V is for Vulnerability
I have been shocked by how vulnerable I have allowed myself to become these past weeks. I have opened myself up emotionally, physically and sexually and I have been astounded by how this has made me feel. We talked a lot about vulnerability in class today and the fact that actually, there is strength in being able to tell someone honestly how you feel. By making yourself vulnerable to them, you allow a deeper connection to form between you, and you also increase the level of trust and intimacy that you share.
We spoke about that fact that this works on both an emotional level for a long term relationship, but also as part of a scene for a play type dynamic. I can see that this is true. From the moment I arrived I have felt exposed. The parts of me which would usually not be seen, whether parts of my body or the thoughts in my mind, have been viewed sometimes in quite a public way. This has made me feel uneasy of course, but the fact that I have felt accepted and desired for these things, has made me feel freer than I would before.
Allowing myself to be more vulnerable and seeing vulnerability as a positive and a potential strength in a relationship, has meant that the conventions of society don’t hold me back in the way that they might usually. What that has done is to leave me feeling more free and more able to explore parts of me that I would usually keep hidden. I have felt scared and anxious by this, but to do it in an environment where I am safe has been the ideal way for me to give up control and power. I know it sounds like irony but being able to embrace my submissive side has actually made me feel a sense of freedom which wasn’t there before.
Part of the teaching today included looking at the work of Dr Brene Brown, a research professor who studies courage, vulnerability, shame, and empathy. She explains that rather than vulnerability being a weakness, it is actually our strongest connection to our humanity and to each other. That it is the birthplace of love, belonging, empathy, creativity, and authenticity which are the experiences that bring meaning to our lives. This makes so much sense and probably explains why I have been able to form such strong and deep connections with the people here. Not just those who I have engaged with during the practical sessions, but also the friendships I am making with the others here with me.
I am actually looking at this and applying it to some of the other relationships that I have. I think perhaps I have held back too much and that trying to be more open generally about who I am and what I want will allow me to form deeper connections with people I am close to. I am not saying that this will work for all relationships, and I will still need to have my guard up at times, but I want to make sure that I don’t unlearn the good that has come for me from being here.
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