The Power Of Vulnerability And Compassion
I don’t know about you, but I have always hated feeling vulnerable. It used to strike me as weak and being unable to help myself. Yet as the years have passed by I have come to see that being vulnerable is powerful. People who are ready to see, feel and understand you, will. And you will see, feel and understand the world in a different way. Which will open the door to greater compassion.
Brene Brown talks about the power of vulnerability, so this is nothing new. She talks about connection as an essential part of being human. To be human is also to be open to vulnerability.
Vulnerability is not winning or losing; it’s having the courage to show up and be seen when we have no control over the outcome. Vulnerability is not weakness; it’s our greatest measure of courage.Brene Brown
What we do is put up barriers to showing our vulnerability so that we are not seen, and we often feel that we are not worthy of connection.
When I think of my own vulnerability, it makes me want to cry, because I have felt unworthy of love and connection. I have believed that somewhere inside of me was something dirty, unclean and not nice.
For many years, I blocked out things that happened in my childhood, things that you would not want your daughter or any female counterpart to experience. But I did, and as I woke up and became more aware, I acknowledged that there are many women who have encountered worse than me. Learning that these were lessons, that happened for me and not to me, in the show called life helped me to deal with my stuff. These ‘things’ have helped me to become more of me if that makes any sense?
None of this stopped me making rubbish choices, and it took a sledgehammer from the Universe to finally convince me that all of my experiences are just that, experiences, lessons in my human life and part of the journey back to the light.
When I could see that the beauty was in the spaces between the experiences and that these did not define me, then I was able to share my vulnerability, because it was no longer shameful.
Why do I start with vulnerability as a lead into compassion?
I believe that to feel compassion for your fellow man you have had to have had something test your courage. That of course, may not be the case for you, but for me having stood in uncomfortable shoes means, I believe that I can stand in another’s shoes in the same way.
It’s being vulnerable ourselves that helps us to know another’s vulnerability and to feel deeper kindness and compassion.
When you have allowed yourself to be vulnerable and opened up, you can begin the letting go process. That’s not to say that you have, more that for me, having been through some tough times has made me more compassionate. Or given me the gift of greater compassion.
It hasn’t been easy showing a part of me that I felt was no-one’s business, but actually, it’s been ok. When I say ok, for some things it was, and for some things, it wasn’t.
Some people have able to see into my soul and hold me, while others have chosen to use what I shared as a weapon. And that is ok too because their soul demanded that they live behind their vulnerability and empathy in this moment and maybe this lifetime. I understand this because I as have become a better witness to (an observer of) human behaviour, I accept that not everyone is the same (and divorce is a wonderful liberator…).
When I was able to lose the fear of baring my soul, it was if my compassionate side grew. I no longer cared if I cried in public when something that tore my heart in two presented itself. Compassion for things that meant something to me blossomed. Don’t get me wrong I can be pretty hard-nosed and dispassionate about many things, I’m not completely soft-centred, but I am gentle, loving and kind and I will go out of my way to make others feel safe and cared for.
There have been many times when I have needed something, and nobody has helped me. That hurts, and I still bear the scars of being deserted when I most needed others to see my pain and vulnerability. But I understand that they did not and do not feel the way that I do (or did), and therefore it’s like using a hammer to crack a nut.
I used to think, wait until they need something and see what happens when no one steps forward. Life doesn’t happen like that does it? Compassion doesn’t flow back and forth, it flows around and touches those that need love and support in that moment and from whoever wants and is able to supply it.
The energy of connection drives us closer, like a magnet or a moth to the light, we provide our open arms where and when they are needed. We cannot not.
As I write this, I feel vulnerable and emotional as I remember being alone and needing. I also smile because no matter what others do or don’t do, I will not stand by and not open my heart to someone I feel drawn to support. They may never give back to me. What they might do instead is remember a time when someone was kind and compassionate to them and pass that baton on.
If you are standing on the edge of vulnerability and wondering if you could or should let it pour forth, what is the worst that can happen? Now consider the best that can happen? And if nothing happened would it matter?
The power of showing up as you comes from within.
The more vulnerable you are, I believe the more powerful you come. This means that you use your vulnerability and personal power in a loving, kind and compassionate way.
The more powerful you become in who you are, the more compassion you can show up for others. Or I’d like to think that you would.
Today, as you consider your life, who you are and the others around you, do you feel that you can be vulnerable with all or some of them? Do you think or feel that as you have opened your heart more that you have become more compassionate? And have you accepted that not everyone feels like you do or will do what you do when called to?
I believe that some of us are deeply compassionate and some aren’t and that for us that are we have to take action when called.