Why vulnerability is the catalyst to healing
Dropping your guard, opening up about your health issues requires vulnerability. It’s a state of softness and admitting to yourself and others that you need care.
Vulnerability and shame is something I’ve been reading a lot about the last few years. Thanks to Brene Brown and her inspiring TED talk (watch it please!) and research on shame, vulnerability, courage and connection – this really is an essential step to begin your new healing path.
Admitting that everything is not okay and opening up about your health (even relationships, financial state, life situation) requires vulnerability – and courage.
The cultural norm is to avoid vulnerability. We suck it up, sweep those symptoms and emotions under the carpet and pretend it’s not happening. The symptoms can include physical pain or discomfort, depression, anxiety, chronic stress and ongoing infections – from situations such as relationship issues, financial or work disputes, feeling lost or disempowered, loneliness or recovering from trauma.
Remember those ads on TV telling us to “Solider on, with Codral, Soldier on”? The message here is to ignore what your body is trying to tell you because work is more important, that health issues are too inconvenient and that our bodies just aren’t very smart.
Vulnerability is an invitation to healing. Our bodies are intelligent. They are giving us the signs that something’s not quite right. If we continue to ignore these symptoms, more often than not they will escalate into something more serious – because hello, something’s not quite right.
“Despite the message society tells us, it takes courage to be vulnerable”
Slowing down, checking in with your body and observing the signs and symptoms allows you to admit you’re an imperfect human being. That takes courage. Then it’s up to you to pursue guidance on what to do about it. Which also needs courage. The guidance may not be as easy as taking a Codral, but you do it because you want to be healed. Courage.
Without vulnerability we remain stubborn, stiff and unwilling to change. Nothing courageous about that. We walk around with our guard up. Remaining in a state of tension/pain/anxiety/illness. And all because vulnerability feels uncomfortable. We feel raw and exposed and don’t want the world to know we’re not doing that great.
My advice here is to drop your defences. With yourself, your close family/friends and your practitioner. Breathe through any feelings of shame, anxiety and nervousness that come up through the process of revealing your imperfections. What lies on the other side of these emotions is something profound. It is an invitation to self-acceptance. It is that feeling of relief from being honest with where you’re at, even though things aren’t perfect. And this is the state of being the body needs to change, the catalyst to healing.
If you have difficulty being vulnerable and need a space to talk about what’s going on with your health, with a professional, read more about my healing sessions to find out how we can work together.