A decade ago, no one spoke about emotional vulnerability. It was often seen as risky and uncomfortable territory, evoking fear and uncertainty in many individuals.

What is emotional vulnerability? It is intentionally putting yourself out there in a conversation with someone you trust and exposing something very personal. It’s scary territory.  It may feel like you are pushing the barriers, which can be uncomfortable. However, it will have the outcome of making you feel seen and heard by the other person. For some, that can feel too risky, so many of us avoid it and put it aside for another time.  Often, it goes in the too-hard basket. Has that ever happened to you? Think about the last time you were emotionally vulnerable with someone. Did you fear being rejected, shamed or judged as inadequate somehow?  Did you feel anxiety? Maybe you just took the easy route and brushed it off? Understanding the various dimensions of these emotional challenges can make you confront some big challenges and will no doubt lead you to a new level of personal growth and profound rewards.

This article explores the concept of vulnerability and its impact on relationships and your own level of self-realisation. It provides insights into embracing authenticity and self-love.

The Courage to Embrace Vulnerability

By opening up a conversation and exposing our true selves, we create the opportunity for deeper connection and love. Although fear may arise when embracing vulnerability, understanding the positive outcomes it can bring, such as authenticity, belongingness, and expanding love for ourselves, can help motivate us to overcome our reservations and allow us the awareness to accept a new outcome, which will help us move towards respecting ourselves and, ultimately, self-realisation. Being vulnerable requires a level of bravery and the willingness to take emotional risks.

Strengthening Through Vulnerability

Stepping into vulnerability allows us to push our boundaries and expand beyond our familiar, safe parameters. By facing challenging situations with courage, we develop resilience and strength and grow. Speaking up about our thoughts and emotions and focusing on actively listening to others can foster a deeper connection with those around us.

Cultivating Intimacy in Relationships
Cultivating Intimacy in Relationships

Vulnerability plays a crucial role in fostering intimacy in relationships. However, emotional vulnerability is different for men than it is for women. Women generally feel that they must do it all. Do it perfectly, and many times, overdo it. Many women are overachievers. On the softer, more feminine side, women often like to keep the peace and never let their partner see them any other way. Women often feel they need control, and it’s almost a gut feeling, but many lean towards smoothing it all over.  Women feel competent when they do this.

Conversely, men often feel they must follow the hard and fast rule of “do not be weak”. Men are not likely to talk about their feelings or empathise with their partner if it brings up issues of him being “a lesser man” or being afraid or uncertain. “Be the man”, “man up”, or “be strong” is often the way a male has been brought up.  Also, the male mind works differently from the female mind. There are different drivers for men, and it is well worth it to explore this topic and read books, watch YouTube videos, and listen to podcasts and TED talks on this very important topic.

By delving into complex and confronting topics, expressing compassion, and cultivating empathy, we create space for authentic connections. Opening up with vulnerability includes addressing our wants and needs and allows for a deeper understanding of ourselves and our partners, ultimately strengthening the bond we share.

Self-Realisation and Authenticity

Embracing vulnerability enables us to discover and embrace different aspects of ourselves. This journey of self-realisation leads to increased confidence and authenticity, which others (maybe our intimate partner, if you are in a relationship) perceive and appreciate when this door is opened up.  Fear of vulnerability often stems from past painful experiences, such as disappointment, shame, or betrayal. By acknowledging these fears and reconnecting with our authentic selves, we can break free from self-imposed barriers and develop a stronger sense of self-worth.

Exploring the Essence of Vulnerability

Taking risks and expressing vulnerability may result in rejection or discomfort. However, embracing vulnerability also involves sharing personal experiences, admitting mistakes, and reconnecting more deeply with others. It consists of setting boundaries and expressing needs while recognising the insecurities and imperfections we all possess. If we allow ourselves to drop the pursuit of perfection and approach ourselves and others with compassion and empathy, then we can make contact with the essence of vulnerability. In life, it is better to have kindness, truth and honesty as our drivers, so if you open up with this perspective in mind, the authenticity will flow, and you will drop from the mind to the heart.  An excellent book on this subject is “The Untethered Soul: The Journey Beyond Yourself”,  by Michael Singer. It is well worth reading.

Learning How to Love Ourselves to Embrace Vulnerability
The Power of Self-Love

Learning to love ourselves unconditionally is a vital aspect of embracing vulnerability. Accepting our flaws and past mistakes and taking responsibility for the part we played in a situation enables personal growth and self-acceptance. By understanding our worth and establishing new healthy boundaries, we attract positive relationships and learn to walk away from those who disrespect us. Practising self-love daily, whether through the simple act of making a cup of tea and just sitting with it, having a bath with candles and music, taking a daily walk in nature, to seeking professional guidance – it is a good idea to explore all aspects of self-love. Self-love can also embrace spiritual exploration through meditation, breathwork, yoga or other modalities. Try engaging in activities that bring joy and reinforce your sense of power and your own divinity. These practices can pave the way for a fulfilling life.

The power of self-love can be transformative, leading to personal growth, stronger relationships, and a more profound sense of self-acceptance. When we step up and look for opportunities for authentic connections, intimacy on a new level and personal development, we move forward, overcome our perceived fears and take emotional risks. It is essential to acknowledge that vulnerability is a shared experience, and embracing it allows us to appreciate our imperfections and those of others. By practising self-love and focusing entirely on ourselves, our wants and needs, we can attract positive relationships and live a life grounded in authenticity and compassion. Embracing vulnerability is a journey that empowers us to live a more fulfilling life.

Your sense of self-worth will strengthen as you learn the many aspects of self-love, explore the practice of authentic relating, and above all, it is pivotal to walk away from those who disrespect you. Do it sooner than later, and then watch the doors open, and you will attract those who treat you well.

Professional Help and a Return to Balance
Savitri Devi

Savitri Devi

Balinese-born and raised, Savitri has lived 30 years in Canada. She returned to Bali and is a Kundalini yoga and meditation teacher, wellness and life coach, and Reiki Master Teacher. She holds a series of “Return to Yourself” retreats, with a focus on rebalancing your life using Kundalini yoga, meditation, voice activation, chanting sacred vibration mantras, authentic relating, tantric numerology and coming-back-to-self spiritual practices. Savitri holds classes in Bali or is available online.

Georges Bossous Jr

Georges Bossous Jr

Georges offers psychotherapy services specialising in relationships, mental health, addiction recovery, trauma and stress, and adult and child counselling services. Georges creates a safe and soothing talking therapy environment for lasting change. With over 15 years in clinical practice, he has incredible insight and knowledge and the ability to make you look at things in a different way that serves your soul. Contact Georges for a private consultation in Bali or online.

Bonne Santé Bali

Published Indonesia Expat Magazine June 2023

Story by Stephanie Brookes 


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