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Vulnerability with shame or vulnerability with self respect

Today, I think about the difference between showing vulnerability when judging oneself and doing it with self respect and loving acceptance.
The first one is not pleasant at all.
If I happen to judge myself for what I’m feeling/doing/not succeed with, the vulnerability will probably be accompanied by a sense of shame and who wants that? Better so to avoid showing up in that state.

But there is a way to be vulnerable that is connected to freedom, integrity, courage and strength. That is when I don’t judge myself but try to understand and say ok to what I feel/need/do/don’t. To courageously show myself might feel scary, unsafe, painful etc, but the feeling afterwards is pleasant. My space just got bigger. I do this action mostly for myself, so I’m not very dependent on how others react as long as I’m there for me, seeing my courage.

This affects how we relate to vulnerability.
If we do it out of shame, we don’t want it.
If we do it out of self respect, it will set us free.

About being great and risk to lose love and connection

There are two ditches, both uncomfortable.
One is to succeed, to expand into your potential, and then become alone because other people don’t understand that you still need love, support and connection.
The other is to stay small and secure, to not risk loosing love and support because of your strength.

I think about the third alternative where we can be both strong and successful, sensitive and in need of support, brilliant and independent, stuck and in need of help. We don’t need to be either or, we can be everything that a person can be.

So how does a strong and successful person get the love, support and connection he needs? He vulnerably shows what he needs when he needs it. She courageously tells others that she needs them. He includes a need for support, love and connection in his self image and this allows him to be a great man who also is humbly human. She courageously dares to be great and successful, and vulnerably shows her need of love and support.

How does a person who stays small dare to be great without loosing support?
In the same way. He shows what he needs. If he fears that others will abandon him if they feel inferior to him, he can ask them to stay and support him when he bravely tries. She can admit her fear so that it doesn’t own her. She can ask others to salute her for daring.

If we are emotionally transparent and non judgmental towards ourselves, life gets so much easier. We never need to choose between being grate or getting love and connection. Envy can make us think so. Envy can make others lose sight of love. So, we need to tell each other what we need and ask for it.

Of course we can ”be strong in ourselves” or ”believe in ourselves”; that’s important too. If we don’t, we will be dependent of the confirmation from others. My message is about the beauty and possibilities of a courageously shown vulnerability where we let other people know that they matter to us, where we can be both strong, independent persons and in need of support, love and connection. We can be proud of both or whatever other need we have.

To really see

To see, to really see, means to clear the mind from everything that might blur the view.
To really see menas that I see you, without mixing you up with my memories, my fears, my ideas of what you represent; without comparison and judgement.

To really see means that I strive towards really seeing myself clear; to see the beauty in my being, to get to know myself on a deep level so that love awakens.
When I see myself in a vulnerable way, without judging, my heart will be touched. And when everything about myself is ok, there will be no need whatsoever to judge anyone else.

My goal is to be able to see with a clear view.
I fail and when I fail there might be a conflict.
Sometimes there’s also a conflict because I protect my space and set boundaries for someone, but that conflict doesn’t affect me in the same way that the ones where I happen to judge myself in some way.

We all have a place inside where the view is clear. My goal is to ”clean the house”, my self and my baggage, in a way that I reach that place. On that spot, everything falls into place. When my seeing is clear, I’m free and I’m able to offer the gift of seeing. This is my goal, my longing. This is the core of what I aim for. That’s being connected to wisdom and love.

Self criticism and the way out of it.

I think we’ve a good reason for everything we do and I’v spent a lot of time to think upon self criticism and self blaming. What need are we trying to meet by engaging in that?

I think safety.

When I was young, my parents couldn’t meet my emotional needs.
I needed to feel safe and couldn’t afford my parents to be flawed in that way, so I draw the conclusion that it must be something wrong with me. My emotions and my need were the problem. If only I could get rid of them, then my parents would be able to care for me. And when it turned out not to be enough, I tried other strategies to become safe. The self criticism let my parents stay good and that gave me some security and also hope. If I only…then I would be safe. Then I’d get the care I needed.

I tried perfectionism, to never fail, to get rid of my needs even more by not eating, to be a very attentive listener, to never abandon, to start to feel and communicate my feelings and needs, to try to not show myself, to try to show myself…but nothing ever worked, because it was never about me.

The self blame was my strategy for safety. When I realized that, I could start to consciously look for other ways to meet my need for safety. When I understood that I was trying to meet different needs by self criticism, I could also see that it didn’t work. It did no longer make me feel safe. It just made me sad and miserable.

The problem was never me. Even today my first reaction sometimes is that I’ve done something wrong if I don’t get emotional connection to someone I like or love. Then I know I need to look for my needs and that the other person might me hurting in some way. I better ask than jump to conclusions. So I ask. That’s helpful. That’s vulnerable. It’s my way.

It feels vulnerable to receive

I’ve noticed that giving is easier than receiving for me, and also for a lot of other people.
I feel inspired to start valuing giving and receiving equal.
I can see why receiving is harder: it’s vulnerable trust myself being worthy of receiving.
To trust being worthy of the other person’s attention, kindness, care and love, is vulnerable.
To trust being worthy of it, not because I was first giving a lot – that would be an exchange of love, attention and concern and that’s just fine – but because the other person wants to contribute in my life. To trust this without an underlying, half conscious feeling of guild or fear of disconnection…

I want to trust the other person’s willingness to be there with me. I want to receive without being prepared for losing the contact or feeling unworthy of that abundant kindness. This will be my practice and it’s all about vulnerable trust.

I love giving and when I do, I do it out of a willingness to contribute. Out of love. But maybe there’s also a string of something more. A fear of doing wrong if I don’t. A fear of disconnection. A fear of not being worthy of love and connection from the other person if I’m not giving. Giving comes naturally for me. I love giving. I just want to examine if there’s something in my giving that I hope to be a protection from being unworthy of receiving. I don’t know if this is the case sometimes, I just wonder.
In some way, giving might be a strategy to secure the need of connection, value and love.
Do the other person feel this? Do I feel this in the other person?
How can we both find a deeper trust in the receiving trustfully and giving without and other expectation than the joy of contributing?

To practice to receive is about trust; trust in our own value and worthiness of love and connection. I practice by being aware of this. I feel the tension in my body and I try to consciously relax and just enjoy the other person’s company.

The other might enjoy giving to me. I’ll trust the process, aware of my need for connection and embracing it.

What’s it like for you?



The inner wisdom, the Essence.

Our feelings and needs are important ways to connect to ourselves and others.
Being connected to the needs makes us aware and able to provide ourselves with what we need to have a good life. But the needs have deeper roots.
There is something beyond the needs, or, the needs are signals from an even deeper voice inside. The Inner Wisdom, our most true self, the one we deepest are, is always there. It gives us an innate ability to know what we need, what is true, what to do, where to go and who to meet. It’s our most reliable guide.

This essence reacts if we listen to it or not.
We have this essence, or, we are this essence. It lives in us and is always relating to us; to the acting, decision making part of us.

It sends signals when we don’t listen. Our energy and creativity get blocked, the body and soul close down, the body gets tense, locked in, we become disconnected. It feels uncomfortable. We can get anguish or have panic attacks, we can get low and depressed. It can make us disoriented, confused and far away from who we really are.

When we judge ourselves, we have forgotten to listen for this voice. We’re disconnected. When we criticize ourselves, we do that instead of trusting and listening for this inner guidance.
This guidance is always there, trying to reach us through feelings and needs, through intuitive knowing, through ideas, people we meet, sensations etc.
It’s also always loving us unconditionally, wanting us to receive this love.

This essence…can we even describe it in words? This is just a poor attempt. How would you describe it? Please, tell me!


Self criticism and the needs behind.

The most common hindrance for freedom, inner peace, creativity, connection, love, productivity, space etc is self criticism. I see it again and again in my clients and self criticism dragged me down for many years. But not anymore.

I believe that self criticism is best cured by empathic understanding of the needs behind the judgement.

Early in life, we needed safety. Maybe it was more safe to judge our selves as wrong in some way than to see that our caregivers weren’t able to meet our emotional needs. Maybe thinking of ourselves as wrong in some way was a way to get the need for safety met, because if the problem was our caregiver’s lack of capacity to provide us with that on an emotional level, that would have felt too unsafe.
Maybe we instead try to compensate for these flaws we think we have, in all sorts of ways. By over achieving, by helping everyone but ourselves, by always being right, by being intellectually superficial, by being special, by being loyal and just like everyone else, by only focusing on the positive and avoid pain, by adjusting to others so much that we loos ourselves or similar.
And if we fail, self criticism is a strategy to meet the need for safety.
Or the need for worthiness, value, love, connection, meaning and community.

There’s always a good reason for whatever we do, think or say. There is a need. Even by judging ourselves, we’re just trying to meet an important need. If we can find that need, we can start to provide ourselves with understanding instead of judgement. We connect deep and when we connect to the need, we do no longer need to judge ourselves. We don’t need to “stop” being self critical, we just need to focus on the need and accept whatever need we find.