All healing requires vulnerability. Vulnerability by definition requires being exposed to the possibility of being attacked or harmed emotionally or physically. I really want to focus on the word EXPOSED. What emotions come to mind when you think of this word? If you’re anything like me, you would think of fear and shame. These are common emotions brought up by trauma when considering being vulnerable. After years of healing an additional word comes to mind for me as well: RELIEF.
Exposed means not covered, or visible. Often, people do not want to make themselves visible or uncover truths about themselves. There is a fear of being truly known by others and truly seen. Yet, relief comes with making yourself visible. A weight is lifted when you are able to talk to others about your life story, your trials, your mistakes, your sins and your triumphs. Although you are exposed to the possibility of emotional or physical attack or harm, this is not a gaurantee. Often the fear of this happening is strong, but the reality is that people who love you and want to be close to you want you to lean on them, confide in them, and rely on them. The more open you are to this concept, the more hopeful and confident you will be. The more hopeful and confident you are, the less shame and fear have power over you. This is a source of relief and peace, and the first step towards building more intimate relationships, especially in marriage. You will most likely feel more free, less inhibited, and have less of a need to control situations.
This process of being vulnerable is not easy and is not meant to be with people who are abusive to you or cause you to have a fight, flight or freeze response. I strongly suggest getting to know someone well before sharing personal information or developing a deep connection that you may regret sharing later. A good way to start is to write a list of in what ways you’d like to be more vulnerable and with who. Some examples would be of opening up on a deeper level, discussing feelings and emotions with a particular person, allowing someone to comfort you instead of pulling away, or allowing yourself to need and depend on a particular person. This can be complex and it’s recommended that you seek the help of a professional if you are struggling with this issue.
My Experience With Vulnerability
I started my journey of sobriety, emotional healing, and Christianity over 11 years ago. At the time I believed that vulnerability was weak, painful, and led to others having power over me. I felt that by disclosing my feelings truthfully, needing comfort or expressing any type of weakness I would be powerless. I now realize this was an incorrect belief based on negative experiences with vulnerability in my past. In abusive relationships and households this does happen, but not when you are being vulnerable by choice with people who love and care about you and are sensitive to your needs. Having a relationship with Jesus helped me more than anything else and taught me the most about the benefits of vulnerability. When I realized that I could be fully visible and vulnerable with God and still be fully loved and fully forgiven by the creator of the entire universe, the relief, peace, and acceptance of myself increased greatly.
I still had many experiences of not allowing myself to be vulnerable, comforted or receive help over the last 11 years. It has been a humbling process to allow others to help me and be more upfront about feelings and needs. I had an especially difficult time with being vulnerable with my husband at the beginning of our marriage because I didn’t want to NEED him ( or anyone). My eyes were opened to this false belief ( I do need him) and I’ve been able to replace this false belief with truth and have stopped pushing people, especially my husband, away. He has encouraged and supported me through the process, and I’m so glad that I let my emotional walls with him come down.
I can share my story with you because I’ve worked on being vulnerable for over 11 years. I could not share these blogs without the work I’ve done on being vulnerable. I felt ashamed every time I spoke about my past, until I realized that people do not have power over me and I can actually help others with my story. I hope this will happen for you too. Please contact me at email@example.com if you’d like to learn more or if you’d like to share your story.
#PTSD #trauma #secondarytrauma #panic #relivingmypast #letgoofmypast #emotionalhealing