Your Vulnerability Is A True Strength
Vulnerability is the doorway to love, and gives us access to true strength. Self-protection armor, usually unconsciously erected at a young age, causes most of our adult suffering. Awareness of it is a big step toward freedom.
I’ve discovered that
letting go of self-armoring
is absolutely necessary for happiness and wellbeing. I’ve also found that vulnerability is not at all what it seems. Usually we’re trained to think of it as a weakness, but it is actually just the opposite. It is surrender to love and all the strength in the universe that comes from that – true strength. We need to be open to feel love. Vulnerability is openness.
Self-Protection Can Cause Self-Suffering
One of my greatest challenges in this life has been to let down the walls of self-protection
and release the energy that created them
during the early experiences of my childhood and adolescence. As I work with this learning curve within myself I look around and notice it playing out in other people’s lives as well.
What I’ve observed is that usually when we are faced with something that is new and challenging or anything that feels threatening to us, often we unconsciously retreat behind a force field of self-protection. I’ve discovered that it is the self-protection itself that creates far more suffering than the thing I think I’m afraid of!
The Only Real Self-Protection Is Love
I want to be clear that I’m not discouraging anyone to take care of themselves if you’re in an environment or around a person who could cause you harm. There are very appropriate times when it is necessary to have reasonable boundaries to insure our safety from other people or energies that are harmful to us. The best protection I’ve found in those situations is to surround myself with love, which provides true strength and protection. I “pretend” that I’m wearing a bubble of golden/white light and love. By keeping attention on this image and feeling, I’ve been able to take care of myself in some very uncomfortable situations.
The key for me is to actually remember that that is available at the time when things get tense! I notice that the more I do this, however, the more I remember to do it. And If I forget to do it while I’m in a tense situation, I do it as soon as I remember to afterwards. Even doing it after the fact is valuable because it helps to heal any negativity still flying around in me in the aftermath.
How Armor Feels
To allow vulnerability and love, the part that I’m talking about letting down or
letting go of
is the perceptible hardness or resistance that we experience against a person or a situation. It is usually experienced as a kind of armor. This self-armoring can inflict a tremendous amount of self-suffering. On the surface, it seems like it is there to keep harm out. However it actually cuts us off from our own love. When I observe it in myself it is a rigid, clamped-down feeling that is very uncomfortable and cuts off any possibility of feeling something positive.
For many of us, to survive the hurts of childhood, this armoring was crucial for our survival. But as adults, that same armor serves to separate us from our own healing and positive energy as well as our ability to experience love and connection with others.
Awareness of the Need for Vulnerability
To observe this in yourself, think back to the last experience you had where you came away feeling negative towards someone. Replay it in your mind and look for the moment that something happened and you felt fear. For most of us, this flash of fear gets so quickly covered up by irritation or even anger that we’re not even aware of the fear.
The irritation or anger is the armoring I’m talking about. It can erect itself in a fraction of a second, making it look like the other person did something horribly wrong, when all that really happened is that we had a flash of fear. We immediately feel resistance to the person or situation. I have found it extremely valuable to go back to the moment when I felt the fear and in the “replay” allow myself to feel that unprotected feeling – to feel the vulnerability that was there before the “protection” arose. In other words, replay the situation in your mind, but feel the fear without engaging in any kind of self-defense.
Fear is Resistance to Vulnerability
In my daily meditations, I make it a point to find the place of unprotected vulnerability inside myself. Then, by staying with that sensation of surrender, something magical happens. At first I feel fear, then it becomes clear that “fear” is actually a word we assign to the negative feeling that happens when we resist vulnerability! When I don’t label that feeling and just allow it to be here, there is a tremendous feeling of relief and letting go that is quite delicious!
When I let go of the armor, then (and only then) the love can flow in. The problem with armored self-protection is that we think we use it to take care of ourselves, but instead, we block our own love and end up hurting ourselves. When we give up defending ourselves, our own prison walls come down and love floods in.
Once you do this you’ll want to do more of it because the relief is unbelievable!
Try it Out for Yourself
So here is an experiment. If you’re like me, this might be a stretch at first! I keep holding the intention to do it, and it is beginning to happen more and more:
The next time someone is directing
negativity at you, try this on:
“Even though I want to snap back
at this person to defend myself right now,
instead, I’ll stay quiet and still.
I’ll allow my vulnerability to be here
and see what happens!”
When I do this the first thing I feel is relief. It feels like a huge burden has been lifted off my shoulders. I had no idea armor weighed so much! Then, as I stay with it, I feel an expansive love and strength pour in. Who would have guessed?!
As I continue to do this I notice that my ideas of who I think I am aren’t so solid anymore. There is less rigidity and more availability of myself to myself and of myself to the rest of the world. In feeling the vulnerability, there is an openness. There is freedom to be something new, something greater, something truer to who I really am, who we really are.
We First Need to Choose Vulnerability
So to get to this “let go” place, first we need to choose to accept the moment as it is, including everything that we are feeling. The fear is that doing this will just feel really bad and just keep getting worse. However, it is actually the opposite!
A Helpful Trick
So how to accept the moment and what you’re feeling when the old armor starts to take over? A trick that works for me is to completely forget about the story of what happened – the “he-did-this” and “she-said-that” part. Remove any words at all, and keep your attention on what is left: the feelings, the raw energy itself.
Then don’t defend against anything and just let come what comes. Actually surrender to the energy inside you. The feeling will keep changing and transforming. You may feel anger, then resentment, sadness, maybe fear or even terror. If you stay with it all the way, keeping your aware attention on the energy/feeling, it will actually transform into love. Everything always reverts back to love eventually.
So Worth the Effort!
This does take some effort – at least for me it does! Changing old patterns usually does. But it’s well worth it. In the process of letting down my self-protective armor, a natural healing process is occurring naturally. In this state of openness and surrender, residues from past hurts are unwinding, naturally and gently. As I continue to practice letting vulnerability be here, I feel more of what I would call “self-empowerment,” more self-confidence and true strength. When I tap into that feeling, I feel no need for self-protection. Actually, from this place the concept of protection doesn’t even enter the picture. It just isn’t relevant any more!
From “Your Vulnerability Is A True Strength”
continue on to
“Mind Power –
How To Break Free Of Limiting Beliefs”
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