Why Embracing Vulnerability is the Key to Reducing Anxiety
Vulnerability and anxiety go hand in hand.
You only feel anxious when you feel vulnerable.
This is a fact.
If you didn’t feel vulnerable, there wouldn’t be anything to feel anxious about.
But when we’re feeling anxious, there’s a subconscious belief that your vulnerability is what’s making you feel anxious.
This isn’t true.
You can be vulnerable without feeling anxious.
In fact, you are always vulnerable.
But you don’t feel anxious every second of your life, do you?
You only feel anxious when you try to push away your vulnerability.
And you feel anxious when you try to push it away because there is nothing you can do to get rid of it.
It’s kind of a hopeless situation, isn’t it?!
No matter how hard you try to avoid or control your vulnerability, vulnerability just won’t go away.
It’s pesky like that.
Because the truth is, vulnerability is built into the fabric of life.
Everything that is physical comes together and falls apart, continuously.
It’s happening to you right now, in every moment, even if you don’t realize it.
You breathe in and new molecules are welcomed into your bloodstream.
You breathe out and molecules —that were just part of your body a moment ago— are released into the ether.
With every breath you are forever transformed.
And with every breath you leave something of yourself behind.
Now this may not seem like such a big deal.
But every loss, big or small, is vulnerability at play.
And this vulnerability is essential for life to flourish.
Because life can only flourish when it is allowed to flow, when that coming together and falling apart is allowed to happen.
And when we reject our vulnerability we stifle that flow.
But the reason we reject it, of course, is because vulnerability also has pain built into it.
Even the most welcome changes— like the birth of a baby, a graduation, a promotion—require us to let go of what was so life can keep shape-shifting the way it wants to.
All transformation involves loss, and we associate loss with pain.
Pain is also the body’s way to identify threats to survival, so it’s natural to want to avoid it.
But when you try to avoid pain, you’re denying the truth.
And the truth is that life is vulnerable, and pain is part of life.
So in a way, when you reject your vulnerability you are actually rejecting the very essence of your life.
But it’s thoughts you have about pain that cause suffering.
It’s thoughts about pain that make pain hurt.
The interesting thing is that when you take your thoughts out of the equation, pain is just another sensation.
And if you let yourself feel your pain instead of stifling it, you stop feeling anxious about it.
You let life flow.
Anxiety is trying to point you in this direction.
It is pointing you toward the life you want to live, a life of courage, strength, and the ability to embrace all that you experience.
But in order to stop feeling anxious you have to embrace your vulnerability.
This is the only way to move past anxiety.
You have to learn to be okay with feeling and fully experiencing all that life has to offer you.
Which means you have to be okay with being uncomfortable sometimes.
Because if you reject any part of life, if you reject your vulnerability, if you reject the feelings that don’t feel as easy, you stifle life’s flow.
And that’s what causes the pain you’re trying so hard to avoid.
Of course, this is easier said than done.
When it comes down to it, this feels like a life or death situation (and if we bring ego theory into this, it actually is.)
And I’ll be honest with you, I haven’t seen anyone walk through the fire of transformation willingly.
We like the idea of transformation, but when it comes down to it, most of us choose to stick with the discomfort we’re familiar with because it feels safer than an unknown something new.
It’s only when the familiar discomfort we’ve been living with finally becomes too painful to bear that we are compelled to transform.
As Anais Nin said, “And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.”
When we finally do blossom, we realize a strength inside of us we didn’t know was possible.
There is tremendous strength in accepting vulnerability.
You realize that while your fears were always valid, they weren’t always necessary.
It is the ultimate superpower.
But it can be a scary road to walk alone.
Some people do, but more often than not we need a loving guide to walk beside us as we do this work, to reassure us that we are still going in the right direction as we restructure our relationship with reality.
If you’re at this point, I’d love to chat, because you’re a prime contender for a Personalized Wellness & Healing Journey.
Check out the details here, and if you’d like we can set up a (free) consultation to see if we’re a good fit.
I can’t wait to see where this takes you!