Vulnerability – Fear or Freedom

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

Related Reading:
Human Relationships: Let’s Make Them About Love.
Control & reaction v space & grace
Road rage … can we regain control of our reactions?

636 thoughts on “Vulnerability – Fear or Freedom

  1. So much of our lives has been set up by what we watch on TV so that we feel trapped in a topsy turvy world where we are the victim and what we do and we feel we are justified in doing what ever it takes to stay in our role, but what about our True essences that only respond to life in the most Loving way, so maybe it is time to turn off the T.V. and feel what life has to offer us.

  2. Non-imposing on another will also let the decency and respect we have for people come through and will allow them their own space to understand that there is always another way, so without any judgement we are simply Loving and Love is non-imposing, thus we remain open so we drop all that is not Loving and comparison as well.

  3. “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 have also seen this in my own life and the key has been in the honesty of the conversation and in speaking the truth, but without investment in outcomes or having any judgement, just holding myself and the other person in love by remaining connected to myself.

  4. Being stubborn and not moving out of negative feelings damages everyone, myself included. I am seeing and feeling this in my body more recently which is great because if ignored it can continue to harm. The more I look at it the more it starts to dissolve.

  5. “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 . . .” That is also my experience R.P. as you so beautiful described – it is an offer to open up the situation so that it is not that stubborn right and wrong thing anymore what so often leads to nothing else then to emotional pain.

  6. I feel we build the cages of protection around us when we feel threatened by the world. Is it possible that we build these layers of protection because we have been hurt in a past life and so we build layer upon layer of mistrust every time we reincarnate so that we lose the sense of who we truly are and are instead just left with this overriding sense of victimhood that stands in the way life after life until it is dealt with. This is why I am so appreciative of Universal Medicine because this is the only organisation I have come across and I have tried many that actually supports people to unpick the hurts they carry with them from life to life so that they do not dominate their lives any more. Speaking for myself going thought this process is very liberating.

  7. There is a vulnerability that we drop into when we let go of the position of being right. This vulnerability is the place that we begin with to connect and surrender to what lies within. It is easy to say and talk about, but can feel at times like the hardest thing to do. Even though the surrender to ourselves is the most natural thing for us, we often live in a way that is so far away from this, that it feels like the most unnatural thing to do. This is what makes it difficult – it is not that it is a hard or foreign thing to do, but rather that we have not done it for so long we have forgotten about it, and tread a different path that makes it seem hard for us to go back fast to where we came from.

  8. Feeling like one is ‘right’ can be super destructive – it can make one very stubborn and hold onto things in a way that is inflexible and unrelenting. I have often fallen for this and have found that being so set in what is right and wrong then erodes any potential for a relationship with the person. In the end it matters not who is right or who is not, but about the way you connect with the other. It is never about submitting to another, but rather about surrendering to the love that we all are.

  9. Surrendering to an inner love can sometimes feel like the hardest thing to do, and yet it is the one thing that actually makes us that much stronger to deal with that which is in front of us.

  10. What is presented in this sharing is gold. We can go deeper in to ourselves to understand that judgment, protection and defensivness just keep us more separated and serves no one. Love opening up myself to the fact that there is another way to express that is more real, respectful and unifies us.

  11. These days I’m experiencing something very new, there is a vast difference in how I used to relate with others and the way I am now. There is a beautiful dettachment and an awareness from myself that supports me to understand that I can express my truth in a very simple way, without need to defend, apology or justify it. I’m blowing away about the clarity, delicateness and openenss that I can offer even in a rocky situation with someone. There is nothing that can touch me when I’m present in my body, allowing myself to trust and enjoy of this time of letting go the shields and just be.

  12. There’s so much learn in the way we interact with each other. We uncover how we are with ourselves, and with others. How much of the truth that we are all sons of God we are accepting gets exposed, and in the process, we may choose to react further, or give that truth a fair go that we could really be all that magnificent love but just acting in ill ways for whatever the reason, and it has not been always easy for me to see the world this way, but when I do – wow, the love that I can feel within/without is just so encompassing and it really does make me feel like I have nothing to fear.

  13. Children experience threats of violence far more regularly than we want to see and it happens because they see the dominance that ‘works’ in the world as reflected by adults in politics, business, perhaps even in our own homes. As adults it is so important to be more aware of how prevalent situations like this are so we can offer a different reflection to ourselves and therefore to our children.

  14. The minute we are open and honest about how we feel then we are essentially free. It’s when we sent it or pretend it’s not there that we get into trouble. And there’s nothing wrong with feeling vulnerable or fragile – it’s a natural part of human life, the problem comes not from the honesty of being truthful about how we feel but from pretending it’s not the case.

  15. So here we have an unravelling process which, if really understood and enacted, would have such a profound effect upon the physiology and well-being of the human race that it would bring a paradigms shift.

  16. Our movements feed always something that feeds back to us. When the feedback hits us we can choose to make it about the other or about our movements; the only thing we can change.

  17. Sometimes I find the other may be clearly at fault but when I look deeper, there may be more, sometimes substantially more, to the situation and if I respond from the deeper understanding things are quite different.

  18. The trouble is that when we consider ourselves a victim we remove the part where we take equal responsibility for creating the situation. Truthfully – is there ever an actual victim, or, do we always play a part in some way or another?

    1. I ask myself this often because there are so many examples I can come up with that have a victim and a perpetrator. Yet how we respond determines how we learn and understand the bigger picture of what happened. The world is ugly, ruthless, vicious and unkind on the one hand, and on the other we have an opportunity to step up to be the change we want to see by being prepared to see all that ugliness and stay engaged, calling ourselves and each other to live Love and nothing less.

  19. Being right does not ever offer us the healing and the beholding that being with love offers us. When we are with another there an opportunity to deepen what the constellation offers us, and when our connection is not harmonious, if we are open to honesty, to surrendering to love and truth, we can embrace the opportunity to expose, heal and let go that which is keeping us from evolving, for ourselves and each other.

    1. Yeah my dad always says to me – if you’re right you’re wrong. Crucial that we introduce into the education system that there is a difference between being right and speaking the truth – the truth is the same for everyone whereas right just suits a number of people and often clashes with others.

  20. Stubbornness really is an emotion that can keep us going round and round in a vicious circle. But I have to wonder, all the while we are stuck in this bullheadedness what are we missing out on.

  21. The right and wrong is what gets us into trouble, when we feel wronged by the other person we go into blame and become the victim, and the downward spiral continues, when we step into honesty and speak from our truth this alone can disarm the spiralling process.

  22. It is the most challenging to surrender in situation that are difficult and hurtful but it is the greatest power you can choose, when energies are playing out, that only want to fight or abuse. Choosing surrender is choosing you instead of polluting your body with the poison of reaction.

    1. I am going to hold this very closely when I want to defend and react. I can see and feel from my body more and more that the moment I react the tension, pain, drama and emotions compound and affect my body exponentially. Surrendering and not giving the situation permission to poison me an experiment worth engaging with as part of physical and mental health and well-being.

  23. When we cause harm we are strongly affected when we realise what we have done. We can gloss over it or even go deeper into the harm through justification or becoming emotional but we can’t avoid being affected.

    1. It is the pride, avoidance of responsibility/power and the want to be perfect and right, that keeps us away from the STOP when we have chosen something, that wasn´t loving to another and ourselves. Although to STOP and acknowledge that in this moment, changes it immediately. We don´t have to be perfect and act like masters, when we are not yet a master. And even then you have to STOP sometimes, because human life cannot be ever perfect. It is a true power to STOP and admit, that something you have done wasn´t loving.

  24. ‘Accept that the world and people are not perfect and everybody has their story.’ That is indeed an important element of surrender. In that we let go of pictures we have how people should be and behave and most of all treat us. By accepting that there is more space to observe like you say: ‘But the most important step was to choose to be loving and open with myself, and stay an observer in this difficult situation.’ That’s a choice that no matter what occurs in front of us is to stay open and deepen our love.

  25. Thank you for the gift you offer us in this blog. We can know we are right yet have handled something in a bad way. Being able to step back and understand why we react the way we do in particular situations is a growth for everyone concerned whether in the perceived right or wrong.

  26. Surrendering is handing over the outcome and as vulnerable as that may make us feel we can find we can see different perspectives and that is a healing for us as well.

  27. When we treat ourselves as a victim then that is how others will perceive us as well. When we choose not to be a victim and empower ourselves with truth then everything about us changes.

    1. And the cycle does even continue in not only perceiving the other as a victim but also treating them as a victim. Which then confirms the victimhood that the hurt person has chosen in the first place. Is that truly evolving anyone? No, as it allocates only roles that get played out, instead of two people meeting and taking responsibility and embracing the reflection each one is offering the other.

  28. We know when we’ve stepped in to wallow in an issue and when we’ve stepped back to observe what it is we feel. These two approaches are worlds apart – and mean the difference between us working through and falling apart.

  29. It is horrible what happens to our bodies when we go into anger but yet it seems to not put us off going into it! It really takes a lot of conscious presence and willingness to let go of being right to move from such automatic reactions. A life times work for me!

    1. Yes, it is a commitment and an awareness. When we have both, it is in most cases quite easy not to get caught by anger or other reactions.

  30. Vulnerability is a quality that is so important for men to feel… There are so few role models that open the doorways for this awareness and yet, it is vital for us all.

  31. In my experience allowing ourselves to be and feel vulnerable leads to more connection with others and an opportunity to take relationships to a deeper level, because vulnerability = rawness and realness, that we all can connect to. Vulnerability feels like our natural state of being, always there underneath the protective layers we’ve learned to walk around in and with.

  32. Playing the victim by taking the ‘i’m right’ stance only eats us up inside, and sometimes we meet people who have held on so tightly that it changes them into a completely different person; often displaying bitterness to the world and those around them.

  33. The whole right and wrong thing leads to conflict as there is no truth in it. Love and Truth are needed for any true healing or resolution.

    1. Whenever we are engaging in the right or wrong debate we are already in self and seeking an outcome that justifies our actions, negating what is loving or true. as you have wisely said Nicola – ‘Love and Truth are needed for any true healing or resolution.’ – as these are the foundations for evolution to be activated.

  34. It is beautiful to realise that even in the most intense situation we can stay true to ourselves and not go into any role or expected reaction like feeling like the victim or vulnerable.

  35. “That vulnerability is based on openness, trust and surrender” This gives another the choice to feel safe enough to let down their guard and openly express their own vulnerability. This true expression of vulnerability is not weak in any form it is in fact truly powerful.

  36. I have also recently had a similar situation where a person totally disagreed with something that was true. The person is known to have a short fuse and feels like he almost enjoys his explosive and oppressive, in your face, never wrong stance. I just continued in my non-combative discourse that seemed to rile him further. When he demanded to take me to the place and the object we were discussing to prove his point, he found he was wrong and apologized for being aggressive in our discussion that had just transpired. It was never about being right but standing up for what is true and not feeding the energy that tries to attack us.

    1. I agree Gill. Yesterday I felt the vulnerability of allowing myself to feel an old deep hurt, it took me a while to go there but as you say when I allowed it to pass through my body it was then gone and so very liberating.

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