Vulnerability Leads to a Deeper Love Connection
The connection or disconnection you feel with your partner is a result how much or little you’re able to be vulnerable with him. Being vulnerable means open to the possibility of being criticized, hurt, rejected, etc. Having great fear of these possibilities will keep you from expressing the most important messages, words and feelings that can positively transform your life.
If your fear is greater than your ability to express yourself openly, you will always feel disconnected in your love relationships and with yourself. The rewards of a meaningful connection are much greater than the risk of never feeling a true connection. Vulnerability is the path to a deeper connection.
You can only be vulnerable after knowing your worth
The ability to be authentically vulnerable only comes after knowing your true worth. Being vulnerable when we don’t know our true worth is accidental or manipulative. Accidental when a situation forces us out of our comfort zone (i.e. when we think we may lose someone we love) or manipulative when we behave a certain way in order to get a certain response or outcome.
Being vulnerable is immensely powerful. It brings rational communication down to heart-felt connection. Connecting with your partner from your heart leads to meaningful and lasting love. If you have a difficult time being vulnerable, start by knowing your worth.
Know your worth with these eight practices
1. Complete yourself. Seek to fulfill the very qualities you lack in yourself that you tend to look for in a partner. For instance, if you want a partner to express himself openly, yet you have a hard time doing this very same thing, practice improving your heart-based communication skills without attachment to the outcome.
2. Be authentic. Instead of trying to conceal your self-perceived dark side, appreciate how these aspects of have helped you in your life. We tend to suppress behaviors, thoughts, feeling and characteristics that are not acceptable in certain environments. There is a gift in the areas we suppress once we’re able to uncover and embrace traits that are buried in these self-perceived bad aspects of ourselves. Uncover and embrace your light and dark, and find freedom in being your authentic self. Debbie Ford’s Dark Side of the Light Chasers is a good resource.
3. Free yourself from the origins of your low self worth. As children, our parents said and did things that may have left us with a low self esteem/sense of worth. Identify your parent’s common words, phrases, behaviors and actions to understand how that’s affected you. If they’ve played a major role in decreasing your self worth, consider speaking with them about how this has affected you and what you need from them (to stop or start doing) to move forward. While it may be more effective to have a verbal conversation, writing a letter and having a ritual/ceremony to free yourself can also work.
4. Make peace with your past. You let others define your worth when you hold onto the past, are bitter about what’s happened and don’t move forward. While you may not be able to see it now, understand that everything happens at the right time for your own good. The reasons for what happened in your past are leading you to a much better place. Know that true worth is found in the present.
5. Live your core values. Knowing what is and isn’t acceptable to you makes it easier to respect yourself, set boundaries, take the right action and make sound decisions. Core values greatly influence your behavior, attitude and character. They guide you in making decisions that affect your relationship. To define, clarify and live your core values, click here.
6. Trust yourself. If you can’t let go of trying to be perfect and trying to control, you’re not able to trust yourself. The more tightly you hold on to how you think something or someone should be, the less space there is for serendipity to happen. Be clear about what you desire, be and take action from a place of clarity, then let go and trust the Universe to bring the love you’re meant to have.
7. Question your thoughts. Unhealthy thoughts are habitual. If you find unhealthy thoughts creeping into your mind, question them. When these thoughts are left unquestioned, they run on autopilot and continue to do internal damage. The more you question these thoughts as they happen, the more these thoughts will drop themselves. See Byron Katie’s The Work.
8. Practice self love. We teach others how to treat us based on how we treat ourselves. Treat yourself with kindness, care, love and respect. Be gentle with yourself. Be the most important person in your life. If this is difficult for you to do, look for people in your life who love themselves and emulate what they do until it starts to feel natural for you.
Feeling resistant? If you find yourself being resistant to these practices, understand that being vulnerable doesn’t cause pain. It’s when you try to protect yourself by holding onto the need to appear a certain way that actually causes pain. What is it you’re trying to protect? Why do you need to appear a certain way? Where does the need stem from?
Practice being vulnerable
Once you start knowing your true worth, practice being vulnerable by opening up and expressing your thoughts and feelings wholeheartedly. If you want true and lasting love with your partner, it’s essential to be vulnerable. You must be vulnerable in order to love and be loved, and known for who you are. You are magnificent. Give your partner the privilege of knowing the real you.
Which of the eight practices will you try? How can you be, to open up and express yourself more?
P.S. Brene Brown is a researcher who studies the human connection – our ability to empathize, belong and love. She shares thoughtful insight on The Power of Vulnerability. Click here to see this must watch video.