We’ve maybe all been told at one point in time or another, that vulnerability is required for relationship or intimacy. If we desire an intimate relationship with another individual, we have to be willing to be vulnerable.
For many people this can be scary. It’s kind of uncharted territory. Or maybe they’ve been burned in the past when they’ve been vulnerable.
I received some new information about vulnerability this weekend that helped me SO tremendously, I just HAD to share it with all of you! I was in a class on working with kids & teaching them to know that they know with the brilliant & phenomenal Dean Larson and he shed light on this in a way I’d never heard before.
Previous experiences with vulnerability
At first, I’d be willing to say that I never really got vulnerability. I mean, I thought I knew what it was, but I didn’t know what it was. Clear as mud, right?
Then I attended my first Access Level 1 and the facilitator spoke of vulnerability as “being as the open wound.” Well, what the hell does THAT mean?! Seriously. Not only does it sound painful or at the very least, not fun, but why would I wanna be like an open wound??
Sooooo, still not getting it.
Two and a half years of looking at “being as the open wound,” and still not getting it…..
Enter Dean Larson
In a class about teaching kids to know that they know (really more like empowering them to acknowledge that they know), Dean talked about vulnerability in a different way….for me.
He related a story of working with addicts and intentionally *digging* a bit to bring up all their crud around their addiction. Well, naturally, this made some of them quite angry which resulted in them hurling insults at Dean to try and make him feel as crappy as they felt.
And it worked.
Dean says that he went home every time feeling completely exhausted.
Then, one evening he had a new awareness. What if their insults were like arrows that went right past his head & kept on going? What if he could envision those insults moving past & not touching him?
Sooooo, that’s exactly what he did. And guess what?! He was no longer the effect of those insults. He was no longer exhausted because the insults did not touch him.
And that, my friends, is vulnerability.
Being completely open to everything. Making no judgment of it. Allowing it to move through you and past you.
Aaaaaannnnnddd coming out unscathed. How cool is that??!
If we choose vulnerability in this way, can we ever be burned by another? Can vulnerability be scary, in this arena?
Soooooo, what would it take for us to be as vulnerable as we can be with everyone we meet? What would it be like if we were completely vulnerable…free from judgments, allowance of everything (including us, by the way)?? How does it get any better than that?!
One last thing from Dean
Tinker with it. Play with it at the store. Toy with it at the counter of the coffee shop. Do a little vulnerability here and there with different individuals.
Cashier gives you “the look” as if to say, “Why don’t you buy your groceries elsewhere?” You simply lay your groceries on the belt, smile and buy your groceries. You don’t buy that they have a personal vendetta against you. You don’t buy that they are having a bad day. You don’t resist their behavior by calling the manager. You make your purchase and go on your merry way.
Cashier gives you a smile and greets you warmly. Again, you don’t buy that they love you. You don’t buy that they must be *on something* to be so happy in a dead end job. You don’t buy any of it. You make your purchase and go on your merry way.
It all…the good, the bad, the ugly…moves through and past. Nothing sticks you.
What else is possible?!