Practicing Healthy Vulnerability

You know, we as women we need to be real, authentic, and vulnerable.  Not desperate and demanding.  There’s a big difference, although both come from a place of vulnerability.

The first one comes from a place of,

“I’m okay with my growth process.  I’m okay with understanding where I need to grow, and I’m okay with admitting my faults my vulnerabilities to you.  And I can even be emotional about it.”

But when I turn into a desperate, demanding woman, then I demand that you change.  That helps me avoid actually looking at whatever is going on inside of me. 

I’d be hard-pressed, at this point, to think of a time when what I’m about to say didn’t happen with me.  Every time I get angry, then back up and let my emotions subside, I begin to realize that my anger came from something inside me that needed fixing. 

Either I miscommunicated with someone, or I got my feelings hurt.  Or there’s some sort of thing that I didn’t want to take a look at.  But you just tapped into my vulnerability, and I get mad at you.  But its was not your vulnerability; it was mine.

I used to hate it when people would say that “no one can make you mad.” 

And I still don’t believe that’s true.  I believe that people can honestly make you angry.  They can do that by violating your personal space, by trying to control you, or by violating something or someone that you are about.  That would be a normal, healthy kind of anger. 

But so often, it’s because we’re trying to protect our own sense of being right.  We want to project that we “have it together.”  And when we do that, we get into trouble.  We get ourselves into big trouble because we tend to lash out at other people.

Another thing that we do when we feel vulnerable is withdraw, pull back, and not talk about what’s really going on with us because we’re afraid of the other person’s reaction.  And the truth is that person has a right to their own responses.  Sometimes their initial response isn’t that great.  But if you know someone well, and they start to understand you better, their reaction can change.  And they can gain a deeper understanding of you.

But if you gloss over all of it and try to pretend like everything’s okay?  Well, I can pretty much guarantee it’s going to go south, and it’s going to go south quickly and quite surprisingly.  You find out that your behavior was not what it could have been towards someone else because you were so busy protecting your own domain.  

Now we are responsible for our own domain.  That’s for sure.  But it’s your valuation of that, the way that you see it, and interpret it that makes such a huge difference.  

Desperately demanding?  That’s not how I want anybody to experience me.

But I also don’t want to swing the other way.  Trying to act like I don’t need anything at all.  I’m completely whole and complete on my own, and I need nothing from you. 

You know we all have bad days.  And how blessed we are when we can actually say to somebody,

“I’m having a really bad day.  Let me tell you what happened.  You know it just would mean a lot to me if you could just listen.  That’s really all I need: someone to listen.  I will regroup myself, and I will come back around to a better conclusion.  Because I’ve been working on that skill.  And yet it really means a lot to know that I’m not alone in this.  Plus my process of resetting myself can actually be an encouragement to you, too.”

How cool is that?

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