Unlocking Vulnerability: the prison of judgment and justification
I just had an epiphany about vulnerability while working with a client the other day and I just HAD to share this potent insight with you!
Have you ever found yourself in a place where you feel complete trust? A time when you felt like you could be completely without defenses or masks? It is an all too rare experience for many of us, and as I worked with one of my clients, she described it as an ecstatic, blissed out experience where her authentic self feels loved and fully embraced. Sounds fantastic, right? So why don’t we all let ourselves be vulnerable all the time? Well, the obvious, right? When we’re vulnerable, we’re not only very sensitive to the good feelings, we’re also painfully sensitive to the triggers, projections and judgments that inevitably surface. It is SCARY!
Sometimes we don’t even know HOW to be vulnerable since we aren’t always aware of the dynamics that allow or prevent a state of vulnerability.
So, I just knew I had to share my vision with you, since it’s really helping me to see when I’m stepping outside my authentic self and behind a mask of protection.
CLICK HERE to get the download I received on how to recognize when we are masking our authentic self.
It was so amazing to realize that judgment/criticism/projection and self-defensiveness/justification/excuses work together to distract our focus from what’s really needing our attention: our vulnerability.
I had the opportunity to use it myself. In the long ago past, I was a type-A, perfectionistic, obsessive compulsive person who would spend MONTHS getting over mistakes that every human makes. I’d repeat it over and over in my mind and relive the anxiety and torture of self-criticism and be unable to let it go.
Just last week, I made a really big mistake. It had an impact on more than just me and I felt sick to my stomach. I could have made a bunch of excuses, and was even encouraged to do so by a friend, but I decided to just be completely honest about what had happened, without excuses, and simply ask what could be done to make things better. You know what? A solution was presented, I did what was asked and that was that. I was expecting to have to continually alleviate the onslaught of winces and pangs of pain over re-living the realization that I’d messed up, but instead, I have let it go and it’s done.
Our vulnerability is the place where our authenticity resides, and when we lock them up, we are robbing ourselves and the world of the immense and unique gifts we were given to share.
Judgment and Justification stand as guards, ready to start an endless wrestling match with each other to keep us distracted from pushing through into the jail cell where our vulnerability has been locked up. Locked up for safety and protection, but the real outcome is that it is a prison that ends up squashing our truth and keeps us from being a whole human.
Here are 5 steps for moving beyond the guards of Judgment and Justification and into your vulnerable, amazing, authentic self:
1) Notice when you are making excuses, defending yourself or justifying something you’ve done.
2) Take a deep breath and let go of the mental determination to figure out blame or culpability.
3) With your breath, bring your awareness to what part of your body has tensed up along with the defensiveness. Breathe right into that place. Put your hand there, too. Send a message that it’s okay.
4) Just send as much love and compassion to that place in your body as possible and breathe until you are able to release the contracted energy.
5) Listen to what this part of you needs, and if you go into any dialogue or stories that include any sort of justifications, come back to the breath. Keep doing this until you can tune into what it is that your vulnerability has to say (ie: I’m scared of looking foolish. I don’t want to be rejected for not doing something “right.” . . .).
Take care of your vulnerability, rather than getting lost in the unproductive maze that judgment and justification create as they try to protect your tenderness. Let it be tender. Let it hurt, and let your energy go into moving through the hurt, rather than trying to figure out how to fight in the battle between self-criticism and self-defensiveness.
The Divine Feminine archetypes connected with these dynamics are the Primal, Wild self and the Initiatress, who carries that sword of truth I was talking about last week. I teach the deep mysteries of the Divine Feminine archetypes in the Living Wisdom School. I’m now accepting applications for this rare journey with the Feminine face of the Holy.
So, please do share with me your stories of liberating your vulnerability from judgment & justification in the comments section here.
And, if you enjoy these weekly inspirations, why not share them?
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You got to the heart of it with this one, Amanda. The moments of deepest healing and fullest connection (with Spirit and with other human beings) have been those moments where I allowed myself to be the most nakedly vulnerable. And when I’ve been able to witness and support another being, meeting them at that tender place of vulnerability, it is where my heart has been the most open and where I’ve felt most intimately related. That sacred space of vulnerability and tenderness has come to be my most treasured sanctuary, the space I long to share with another being when they are willing to meet me in that way.
Conversely, it is when I have my defenses up, or when I’m retreating into the sort of judgments and excuses you name, that I feel the most isolated, trapped in that painful place of separation.
I’m going to have to put those five steps of yours into practice, it’s some great advice. Thank you!
Thanks so much for that beautiful share!
Vulnerability is the gold, and you’re on that path to have it. Wopila!
Glad you like the practice, and may it nourish you well!