To What Degree Is Vulnerability Not Good?

What makes me address this topic of vulnerability are two things: 1. as human beings it’s only normal and human to be vulnerable. Vulnerability is what makes us human, what can humble us and we can actually grow from our vulnerabilities. 2. I read an article that was a bit disturbing about someone who I will not mention the name but the fact that some people have mentioned how she uses other people’s vulnerability to exploit them just saddens. Although being vulnerable is only human, there is a certain degree of vulnerability that is not good and it is this kind of vulnerability that I would like to discuss in today’s blog post.

Many may want to hide their vulnerability and that’s understandable. I don’t think anyone wants others to think that they are weak or anything negative of that sort. I would like to make emphasis once again that there is nothing wrong with being and feeling vulnerable because that is what makes us human. It also doesn’t make you a weak person. However, like anything, too much is the same as too little. Being and feeling too vulnerable to the degree that look outside of yourself so much to the point that you don’t look within can be very dangerous territory to tread.

I looked up two places for the definition of vulnerability. On Google, the definition was “the quality or state of being exposed to the possibility of being attacked or harmed, either physically or emotionally”. On the Cambridge English dictionary, the definition was “able to be easily hurt, influenced, or attacked”. There is a point I want to prove with these two definitions. If you are “exposed emotionally” in terms of you feeling hurt because you are grieving or you went through some trauma or you feel depressed at the moment or anxious, any of the things that human beings go through, in this case, there is nothing wrong with being vulnerable because it takes courage to be vulnerable and come out of all that stronger. However, if you are “able to be easily hurt, influenced, or attacked”, then vulnerability is a problem.

I also would like to discuss the part of the first definition of vulnerability “….being exposed to the possibility of being attacked or harmed…”. I think the word itself has had a bad reputation, for lack of a better word, because it is when someone is vulnerable when they can “feel” or “think” they are defenseless. I would like to encourage you to believe that vulnerability does not mean powerless. Vulnerability can take you to greater heights in being able to understand others in a way that some perhaps may not. You will only be defenseless if that’s what you believe and if you give your power away just because life threw something at you that you were not prepare for.

Now on to the kind of vulnerability that is not good. Vulnerability is not good when that puts you in a position where you no longer validate yourself. When you need others to validate you constantly because you feel powerless, that’s a problem. Trauma, childhood issues, abuse, depression, anxiety, none of this need to make you powerless. You are a beautiful being, made to perfection even with your imperfections and made with a purpose.

Vulnerability is not good when you give someone the power to make the decisions for you, to tell you what is right for you or anything of that sort. YOU have the power to make your own right decisions. YOU are the only one who truly knows what is right for you. Others can help lead you to your own path and help you figure it out on your own but if you need someone else to lead you rather than you lead yourself, this kind of vulnerability is not good.

Vulnerability is not good when you allow mistreatment from others. When you are not aware of other people’s mistreatment because you are too “vulnerable” to realize this, this is a major problem. Yes, as human beings we need love, to be needed and to belong but it should never be at the price of our self-esteem. It’s too expensive to lose your peace of mind, dignity and self-love.

Vulnerability…’s one of those topics that must be discussed since it affects our well-being but we determine how we let it affect us. It can affect us in a positive way if we allow ourselves to grow from the experience or it can affect us in a negative way, allowing it to rob our self-worth, our power and our connection with ourselves.

This is my longest blog post yet and it was because of that disturbing article I read that I needed to address this topic. If you are feeling vulnerable at this moment, I would like to please encourage you to utilize your vulnerability for growth, not for self-destruction. It’s necessary for “bad” things to happen because we can grow from it and be better because of it. Of course, I quote the word bad because this word can mean different things for different people. It is with the intention of helping you view vulnerability in a lighter light that I write this blog post.

If you love the blog, you will most certainly love my latest book Creating a Lifetime of Wellness: Start Having the Life You Deserve where I discuss topics that highly impact your well-being that perhaps you may not be aware of. You can purchase your copy on Amazon or on Barnes and Noble

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Start Applying That Butter!

There are times when it will feel as if you can’t help but get frustrated at everything and everyone around you. There will be times when you will feel mentally and emotionally overwhelmed. There are certain times in life when it feels as if it’s hard not to avoid feeling irritated at things or people. It is times like these that you may wonder “what is the key to not letting things bother you as much?!” There is one answer to this and it’s something that a colleague and a friend of mine, Henry, told me years ago and it’s this- start applying that butter!

“Start applying that butter?!” you may be thinking and saying. Yes, start applying that butter all over your body, not physically but mentally. Mentally you are going to imagine yourself applying butter all over your body from head to toe. The key is to not allow anything to stick to you for too long. Butter is slippery so by applying that butter, you allow anything that tries to touch you to slide right through you. You have to make sure to apply that butter from head to toe. Of course you’re not going to really apply butter on you, that is why you will do this mentally.

It is best to apply the butter first thing in the morning that way you arm yourself. You want to make sure you start your day right so this is why you want to do this in the morning. I think it’s best to do before you get out of bed, just mentally visualize yourself applying butter all over your body. What you are doing with this is mentally preparing yourself to not let things get to you. Remember, this first starts in the mind. Your most powerful weapon is your mind and so when your mind is armed and loaded with powerful affirmations and thoughts, you face the world prepared.

A vulnerable mind is like a skin that has a wide open wound- it makes itself susceptible to harmful bacteria and infections. With “harmful bacteria and infections” I am referring to negative words that others may have, other people’s bad attitudes that we allow ourselves to take personal, other people’s drama and so on. Harmful bacteria and infections, if left untreated, can become deadly for the body- likewise, “harmful bacteria” and “infections” that we allow in our minds can become deadly, killing our chances of living a fulfilled life.

When I heard this phrase several years ago, I couldn’t help but love the phrase and apply it to my life. Now I encourage you to apply this into your life. Wake up every morning applying that butter on you so that anything that tries to touch you can just slide right through you.

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During Hard Times (Or Times of Vulnerability) Take Extra Care of Yourself

Haven’t you noticed that things seem to go very wrong during very vulnerable times? Like the saying goes “When it rains, it pours”. These are the times when we tend to let ourselves go, perhaps even abandon the things that we truly enjoy doing or not even eat right. I believe that during these hard times is when one has to be extra careful with oneself, go perhaps a little slower with things and try to be more mindful of one’s emotions and thinking.

I can only say for experience and observing what happens with other people that when we are not really well, be it because we are physically ill or a family member isn’t feeling well, we tend to not be the same person we usually are. I know for me the signs are that I don’t eat the way I like to eat (i.e. I tend to crave sugar when I’m not feeling good, etc.) and I don’t exercise when things are not right. For you it may be something different but whatever it is, it’s important to be aware of it and understand where all this is coming from. For example, if I crave more sweets than usual, I know that something is wrong and so I try figure out what is it that is triggering this craving. When things are really bad for me, I tend to fall and trip a lot. In a matter of weeks, I fell twice, hurting my knees and lower back after my dad got hospitalized. This made me realize how much more mindful we have to be when things are not quite right in our life.

“But how can I be more mindful when I’m feeling vulnerable at the moment?”, you might ask. I think the best way is by taking it day by day, moment to moment. Rather than looking into the future and wondering what is going to happen, just live this moment. I’m one who likes to focus on the blessings that I have so I would suggest to also focus on your blessings. Another thing, too, that I would like to add is that you are entitled to feeling sad because of the hard time you are going through. Trying to hold back the strong emotion of sadness can make things worse because you are trying to suppress something that you should just accept and allow yourself to experience. That is part of what makes us human, the fact that we can experience all these different emotions. Allowing yourself and giving yourself permission to feel all these different emotions will free you from the burden of hiding them. It’s too much to try to suppress our emotions! If you are lucky to have wonderful people who love you and are truly there for you in good times and bad times, share what you are feeling with others. There is something so therapeutic about sharing what it is that we feel, especially during hard times.

I can’t emphasize enough how important it is to take care of yourself at all times, but take extra care of yourself during the hard times. Go a little slower during these difficult times. Take time for yourself as well. Make sure you still eat healthy foods. Drink plenty of water. Make sure you sleep. Every little bit that you do to take care of yourself will help, I guarantee it. I think that taking extra care of yourself during the hard times will make the journey that you are going through a little less bumpy.