The Urban dictionary defines Vulnerability as “Someone who is completely raw and open, unguarded with their heart, mind and soul. Being vulnerable happens when you trust completely. Rather its vulnerability by pain or joy, it’s being exposed with all of the emotions that make it easy for someone (someone you trust) to really do some emotional damage or healing.. Vulnerability is the surrender of all control and personal power in regards to letting someone close enough to destroy you!”
Examining this definition, I got the impression that the person that wrote the entry regarded vulnerability as a weakness, particularly when reading the last sentence. Reflecting on the first sentence, I immediately felt that not everyone would be completely “raw and open” and there would be degrees of emotion expressed when allowing oneself to be vulnerable.
Other questions sprang to mind.
- Does complete trust necessarily mean that you are vulnerable?
- To what degree is being “unguarded with heart, mind and soul” a vulnerability? and do all three have to be unguarded at the same time?
- Does having an open/unguarded heart indicate a weakness or a strength?
- Is there an expectation that people will emotionally damage you if you are vulnerable?
- Can you still be vulnerable if you have good boundaries and personal power?
I don’t profess to have all the answers to these questions but I am finding that as I chip away at patterns, beliefs and emotional responses that I have accumulated over the years, that unguarding my heart and being vulnerable in certain situations has given me much more than staying closed and protected. It is not only about trusting those that you choose to show your vulnerability to, but trusting yourself to know that it is right to let some of those old things go. As you build the trust in both yourself and others, the open heart starts to learn that not everyone is out to damage or hurt you, but many will offer support and provide healing to old wounds.