Being vulnerable as a man can be difficult. Fuck being vulnerable as a woman or just plain out human is hard. But I think the men have it especially rough in this area! The box that men must live in, to achieve the feeling of belonging in the world today is radically oppressive in my point of view. Do not misunderstand me, women have a gnarly box to fit in too! But I am here to speak up for men as a woman. I see you! I see that you have been asked to bypass what you really feel, that you have been taught to not be sensitive to your tue self. Because if you were actually to step into your feelings this would deem you as weak, and a PUSSY (which by the way is the most powerful portal on the planet.) Insert eye roll! :)
Men holding in their emotions can lead to negative emotions like anger and resentment. The more we try to suppress our feelings, the more they come out in other ways such as addiction, abuse, or violence. Like the world needs any more of that. When you can express these emotions through healthy outlets, you can let them move through you and not create negativity in your life. Once you lean into vulnerability you can find great peace.
Vulnerability is a word that has been thrown around quite a bit in the past few years. I personally am thankful that it is taking the stage. Because before this, there has been a misconception that it shows weakness. In actuality, emotional vulnerability displays great bravery and strength. The ability to be raw and naked in who you are, in your truth is a path that takes immense courage and leads to freedom and connection in relationships.
Many of us are constantly trying to project the image of being perfect and untouched by the bad days, the negative feelings, or the resentments that are sapping our energy. We all have bad days and we all have vulnerabilities. It is ok to share this in your relationships. When you share this openness and sensitivity it can create deep intimacy.
Practicing vulnerability is not just about being open to emotional risks; it's also about being open to intellectual risks. The ego does not like vulnerability, yet the heart yearns for it. It's about being willing to be wrong and to admit mistakes. It's about showing up as your full self in the world, with all your flaws, as well as your triumphs and successes. Vulnerability asks you to put your heart in the hands of another even when you are messy and human.
When my clients come to me with challenges in sexuality, romantic relationships, and everyday life and are just having a hard time, the first place we go is into vulnerability. Taking that very important step into the power of their truth is essential to the healing process. Without the emotional risk, there will be no emotional reward.
The first step to healing wounds in relationships, that have suffered from a lack of connection and communication is first to take inventory of how you are both showing up vulnerably. It's a big deal because it means that you are willing to be open about your emotions and be honest with yourselves about what you feel. When we are honest it lays the foundation for authentic connection.
It is human nature to want to avoid vulnerability at all costs. We want to show our strengths and not our weaknesses, but this so-called strength is actually a veil of weakness that can be felt in the unconscious of your partner, as well as an act of disowning yourself. And if YOU do not own yourself ... Then tell me babe, who else is going to want to invest in you?
I have seen one too many relationships end, that could have kept on and potentially flourished if one of the partners would have been brave enough to take the emotional risk. Sure you might feel that shaky feeling in the core of your body. But I promise you that if you embrace vulnerability you won't die! In this act, you will be allowing a part of you to be even more alive than ever.
We can bring vulnerability into our lives by accepting that we are not perfect, opening up about our struggles, telling the truth about what we feel and who we are, and being open to new experiences. Below are a few different ways that you can practice being vulnerable with your partner!
Before you approach your romantic partner make a list of the painful feelings you are having. Write down all of your fears and intense emotions so that when you begin to communicate you will have a framework to go off of and you will get everything out.
Take inventory of your personal relationship and determine if the person you want to be vulnerable with is open and willing to communicate in vulnerability with you by asking, "Would you be willing to have an open heartfelt potentially messy, vulnerable communication with me?" If the answer is yes then find a time and space that feels right for both of you. Create a space where you are both resourced. Not tired, hungry, or angry.
Bring presence to that you are both human beings and there might even be mistakes or messiness while communicating your feelings. Together as you both face difficult emotions keep in mind that vulnerability truly is the birthplace of love and it points toward real connection. Practicing compassion, tenderness and acceptance will serve you both greatly.
Keep it moving forward. Get curious about what new ideas and solutions are arising while you both are sharing your feelings.
Celebrate it all! The positive emotions, the painful emotions, and taking healthy steps, knowing that you didn't take the easy route in a stressful situation. But that you embraced individual differences and made the most out of them and lived fully.
Happy couples challenge each other. This keeps us growing and expanding so that we can be our true selves. The only way to build a healthy emotional culture is to be vulnerable with each other. Can you imagine a world where we all could show up and be loved just as we are? This could radically impact the mental health of our society. We could one by one build a world where we accept each other in our emotional states, instead of disconnecting from one another and shaming each other. Standing in front of others in our authenticity permits anyone who witnesses to do the same.
I hope this brings you connection with yourself, your loved ones, and the world!