If you have never experienced a drive over a windy cavernous road then you haven’t fully lived.Winding roads and thin fencing bring out the worse of my fear of heights, every corner a game of roulette, ‘will I plunge off this one?’. My body hunches over the wheel and my hands gripping. Of course over the other side is always worth the drive and I always treat myself with an over priced sandwich and coffee. ‘How is your day going,’ asked the shop assistant, ‘well great I replied, but that trip over made me feel a bit on edge.’
The thing was I felt vulnerable.Vulnerable as defined by the dictionary is capable of being hurt either by a weapon, or by moral attack, criticism or judgement even temptation.Being vulnerable is a trait that many of us try to hide as it is seen as a weakness. In fact vulnerability is just part of life. We are open to all sorts of ‘attacks’ each day so to say that you don’t do vulnerability is a denial of everyday living. Courage isn’t the absence of vulnerability, it is feeling it and doing it anyway. People actually respond to those that are vulnerable or ‘open’ about things that are hard in their life. However we don’t like to share these perceived weaknesses too often.
So I made a list for the public of all the times I feel vulnerable in one day. And this is just what I could remember.
Writing this blog- open to public criticism
Teaching yoga- student’s might not like the class
Speaking what I call my truth- the recipient might not like to hear it or I might make a fool of myself
Feeling tired- I won’t be able to cope with the next class
Parenting a teenager- I have no idea what I’m doing
Receiving feedback- Oh I’m a failure
and it goes on and on. These are just little fleeting feelings of the V word and they go as quickly as they come. They are only examples to let you get a feel for all the times you could feel a little under attack either by yourself or from others.
Practice for today: Embrace your vulnerability and use is as a teacher to define where you can go to next. If you need help ask for it. If you need to be kind to yourself do that. Use these feelings as a way to be more human. Step into courage, there will be lots of support when you need it.