Why Allowing Yourself to Feel Emotionally Vulnerable Is Actually A Good Thing

While you never want to be in a situation where you feel vulnerable not by choice, here I will highlight how understanding your emotional vulnerabilities and showing them to your partner (or maybe even friends and family) can help you grow stronger as a person and have a deeper understanding of self.

Life hands us many challenges…and truthfully, would life be boring if we had no challenges to use our wit, our grit, and our whole self? We are not robots, but humans.

Teilhard de Chardin even states, “we are not humans having a spiritual experience, but are spiritual beings having a human experience.”

Due to media, marketing messages, and many models of famous people getting caught in lies and peccadillos, you probably need to look elsewhere for models of honest and authentic living. None of us is perfect…we all make mistakes, have unexpected hurts and sometimes make choices that are not healthy or wise or ethical, and then we must pay the consequences and take responsibility.

This requires that we find a place, and time, and person who we can come clean with and share our naked truth. I believe that if you don’t, the effect will be like a wound that will fester, or a cancer that will spread. The sooner you share an emotionally charged life situation, the sooner you will reclaim the energy that is attached to keeping it hidden and unresolved…whether it was you’re doing or something that was done to you, even if unintended.

It is my job as a coach, a mentor, a confidante, to believe in my clients so much that they may begin to believe and begin to say what they have not said, dream what they have not dreamed, feel what they have not felt and do it out loud in a relationship with a confidential partner who asks to hear and who listens with a deep focus and a trusting presence.

I also think it is important for people to have strong boundaries, which means not to be ‘naked’ all the time. You have to pick your time and place and person to share your truth with. Just like we wear clothes most of the time, when we are naked we do so within our comfort level of place and person. Sure, you might have skinny dipped in your life or walked naked on a private beach, or dipped in a natural hot spring somewhere au naturelle…but only with people you trusted. And yet, wasn’t there an exhilaration and freedom when you did that? I believe it is similarly freeing when we are able to share what we haven’t shared with someone we trust…when we can share our naked truth or when we listen to someone else share to us, we are part of a very important conversation that can be transforming.

I hope you find ways to find the places, people, and moments when you can get a little naked and reclaim your full humanity. And finally, here are some steps to consider for finding a committed listener for deep sharing you know you need to do.

I also think it is important for people to have strong boundaries, which means not to be ‘naked’ all the time.
  1. Test the waters slowly. You really cannot trust everyone, but you can trust some. And a few is all you need. Educate those who you think you can trust to be confidential. They don’t have to fix you. They just need to hear you.
  2. Write about your shames, blames, scars, or unshared dreams and aspirations first to yourself. This will help you desensitize yourself to the story you tell. Then have a live conversation about some aspect of this journaling with a trusted other. Do not write details to another at this stage. Share in the moment to hear yourself and to be heard by another who can hold what you share and keep it sacred to you.
  3. Hire a professional to speak to, for example, a therapist, counselor, coach, or minister. But research him or her first! Make sure of his or her credentials and reputation from other clients.
  4. Imagine the space in your heart and soul that you will open if that which you have hidden in the darkness is brought into the light. Who will you become? How will you live?
  5. Claim your place at the fire. A metaphoric phrase my longtime friend Richard Leider uses to describe finding our tribe. Who can be in conversation with as a support group, mentoring, or just for fun and true friendship.

Remember to not take it personally. Opinions are just that. They are not the truth but someone’s perspective, just as your view is. The ability and wiliness to stay present to another’s nakedness is something that many people cannot do. That is why taking it slow and being cautious but not paralyzed is important. Find your trustworthy few, and cherish them. And you can return the favor by being a committed listener to others.

Is there anything you are keeping hidden that you could share with a trusting confidante? Think about it. Now when and with whom could you have that conversation? If you do, please share your experience with me.

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