everywhere we go? I certainly do and it protects me not one bit. That is just an illusion that holds me back from fully connecting to others. Letting it go bit by bit.

    1. I had to laugh ( at myself and us humans) because yes we all carry a load of protection that does not protect us one tiny bit… but instead keeps us all separate and disconnected. Same here Doug, learning to let it go and share and express more of me in all my innocence and vulnerability.

  20. From early childhood we learn from life experiences to develop patterns of behaviour to protect ourselves from hurt behind which we hide. The irony is that the greatest form of protection is to be totally transparent, to have no ‘shield’ and the ‘behaviour’ to develop and maintain this openness is responsibility.

  21. 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’. Brillant!

  22. We can accept how people behave, live their lives or treat themselves or not. To me, at the root of acceptance is the fact that we are all divine sparks of God – when we accept this in ourselves and all others, acceptance of all else may come more automatically. I’ll test it out!

  23. ‘nothing can hurt me when I am in the fullness of me because I am not seeking anything from anyone’. When we know who we are, when we get to feel that we are enough exactly as we are and we get to feel our true essence, we get to know and feel that nothing ‘out there’ can hurt us, because we are no longer so needy or needing to please, instead we are following our own heart which is all encompassing.

  24. Loved your article Kim, great work. Being shielded can feel so normal – as it was for me – and taking the shield off can be quite a big step. The first part is realizing how awful this protected shielded life actually feels. To feel there is different way of living with people. And if we are start feeling the difference, we know there is choice and that the shielded way is not the only way.

  25. Yes love it Kim, it is true that our greatest protection is to be the love we are, in the inner heart. And this place is completely transparent and in that sense vulnerable. It is also however the place we see things clearly from, understand others and can very effectively NOT take things personally. Hence we are invulnerable, as you say.

  26. “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.” Thank you for sharing Kim, I used to think being vulnerable would leave me open to being hurt, so if I am not needing anything from others there is nothing there to be hurt, I can then see others as who they truly are divine sons of God, just choosing or not choosing to live from that essence.

  27. There is a real honesty in being vulnerable, an openness. No pretence. We get to feel our delicate and sensitive natures and surrender more to that.

  28. We are taught to survive, not to be vulnerable for it is seen to threaten this… but there is great strength in vulnerability and although it may appear difficult to embrace, sometimes the greatest lessons about life or ourselves come through what challenges us the most… whilst also illuminating exquisite beauty not otherwise seen from behind seemingly protective shields.

    1. Just gorgeous what you have shared Samantha holding so much wisdom. I have been challenged recently and I have wobbled, but it was needed in order for me to drop the protective shield, and dropped it I have for good!

  29. It’s true we do associate vulnerability with weakness, and spend much of our lives pretending everything is ok, rather than being open and honest, as you say there is much strength in that.

  30. What a cracker of a blog and perfect for me to read today. I have been feeling ‘out of sorts’ recently with lots coming up for me, and I found myself going into my head which just took me round in round in circles. In a skype with a friend I got the realisation that I was being asked to feel a deeper level of my vulnerability which I have not felt before – well it did rock my boat. Having come through what felt like a mini storm, my boat is now very still and in a much more open space – a space that allows me to express so much more of my innate qualities as a woman.

  31. Through allowing ourselves to be vulnerable and dropping our protection we expose all that we are not and can eventually access all that we are. This connects us to our self-worth as we can now feel our own glory and godliness, which gives us a true inner strength. When feeling and knowing who we are, we have no reason to feel hurt if someone does not like us or insults us as we know that they just chose to not see or accept who we are. However that does not change the fact of who we are and the stronger our knowing of and connection to our divinity, the more invulnerable we are.

  32. Oh I so enjoyed reading this today, I can see I will be back as I develop this relationship with myself again. You have offered such a clear understanding of the importance of vulnerability that I know it is the only way forward.

  33. Is it possible that the quality of forgiveness is just another version of holding a grudge – both make another/others beholden to our emotionality; the first casts us into a victim stance and the second option conveys some kind of magnanimity that we extend towards another/others. And in truth, we just turn around in circles and don’t ever truly heal with both these options.

  34. ‘We take our ways of coping and unwritten contracts into our relationships’ but yet neglect to inform others of our conditions in the fine print. Crazy isn’t it.

  35. I do have now a complete different understanding of that what we call vulnerable. to me it is now to be open to everything that is there to be seen and felt without any guards of defence in front of it. This way of being makes me strong and committed to that what lives in me, the light of God and through that am connected with so much more than we can see with our bare eyes.

  36. Life becomes a whole lot more simple being in touch and raw with your feelings than the complexity of a shield, dishonesty, lack of true connection and transparency for being seen for all that you are weaknesses and all.

  37. When we try to ‘cope’ with life we can feel we are getting left behind and needing to run to catch up to what is just out of reach but when we choose to connect and be with who we are in the present we no longer have to hide behind the pretense and protection as we know who we are.

  38. These walls of protection we so mightily guard are yet another way we have fallen for the illusion that we’re not enough even in the delicateness of our vulnerability.

  39. My learning is that vulnerability is a key component to surrender and trust and that once reached, it doesn’t end. There are deeper vulnerabilities that are waiting for us to come to, deepening our strength and love, whenever we allow the vulnerability and understand it, we open our hearts even more to ourselves and others.

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