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Dealing with Feelings of Vulnerability

Updated on June 5, 2018
denise.w.anderson profile image

An Education Specialist, Denise teaches the principles of Emotional Health for the establishment and maintenance of high quality families.

When we feel robbed, beaten, bruised, and torn, we are feeling vulnerable.
When we feel robbed, beaten, bruised, and torn, we are feeling vulnerable. | Source

Tragedy often leaves us with deep emotional wounds. We feel as though we have been robbed, beaten, stripped of value, and discarded by the wayside. We see ourselves as though we are naked, exposed to the raw elements of the weather rather than sheltered and protected by our belongings and loved ones.

These feelings of vulnerability make us want to withdraw and hide. We wrap ourselves in a thick blanket of fear surrounded by a cement casing of mistrust that cannot be penetrated by insensitive jabs or hurtful remarks.

In these moments of pain and suffering we realize our own nothingness, weaknesses, and imperfections. We know that we have to do something different, but in our current state, we are unable to move. Any action we take only worsens the pain and suffering we are trying our best to avoid.

Since vulnerability exposes our weaknesses, we often become angry, thinking that in doing so, we can regain our strength. It is better to choose humility, allowing our weaknesses to leave room for growth and development.
Since vulnerability exposes our weaknesses, we often become angry, thinking that in doing so, we can regain our strength. It is better to choose humility, allowing our weaknesses to leave room for growth and development. | Source

Some, in an effort to regain a sense of dignity, lash out in anger, thrusting blame for what has happened, hoping that in doing so, someone will take responsibility for their predicament and provide much needed aid. Unfortunately, this only leads to further pain and misery.

Others turn their anger inward, punishing themselves for not knowing, understanding, or being good enough to ward off tragedy. Yet, the resulting self-loathing only leads to addictive behaviors, unfulfilled desires, and a further loss of self-worth.

We ask ourselves the following questions:

  • How can we trust again after what has happened to us?
  • How can we have hope that life will get better when our dreams have just been dashed to pieces?

As a result of our vulnerability, we may even question our own faith.
As a result of our vulnerability, we may even question our own faith. | Source

In this broken condition, we are in danger of losing the very faith that has kept and sustained us up to this point in our lives. We see that anger is getting us nowhere, and yet, what else can we do? Where can we obtain the strength to go forward? Of necessity, we seek a power beyond our own, one that sees past what has happened to us and acknowledges our worth for who we really are.

"...my dear friends - please, first doubt your doubts before you doubt your faith."

Dieter F. Uchdorf

Humility

Humility is the opening of the soul. It is laying aside the anger, frustration, and bitterness and hoping for something better. Like clay in the hands of the potter, we allow our hearts to be softened and for the first time, we begin to feel relief from the pain and anguish we are experiencing.

Our deep spiritual and emotional wounds must be opened in order to be cleansed and healed. Through the softening of our hearts, we prepare ourselves to feel the raw emotion that occurs when the wounds are opened. Each must be treated individually for infection, dressed properly, and given time to heal. In the same way that professional medical treatment is required for deep physical wounds, professional treatment is also required for deep emotional and spiritual wounds.

Humility
Anger
Feeling the pain
Refusing the pain
Acknowledging weakness
Rejecting weakness
Softening of the heart
Hardening of the heart
Opening the wound
Covering up the wound
Cleansing the infection
Ignoring the infection
Healing through forgiveness
Misery through bitterness
Peace and happiness
Loneliness and regret
Vulnerability leaves us in a state of humility.
Vulnerability leaves us in a state of humility. | Source

Unconditional Love

As we seek help from our own spiritual adviser, someone who has similar beliefs to ours that we know will be sympathetic to what we are going through, we will taste in a small way the unconditional love needed for healing to take place. This love provides us with the courage to bring our wounded souls to the alter. As we lay them at the feet of the one who has born all our griefs, we experience a taste of the price that was paid that we might live.

The pain that we feel is a symptom of the depth of the wound. Care must be taken to only move as fast as we are able to bear the pain. The deeper the wound, the more the pain, and the longer time required for healing. Applying the balm of forgiveness assuages the poignant emotions, and gives them room for resolution. Should we experience emotional fallout, such as depression, anxiety, hallucinations, insomnia, nightmares, or thoughts of harming ourself or others, professional mental health intervention is needed.

Humility gives us the opportunity to experience emotional and spiritual hunger and thirst. We are able to recognize the saving principles of grace when they come, as they feed us in a way that nothing else can. With unconditional love coursing through our veins, the wounds gradually close, and the pain lessens.

In gratitude, we desire more understanding and enlightenment. We seek for knowledge to build upon the new foundation we have been given. We look for ways to help others who have gone through similar difficulties. We no longer look at life as drudgery, but as a precious gift.

The receipt of unconditional love allows us to recover enough that we can feed our appetite for knowledge and understanding.
The receipt of unconditional love allows us to recover enough that we can feed our appetite for knowledge and understanding. | Source

Has tragedy left you with feelings of vulnerability?

See results

Hope

The stronger we become, the more we feel a sense of hope and wonder in the miracle of our healing. Where there was darkness, now there is light. Where there was anger and frustration, now, there is a desire to make life better for ourselves and others.

This new-found freedom and motivation comes from building our foundation on true principles. We have chosen to use our faith to strengthen and guide rather than leaving it behind, and tearing others down. We are able to turn away from revenge and choose instead to build a better world. We realize that there is enough of pain and misery.

As we turn away from these things, we also leave behind our feelings of vulnerability. We realize, however, that this did not happen in and of ourselves. Rather, our feelings of strength come from our realization that we are indeed worthwhile human beings, that we are loved, unconditionally. No matter what we have done or what we have been through, we are an important part of the human family.

As we grow in our understanding and the possibilities we can choose in spite of what has happened, hope is re-kindled.
As we grow in our understanding and the possibilities we can choose in spite of what has happened, hope is re-kindled. | Source

Peace

The tragedy we have been through is no longer a defining characteristic in our lives, rather we have adopted the positive characteristics of one who is able to give, strengthening and helping others. Our lives are filled with meaning and purpose, and we have a sense of abundance.

The ability to feel peace and happiness come as a natural result of our vulnerability having been dealt with on the elemental level. The wounds have been healed. There are no scars, no regrets, no feelings of being robbed, beaten, and left by the wayside. We are worthwhile human beings with purpose and promise.

© 2014 Denise W Anderson

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    • denise.w.anderson profile imageAUTHOR

      Denise W Anderson 

      3 years ago from Bismarck, North Dakota

      I appreciate your positive feedback, Mandeeadair. Thanks for stopping by!

    • Mandeeadair profile image

      Mandeeadair 

      3 years ago from California

      Beautifully written. Very helpful and insightful.

    • denise.w.anderson profile imageAUTHOR

      Denise W Anderson 

      4 years ago from Bismarck, North Dakota

      Thanks, Sundeep, I appreciate you sharing this information. It was very helpful to me, and I hope it will be for others. I appreciate you reading and commenting.

    • Sundeep Kataria profile image

      Sundeep Kataria 

      4 years ago

      You dealt with the subject so nicely. Your thoughts are so positive and divine yet the suggestions so practical. I am going to share the hub with a few people who need a good advice.

    • denise.w.anderson profile imageAUTHOR

      Denise W Anderson 

      4 years ago from Bismarck, North Dakota

      I appreciate your comments, DDE. Thanks for stopping by and reading.

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 

      4 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      Feelings are vulnerable at the worst and you have created such a helpful hub on dealing such feelings.

    • denise.w.anderson profile imageAUTHOR

      Denise W Anderson 

      4 years ago from Bismarck, North Dakota

      I appreciate your comments, ChitrangadaSharan. The older we get, the more we realize that we don't have all the answers. With our own approaching mortality, we begin to question spiritual things. This elicits changes in our behavior, thoughts, and attitudes. Our desire to know who we are increases, and in turn, we seek a relationship with Deity.

    • denise.w.anderson profile imageAUTHOR

      Denise W Anderson 

      4 years ago from Bismarck, North Dakota

      Yes, catgypsy, vulnerability is a very painful subject. It is one of the most difficult of emotions, as it requires us to deal with the pain directly before we can move on. We have to accept the fact that we are down and out in order for mercy and grace to do their work in our behalf. This is a difficult choice, but a necessary one. Thanks for reading and commenting!

    • ChitrangadaSharan profile image

      Chitrangada Sharan 

      4 years ago from New Delhi, India

      Very wise suggestions to deal with feelings of vulnerability. Your comparison between humility and anger is very well explained.

      I think humility comes naturally with age and maturity. I have observed it in many individuals, a complete change in behavior as they age, having seen lot of life.

      Well written article for the betterment of emotional health. Thanks!

    • catgypsy profile image

      catgypsy 

      4 years ago from the South

      A wonderful hub about a very painful subject. You have given wise advice on how to handle it. It's a rough thing to get over, but your advice is definitely very helpful.

    • denise.w.anderson profile imageAUTHOR

      Denise W Anderson 

      4 years ago from Bismarck, North Dakota

      Thanks, MsDora. I appreciate your comments very much. It does seem that the older we get, the less likely we are to pull away from God than toward him. It seems that we have a more long-term perspective on life that helps us to deal with things differently.

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Weithers 

      4 years ago from The Caribbean

      Very good presentation of this topic. To respond with humility instead of anger is a habit that comes with maturity. Your article shows us how to get there. I like the Uchdorf quote. Every tragedy should help our faith increase, not decrease. Thanks for a very valuable lesson.

    • denise.w.anderson profile imageAUTHOR

      Denise W Anderson 

      4 years ago from Bismarck, North Dakota

      You are right, gsidley. Our acceptance of our own weaknesses and imperfections, as well as acceptance of our current circumstances enables us to allow others to help us. This willingness is evidence of humility and softness of the heart. Only then can healing occur. Thanks for reading and commenting!

    • gsidley profile image

      Dr. Gary L. Sidley 

      4 years ago from Lancashire, England

      A splendid, well-written hub. I think there is something about acceptance of the way things are, and a willingness to let other people in, that can enable us negotiate even the most difficult of life circumstances.

      Voted up.

    • denise.w.anderson profile imageAUTHOR

      Denise W Anderson 

      4 years ago from Bismarck, North Dakota

      Thanks for your kind comments, CyberShelley. No matter what we have been through in our lives, there is hope that we can be healed and move on with positive feelings of self-worth.

    • CyberShelley profile image

      Shelley Watson 

      4 years ago

      What a wonderful, warm, in-depth walk through the feelings of tragedy and vulnerability and the hope and finally the peace that lies in wait if time is given time. Up, interesting beautiful.

    • denise.w.anderson profile imageAUTHOR

      Denise W Anderson 

      4 years ago from Bismarck, North Dakota

      You are right, billy, we all feel this way when things are not going well in our lives. So often, we think that we are alone in our suffering, that no one else understands how we feel. In reality, we have much more in common than we realize!

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      I wonder, Denise, if there is anyone breathing who has not felt vulnerable? I doubt it, even though some may say they haven't. This is a part of being human, and certainly when tragedy strikes, those feelings are heightened. Wonderful reflections here my friend.

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