“A deep sense of love and belonging is an irreducible need of all people. We are biologically, cognitively, physically, and spiritually wired to love, to be loved, and to belong. When those needs are not met, we don’t function as we were meant to. We break. We fall apart. We numb. We ache. We hurt others. We get sick.” ~ Brené Brown.
Vulnerability: the quality or state of being exposed to the possibility of being attacked or harmed, either physically or emotionally.
Vulnerability is something that has become popular to talk about. We throw the word around the way we do consciousness, meditation, tantra—catch phrases loaded with meaning. Vulnerability is one of my favorite subjects, and I explore it often when writing about relationships.
But are we really familiar with what it means to be vulnerable? Are we practicing it, or even examining the places in our lives where vulnerability can find root and blossom?
Sometimes we dance around a philosophy or a subject and understand it on an intellectual level, but not actually live it. The problem with knowing it is that, sometimes, we are fooled into thinking we are embodying it. It can feel real, without being real.
I’ve been examining myself on this subject and resonate with Brene Brown’s story of an emotional breakdown—something many women and men can relate to after spending years protecting themselves from vulnerability. Brown’s belief is that we do this using three mechanisms: Perfectionism, numbing (anything to quiet our true feelings, as in addictions), and foreboding joy (the dread that kills happiness)
Sometime in our journey into adulthood, we are infected with an idea that we must create a certain life, follow certain rules, be a certain person, and ignoring the pleas of our soul to experience life authentically and through vulnerability, we soldier on pleasing others and living up to society’s expectations.