Taking a deep look, vulnerability is one of those qualities that’s often projected as a sign of weakness. However, when it comes to healing, vulnerability is in fact a powerful tool that plays a major part when unpacking the complex layers of pain, grief, and trauma experienced in life.
By definition, vulnerability is “the quality or state of being exposed to the possibility of being attacked or harmed, either physically or emotionally.” Therefore, since facing our past and present can cause triggers, it’s natural for us to avoid anything that will expose us to and remind us of memories, emotions, individuals, spaces, or things connected to the source of our pain.
Although vulnerability can sound counterintuitive, it enables us to reflect, inquire, identify, and challenge ourselves in difficult areas in order to endure the healing process and overcome the discomfort and resistance toward facing the things that cause us pain and grief.
Since healing isn’t a simple process, finding ways to mask our emotions and cope can create a band-aid solution and offer temporary “relief” from years of unresolved issues. This, nevertheless, pulls us further away from doing the crucial inner and external work that’s needed to heal in the areas that stifle our growth and well-being.
Being able to honestly identify thoughts and emotions you have that stem from any memories or encounters associated with the source of your pain or trauma is key. It’s not always clear, but further identifying what your triggers are and developing healthy coping mechanisms to help you stick to the course is essential in the healing process. Lastly, identifying your support systems, whether it’s a close friend, a support network, a psychologist or a therapist, having a trusted and reliable area of support beyond yourself helps to lift the pressures of having to combat your issues alone. Vulnerability includes being able to be vulnerable with yourself as well as others who you feel safe with and supported by.