Vulnerability……it’s not a four letter word!

A mentor of mine told me that the missing piece for me in my own personal development was vulnerability. As I listened to what she said, I couldn’t wrap my head around the concept.

Certainly I WAS vulnerable already……I go out in public a lot. I talk to people everyday. I walk alone at night…..That’s vulnerable right? heck, I’m married, I’m a parent! yeah……I’ve got this vulnerability thing covered! She very politely listened to my rationalizing and justifying. I realize now that she was probably smiling and rolling her eyes at this point. At least she didn’t laugh out loud.

She explained that I had one last block in my flow that I needed to let go of in order to fulfill my life’s purpose. She implored me to ponder it and then practice being vulnerable and showing up fully by asking questions that I didn’t already know the answer to. yikes! That was NOT something I could even conceive of doing.

She told me to practice just putting myself out there honestly by asking for what I wanted and relinquishing any attachment to the outcome…….In other words risk hearing the word “no”, risk getting my feelings hurt and risk failing? again yikes! not something I really wanted to practice.

Suddenly I had visions of walking around exposed and naked. The story of the Emperor’s clothes came to mind and I cringed. Asking me to forget a lifetime of hurt and shed all of that protection I had spent years knitting around myself? I was wearing garments for protection that were constructed from scars that formed over past hurts. It was a lot of work creating all that protection and now she was telling me that in order to get what I wanted I had to show up without my protection?……..ugh!

I know better than to ignore sound advice, but like the cobbler who doesn’t take the time to make shoes for himself, us practitioners in the healing field often forget to attend to our own needs.

As always happens, someone out in the world recently showed up in my life for the distinct purpose of reflecting back an area of my life that I need to grow in….. There’s that conversation replaying in my head between my mentor and I about showing up fully and embracing vulnerability…..actually leaning into the discomfort of it.

In my practice I talk about letting go in order to receive. I advise people everyday to look around themselves to see what is showing up because other people are a reflection of what is inside ourselves. People come into our lives like big mirrors to teach us insight whether they realize it or not.

You know that moment when the steam clears and you see yourself clearly in the mirror? Tonight my reflection spoke that V word in conversation as if it was a compromised condition; a weakened state and I saw that suit of scars reflecting back at me, keeping me bound and from living life in the flow. The block in my flow system was that darn self protection I was STILL wearing! It really wasn’t a pretty to see. I looked away….

Again, people come into our lives to show us things……

Life has presented challenges lately and I’ve been retreating a little at times to lick my wounds. Before I went to sleep tonight I asked God to dissolve any blocks in my flow that were still present and to show me clearly what they were. God is a prankster at times and tonight I was awakened at midnight with a feeling of joy realizing that block I had around vulnerability just dissolved. Yeah….my aha moment came at midnight.

I woke up happy that I had felt hurt because it meant that I had been fully present and vulnerable. I’m okay with that.

Now I ask you…..Are you showing up fully in your life? If not, what is blocking that process for you?