Recently I had an experience that made me feel very vulnerable in an emotional as well as physical way.
I got myself into an argument with somebody over a situation where the other person was at fault. I got quite angry and didn’t want to let it go. The result was that I was met with aggression and threatened with pretty drastic violent and destructive actions. Those sorts of threats go to the bone in me. I had nightmares that night and couldn’t rest the next day until that situation could be somehow resolved. I felt fearful, very vulnerable and tense, and also found it very hard to let go of my position of being right and that I was the victim.
But holding this position felt very stubborn, hard, and I knew that holding on to it wouldn’t go anywhere, and in this case it was also increasing the threat and my fear of being exposed to more violence, rather than dissolving the situation. There I was, feeling unfairly treated, then threatened on top of that, ‘made’ into this frightened victim and angry about it.
I was actually feeding the monster by holding onto this so strongly!
Then it dawned on me that to get out of this feeling of tension, fear and victimhood, I had to surrender. Give up my emotional position and surrender to what I really felt.
I felt the pain of disconnection from myself and from the person I’ve had that argument with, and I could see that I was in part also responsible for the violent reaction towards me as a direct result of my own provocative, angry reaction. And I strongly felt that an apology was needed, to myself as well as to the person I had the argument with, to heal the harm done to both of us by my reaction.
I also felt that I needed to reconnect truly to my inner love, knowing and trusting that this reconnection would support me and bring me back to a state of inner settlement and strength. I needed to surrender to the unfolding of what was happening around me, while doing my best on a practical level to resolve the situation.
That is allowing a vulnerability that doesn’t feel like I’m a victim, but quite the opposite.
I am in charge of my body and mind; I choose to connect to my inner being and not to be ruled by emotions or expectations. I choose to be open, to love myself and then to let everybody see the real me, even if I feel exposed and vulnerable. If I choose to let go of my position of being right or being a victim, let the other know how I really feel, I then open myself to a love that includes us both, that makes us equal. My experience is that it does not matter whether the other person is open to it or still locked in their own position. If I stay open and truthful and don’t react emotionally but accept where the other is at, it takes the heat out of the situation, and most often the situation will then run a much more productive course.
I took all the practical steps to clear the situation, and along the way I kept bumping into resistance, not only on a practical level but also in myself, where I had to keep accepting that the world and people are not perfect and everybody has their story. But the most important step was to choose to be loving and open with myself, and stay an observer in this difficult situation.
Not easy – if I didn’t have the trust in my own inner knowing that I am love and I am loved, and that we all are equally that divine love, I probably couldn’t do it at all.
I also realised that holding on to a position of being a victim and feeling vulnerable to the actions of others often comes with anger and wanting to hurt the other back somehow, and that feels like a very hard cage around me, sometimes so tight that I can hardly breathe. Letting all of that go and allowing myself to feel all the layers of hurt, seeing the protective shield that I have built and the separation that I have created with it, allowed me to see the difference between the vulnerability that is based on fear and the vulnerability that I allow by choosing to drop my emotional protection. That vulnerability is based on openness, trust and surrender, and it is such a relief to feel that restrictive cage of the fear-based vulnerability drop off –– a feeling of expansion and, yes, love.
By R.P., Australia