“Something shifted with your energy since we last talked two weeks ago” a close friend of mine told me earlier today. “What happened?” he prodded.
He’s not the only one who has been asking me over the past few weeks. It’s always difficult to pinpoint one reason for a change, but I think that one thing that has changed over the past few weeks is that I, eventually, let myself be vulnerable and … I am seeing how powerful being vulnerable can be.
Vulnerability is not a new topic. I’ve been reading and thinking about it for years. But reading about something doesn’t mean living it, and it is often a safe way to keep what we should experience at bay.
I tossed the idea, the way the puppy we hosted at home this weekend has been tossing his toy around the flat, chewing at it repeatedly… to eventually letting it drop and moving on to more interesting matters.
I can blame the past for not letting myself be vulnerable, losing mom when I was a young child and thinking that the way to go was to plough through life, always moving forward, always climbing ladders, getting degrees, roles, always moving, through countries and continents. But there’s only so much we can blame.
I think I also had the definition of vulnerability wrong. I just checked the dictionary again, and it describes vulnerability as being capable of being physically or emotionally wounded. I think we’re always capable of being wounded. Who is not?
Personally, another definition of vulnerability I recently heard resonates more: vulnerability means letting our guards down, being comfortable with not having the answers, not knowing (what is happening, what to do next….). To me, vulnerability also means turning inwards to assess what has been working and not working.
What resists persists. As Buddhists would say: the universe will keep on sending the events we need, to learn the lessons we need to learn, until we learn those lessons.
Letting ourselves be vulnerable means admitting something is not working as we would like it to. But …. this is also a huge learning opportunity to see that what we tried might not have panned out the way we wanted and, thus, to try something new.
It’s not always easy to slow down, reassess our course, reflect on recent or older actions, and re-chart our journey. But isn’t it worth it? Would you rather keep on sailing journeys that bring you further away from happiness than look within and re-chart your journey?
While traveling the world, I’ve looked within for years to progressively let go of anchors of the past that kept me stuck.
But a few deeply buried subjects were still not fully processed, were deeply stuck, and eventually over the past few weeks I let these emerge; instead of having trapped energies creating deeply buried knots, I let them breathe out and let them out see them dissipate like smoke in the clouds, feeling lighter and more empowered.
As we carry on sailing, it’s valuable to occasionally reflect on our journey and ask … is there something I have been refusing to look at, is there a knot I could untie to let myself feel lighter and more empowered?