Dictionary.com lists the definition of vulnerability as “capable of or susceptible to being wounded or hurt, as by a weapon.” I had a professor in grad school say “that fists don’t hurt like words; words kill.” To be human is to be vulnerable but we work very hard at becoming impervious to attack.
Why do we work so hard against vulnerability? The answer is in the definition. We tell ourselves stories about how our strength can keep us from harm. But that doesn’t seem to do the trick either….
In her first TED Talk, Brene Brown does a great job outlining how and why we can’t outwit our vulnerably. Because much to our chagrin, the only way to be truly loved and cared for is to be vulnerable.
We Have to Get it Wrong Sometimes...
Like it or lump it, there will be times when you open up to the wrong people. It isn't your fault when someone betrays you or lets you down. It is natural after someone has hurt you to feel embarrassed or even foolish and to want to retreat within yourself for a time. That may even be the best thing for you to do for a time.
It's our losses and failures that allow us to learn the best. After someone hurts you, what can you learn? What can you see in hind site that you were not able to see? Where there warning signs that you overlooked because you cared for and trusted that person?
Pain Makes You Stronger
Allow the person (or people) who hurt you to be your teacher(s). Be wiser, not colder or more distant and don't run away. Geography is just just a place, you cannot outrun sadness.
First, be safe. Can that person still reach out and get in touch with you? If so, close their path, deny them access. You do not have to force yourself to tolerate anymore.
Second, lick your wounds. Surround yourself with only the people who you know will support and lift you up.
Then, learn. What did you miss about this person? What will help you notice their character flaws in someone else?
Finally, forgive. Forgive them and yourself. I know it sounds corny but is the step most often skipped and it probably the most important one. You had every right to be vulnerable and forgiver yourself for that. Just as they have every right to be a miserable jerk.... More difficult but you can forgive them for that too. Let them live their life spreading their seeds of ill content, they will certainly bare fruit eventually.
As always, I’m here. If you are ready to work on having the life you want, call me and let’s get started!