The feeling of vulnerability leads people to doing strange and counterproductive things. There seem to be two main camps into which people arrange themselves when they feel vulnerable: the first type takes up the sword and goes to battle while the second takes up a shield (or several) and hides.
Those who go on the offensive tend to lash out in an effort to shift the spotlight of vulnerability to somewhere, anywhere but on them. They resort to diversionary tactics like accusation, blame, complaint, or even random acts of ill will, all in an effort to get out of the limelight and back into their comfort zone, whatever that may be.
Those who choose the defensive approach, on the other hand, work to avoid dealing with the sense of vulnerability by subtler, but no more effective means. They may feign kindness or politeness, try to convince themselves and others that they are ok, and exchange niceties when the necessity at hand is to bring an issue to point.
There is a third approach. Vulnerability can be handled without fight it flight. When you feel vulnerable, seek first to come to rest in it. If you let the agitation subside, or at least not occupy center stage in your heart and mind, you can begin to deal with it constructively.
In my own experience I’ve found that not assuming I know what others who may be involved are thinking or feeling is a good start. I suppose doing so is a form of prejudice, of pre-judging the factors before they can be revealed as they truly are. I’ve also found that giving others the benefit of the doubt – especially when you think you know them well – can also be quite useful.
Sharing your heart with others is as important as breathing or eating. Vulnerability is the means by which your heart communes with that of another. Vulnerability is the cornerstone of your intimate relationships and the means by which you begin to understand God or kindlier Nature.
You need not react to feelings of vulnerability, in fact you can and should embrace them by coming to rest in them. Do so and your life will never be the same again.
One thought on “Sword or Shield”
Your words on vulnerability are beautiful. I especially love,”vulnerability is the means by which your heart communes with that of another.” You have accessed an understanding that does bring hearts to rest. May we be so vulnerable.