Vulnerable defined by Webster is 1. Able to be easily physically or emotionally wounded. 2. Open to attack or damage: assailable.
So, in my yoga world, and with my close-knit circle of friends, even the inspirational/motivational writers we read, they all talk about how we are doing the work to be more vulnerable in our lives and relationships. That getting ‘real’ with ourselves and opening ourselves up completely by being our most vulnerable is what will bring us the truest form of happy and according to Brene Brown simply makes our lives better. I sit here tonight, reading that definition and think hell-to-the-no! I think that sounds awful and I will most definitely be hurt and I know in the ways that I have shown up for relationships in my past that when I open myself up, I get hurt so why not keep my guard up; keep up the wall; only let people get so far in… and then I am protected.
Am I? When I teach yoga and also in my coaching business I encourage my students to open themselves up. To act out of love and not fear. When they do, it makes me so proud and it looks like courage and fearlessness and I am in total awe. Why do I feel this way for others but being vulnerable makes me feel weak? I am a genius when it comes to helping others sort through their life. I know what to say, how to guide them and I am top notch at being a cheerleader. I am told I have a natural knack for putting people at ease, they don’t feel judged and ever since I was a kid, I could help guide a friend through a tough time with ease. I, on the other hand, hate to ask for help, absolutely try to do everything myself and when things finally come out of me it is like a tsunami where I make rash decisions or completely shut down.
Let go of the EGO
What on earth does this have to do with my yoga practice and why am I sharing this here? It has everything to do with my yoga practice because in order to get vulnerable you must shed the ego. You must be willing to put yourself out there, go after what you want/need/desire regardless of how others will receive it. On our yoga mat we absolutely MUST shed our ego, be in our shape and on our mats and let go of caring what anyone else thinks/needs/expects and become one with OURSELVES. You show up. Again, and again. You show up, do the work and go deep inside toward your truth. At your core where your truth is you find the answers. Sharing your truth with others is being vulnerable. When you are open and honest with yourself and become accepting of yourself just as you are without apologies, THEN you can show up for others at your most vulnerable state.
DO THE WORK
I have work to do. We all do. Give yourself grace in finding your way, in making missteps and mistakes, and know deep in your heart that you can learn to be more open. You can be soft. You can be wrong and most importantly you can learn to do things differently. You can show your true self to someone and be accepted and loved and most of all – you can love them back as the vulnerable version of you and it will all be ok.