One of the greatest benefits to writing or blogging is being able to look back to a previous writing and see how far we’ve come: how our minds and personality has changed whether for the worst or the best. It’s liberating just being able to read a previous work that reminds you that we are all constantly changing. The best part is that we have the ability to change ourselves. Even if the period since I wrote this work was one of the hardest periods in my life so far, and there have been more hard moments since then, just reading back to this work somehow began to remold my mind and heart again for the better. I also thought it’d be great for all bloggers out there to know that with each personal writing piece we post, we are being vulnerable with each other. Hope you like it! ❤
Vulnerability is one of the hardest and most condemned words in the English language, yet it is crucial in our journey in not only being able to discover true peace within us but also to help others on their journey to discovering peace within themselves. Few people see the good that stems from being vulnerable. Everyone has experienced vulnerability whether they liked it or not because we are only human. As humans, we have our times of weaknesses. Although the element of vulnerability has been tagged as a sign of weakness, depending on how you look at it, vulnerability may also be one of the greatest traits people may have to better themselves. When someone is vulnerable, that person would never want to show others that “weak” side of themselves due to the possibilities of being disappointed, hurt, or betrayed. But what people struggling with vulnerability don’t know is that vulnerability is shown at anytime and anyplace given the situation; so they don’t have to be afraid to show their vulnerable side. The only ways that we can practice vulnerability at its best is:
- to stay mindful,
- trust in ourselves,
- and have faith in the outcome.
My family is not the type of family that can easily say what is on their mind. Because of this, I was not able to really practice vulnerability growing up as a child. The fact that my parents were gone the majority of the time did nothing to help my siblings and me to soften our thick skins. One of the reasons I chose this topic was to inform others that the most vulnerable people are the children and the infirmed, failing elders. Because of either their small physical size or low physical body support, others who are taller, older and stronger take advantage of them and their “weakness.” Children are still growing, and they won’t know what is right from wrong unless someone teaches them or they experience it themselves. They will generally grow up to be what their parents have nourished them to be. And since some elders have had pretty much lived their life accomplishing daily activities and routines their own way, they would refuse help when they can barely move or walk like how they used to.
I am like that child who was raised within the household rules of no emotional expression. I am also like that failing adult who never really needed or expected someone else’s help because of being left alone majority of the time to care for myself. I grew up in a family with terrible communication skills: when it comes to expressing inner emotions and accepting needed help, expressing myself is just too difficult. I chose this topic because I knew that, through me, others will have someone to turn to in their time of vulnerability, and I will have the answers to help them overcome it. Only when the child or even adult grow to maturity will he or she determine the route he or she wants to follow in life, like how I am now. If we grow the seeds of violence and hatred, then we will be practicing those negativities. But if we practice love, compassion, and understanding then we will “nourish peace around us” (Hanh).
Not only are children and failing adults vulnerable to abuse, but also us young and middle-aged adults. In areas where we are “naive,” there are always those who can manipulate our thoughts and actions. Mindfulness can bring peace to our body and emotions. If we are mindful, then we will become more aware of our surroundings as well as ourselves. In situations of displaying vulnerability, if the outcome may be hurtful to us physically or emotionally, we will need to practice the art of being alert to what we are thinking and what our bodies are feeling. If we are able to stop and reflect on our thoughts and actions during out time of vulnerability, then we will have the power to separate and change those negative thoughts and feelings into positive thoughts and feelings.
There will be moments when we feel as though someone has truly caused a black hole in us to which we think we will never heal from, but that is not the case. With time the ache will slowly disappear, and we will be a stronger person than whom we were before. (Boy, do I know this to be true) You have the choice to be hurt by the situation or not. The practice of having the positive outcome will truly be difficult if we haven’t practiced mindfulness, but becoming a more happy and peaceful person does not happen all in one day or even a year; it is an ongoing process throughout our lives.
Vulnerability is like a gate. When we are vulnerable, whether the time is while we are in agony or having insecurities, we are opening ourselves up to possible disappointment, hurt, and betrayal because we are placing our trust in others as well as sharing our intimate thoughts and feelings. Sometimes we are also placing our trust in people whom we barely know or people we just met, basically people who do not know our real story. Although it opens us up to emotions we do not desire, vulnerability is really the only way that we can truly know when someone is trustworthy, loyal, lovable, or differentiating between long term friends versus just acquaintances. We will need to develop our trust in our own goodness that we will make it out of the situation unharmed physically and/or mentally. No matter what the outcome is, positive or negative, we must have faith in our developing trust in ourselves. Yes, we have trouble with trusting ourselves after a few horrid experiences, but we need to learn to trust and love ourselves before anyone because who else is there to trust if not you and God?
Without “vulnerability,” the world will be in chaos. Everyone will constantly be cautious and distrustful of their surroundings, thinking someone may be out to get them. They will be paranoid with even those who are close to them, but even then, how will they know that they can trust those who they consider “close?” To be vulnerable, we will have the power to grow our relationships with others. When you are showing your vulnerable side to someone you know, do not know, care about, or even have admiration for, the recipient will know how much sincerity you are sharing because of showing your own openness to a person. We need to be aware of the situation and learn to be mindful of our body and emotions to make us fee better and stronger as a person of peace.
This paper was written because each person in my class had to write about a topic of peace. At first, I didn’t know vulnerability was a topic of peace, but it is. I kind of laughed while reading this because I was just SO SERIOUS writing this, I think I may have sounded like Buddha himself. xD Anyways, let me know of a time you were vulnerable if you want to in the comments below. See you all soon!