Friday, October 16, 2009

We Are All Vulnerable To Life And Other People

From Awakening, A Daily Guide to Conscious Living, written by Shakti Gawain, Revised Edition, 1991 & 2006, October 3 page:

"We are all vulnerable

Most of us are somewhat afraid of our vulnerability. We have various ways of masking it, hiding it, defending it. The key to intimacy, though, is being able to be vulnerable with another person. To do that, we must first be honest with ourselves about our deepest, most vulnerable feelings. We must learn to care for and protect these feelings, not by closing them off and defending them, but by being able to say honestly what we feel and ask for what we need.

As we learn to use our inner strength to support and express our inner vulnerability instead of to repress it, we begin to feel safer and more comfortable opening up to another person.

I am learning to feel comfortable with my vulnerability."

Being vulnerable enough to ask for help is a biggy for me. You can read my previous article "Dealing With Change" found at for some of those reasons.

Lately, I continue to put myself in a place of being vulnerable to others. I actually do that with everyone of the articles that I write on this blog. I allow myself to be vulnerable when I call my Al-Anon sponsor or my best friend.

I recently started attending a grieving group which gives me plenty of opportunities to be vulnerable with more sharing of my incest story and my recovery experiences. Any time that you are in recovery, you do grieving work. Any time that you go to a counselor or therapist, some, if not most, of the work that you do is grieving work as you learn to face your issues. The homework for our group this week was twofold:
1. Give someone else some of your "experience, strength, and hope" when they ask for your help.
2. Receive help from someone else gracefully.

One very important fact that the class was told last night was that "Help is not help unless the person receiving it perceives it as help." Giving advice, even when it is asked for, isn't always helpful. Most of the time when a person asks for advice, what they really need and want is someone to listen to them as they talk and figure out their own answers.

I know that a lot of my readers come from a childhood of abuse in some form. I am passing my homework assignment along to any of you who are willing to do it this week. Let me know how you did.

In a recent comment, I was asked to share a website with my readers. After looking at the website and emailing back and forth with one of the contributers, I decided to put up a Blog Link with this person, Thomas Dow, and his website. His website is called "Let's Be Present". You can find his site at the following link: . Thomas, like me, is a Lightworker who is reaching out to help others heal from their childhood abuse issues as he works to heal his own issues.


Just Be Real said...

Patricia, what an excellent post. I am in the very early stages of being vulnerable. I still get hurt in this area, so I go back and forth. But, I know how important it is to progress in this area! Receiving help gracefully, is hard at times. As you know, a lot of the time we do not feel we deserve it. I am working on this too.

Thank you again for taking the time to share from your heart. Blessings and hugs....

Patricia Singleton said...

Just Be Real, thank you. I still struggle with being vulnerable also. Giving is easy for me. Receiving is not.

The simple act of calling someone on the phone is difficult for me because it brings up feelings of being unworthy, not being good enough to take up your time. You might be busy and I am bothering you with my stuff. Plus, on the phone, I can't read your body language to see how you might feel about what I am saying.

Colleen said...

Great post. I still feel very vulnerable too. (I have a hard time using the phone too!)
When we allow ourselves to be vulnerable, we are very real then. And we open ourselves more to God. When people come to me for spiritual direction and they open up about something that they are afraid of or embarassed about, I really see God in that moment. Hard to explain but it is a precious time. Now if I can only remember that when it is my turn to be vulnerable!

Patricia Singleton said...

Colleen, it takes courage to be vulnerable and you have plenty of that. Seeing God in another person is an amazing thing. Just look inside yourself and you will see Him there too.

Anonymous said...

Thank you. These first steps have been the hardest. I think I am ready to stop running.

Patricia Singleton said...

Angry Sober Dude, thanks for visiting. Yes, the first steps are usually the hardest. Congratulations on recognising that you were running. I still sometimes find myself wanting to run from life and other people. It takes courage to stop and face your fears. Anger for me is usually a sign that I am resisting what life wants to show me. Anger, for me, is usually a coverup of some fear.