The Vulnerable Self

Many of our ancestors were taught that emotions came last in the in the need for survival. The men went off to war, many of them terrified but they had to swallow their fear and vulnerability, disown it so they could keep up with the rest of the soldiers. The only time you knew when someone was vulnerable was late in the night hearing weeping that couldn’t be controlled.

The common phrase of “children should be seen and not heard” is a program that many of us are still struggling with that has been handed down unconsciously through the generations. Through many centuries emotions have been belittled and shunned mainly because people have not been taught how to deal with the feelings of grief, sadness, low self-worth and issues around abuse.

Anger is the protector of the vulnerable child and we see much more of that than we see the vulnerable self because it seems more powerful and less helpless. When we have shown the vulnerable self others have not dealt with it well at all and that just makes it more difficult to accept that part of us. Instead we shame it.

As a sensitive person I have often attracted people in my life that have issues with being what they term as ‘weak’. They are uncomfortable with vulnerability and they are out of their depth when it comes to support. They try to fix it, change the subject, give a fluffy response or minimize its importance.

To connect with someone who validates your vulnerability is like finding a gem in a pile of rocks. For many of those who are highly sensitive, that’s not easy as most people are in denial of the depth of their vulnerability and to be honest they feel helpless in this regard most of the time.

I have had moments of acute vulnerability when at one time the person was so uncomfortable with the feelings that were arising they actually told me to ‘shut up’. I had only said one sentence regarding the death of someone close that I was missing and the knife was stuck in. The person that stuck the knife in was clearly not managing the vulnerable feelings that were arising and my guess is that’s what they were doing to their own emotions when they came up, but because I was close by its easier to deal with it by pushing it out than by looking within. At the time I did not understand and retreated hurt and wounded, but now I see more clearly. I see that part of what I am doing in their life is to display the vulnerability they have disowned and in turn they display to me the disowned part that doesn’t want to deal with emotions at all.

Many of us grew up having our deep feelings dismissed. It seems that we could share happiness, adventure, accomplishments etc but when it came to the shadow side of emotions….well that was uncomfortable for many of our parents.

Those of us who walk a highly sensitive path tend to identify with the suffering of humanity so deeply that it’s important to have tools to separate ourselves from the collective pain.

I myself was not made to avoid my emotions. I have tried believe me! It’s just who I am, I am a very vulnerable sensitive soul, however within that I can see the gifts.

In my counselling/journey work I tend to attract people who are very vulnerable and have a hard time walking ‘with‘ society in general. The majority of clients have never had their vulnerability validated, which to me is so sad. They are not young people either.

To feel safe to be vulnerable is so important. The majority of the time I am able to provide that space but being human I fall over as well and need to walk within for sometime to nurture that vulnerable child inside myself.

One of the greatest healing balms is the communication and relationship to our inner child. Our parents or elders did the best they could with what they were shown, but the best guide for the spirit of your inner child is you.  YES, YOU!

When you start working with your inner child, you can find comfort and nurturing from within. Often when we feel really vulnerable we reach out to people for validation and comfort. Some folk have no one they feel that safe with and there are times also when you think that friend is up for being there for you, but it turns out that they were unable for whatever reason. This is part of the lesson.

So when that occurs what we can do, is go within

  • You can use the shaman’s tree and go down inside through a doorway and create a lovely space where you can connect with your inner child. Don’t be put off if you go down there and your child is grumpy or needy or aloof….these are refection’s of your own feelings. Listen to what your inner child says, feel and trust what you hear. This can be a way of understanding the child’s needs. The child may like you to lighten up, play more, listen, listen and validate how the child feels. Don’t get caught up in “this is only my imagination”. Allow your inner child some time to be heard. Come back the same way you went in and say a little prayer of gratitude when you finish.
  • Write in your journal from you inner child’s point of view. Give it a try. Don’t criticise it, don’t try to make it sound good. Write from the inner child’s perspective, let the child in you speak and be heard no holes barred.
  • Light a candle and sit in meditation. Relax your breath. See your inner child sitting on your lap and meditating with you. If your child is scared, talk to them, validate their feelings, tell them you want to do all you can to look after them and listen to their needs.

Being vulnerable is a gift and owning your vulnerability assists you in being your own self-nurturer as others may not be able to be relied on depending on the lesson that you are learning in this life. So if you can feed and nurture your own inner child then you will feel a fullness that no other person can bring in those times of acute vulnerability.

Because I identity with lost children, when I go into my sanctuary I have aspects of many children that have been disowned from other people who hang in my sanctuary till they are called back home. This is not a burden I carry, as they are free and happy to come and go as they please —- my sanctuary has no limitations and is well looked after by my medicine kin. The child that I lost in miscarriage lives there also and works as a helper too all of them.

I often wondered why I did not become a mother in this life and in my training saw many other lives where I gave birth to babies into death or they were ripped away from me and killed. I do understand now that I was given a break in this life and my work in spirit is much like being a midwife to those who have lost their inner child through abuse and trauma. I feel honoured as a spiritual midwife to assist in bringing the inner child home to its rightful place.

When you see that your vulnerability is your inner child crying or screaming for attention then turn inward and start LISTENING. All the child wants is to feel safe, heard and validated.

Embrace your vulnerable self, as that’s where the truth of your wound lies. Embrace and nurture that child and HAVE SOME FUN!!



10 thoughts on “The Vulnerable Self

  1. Another good one, Odette – and just in time for Christmas, when I’m sure many people will have a hard time dealng with the feelings that the season raises in them – women particularly, who are supposed to perform so well and give so much regardless of how they’re feeling personally.
    Blessings, Danielle

  2. Bridgeing this gap to the inner Child takes courage, it is one of the most compassionate journeys one can take to reach the vulnerable parts of yourself that only you can find. The support of a spiritual midwife such as Odette is sometimes all we need to transition through the dark night of our fears and vulnerability,to birth our strengths, our medicine and hold our inner child in our arms, close to our hearts where they belong.
    Love and Blessings Odette. xx

  3. I am curious about the source of the drawing of the child with its head on its arms. I was googling for an illustration for an article about teaching meditation to vulnerable communities and it popped up. If it is yours, could I use it for this purpose, with a credit? I’m afraid I have no budget to offer you money.

  4. You wrote: “To connect with someone who validates your vulnerability is like finding a gem in a pile of rocks. For many of those who are highly sensitive, that’s not easy as most people are in denial of the depth of their vulnerability and to be honest they feel helpless in this regard most of the time.”

    One of the things that I most appreciate about having found your journal here Odette, is validation. I’m not too different from you in terms of having always been a deeply vulnerable and sensitive person. Even when I employed the usage of alcohol and other drugs, food and did long stints of either celibacy (aka frigidity) or promiscuity etc – I was still so freaking vulnerable and raw. I did so many things to seek attention – to seek help, and was continually met with others denial and much worse things.

    This often led me to reroute and I’d find another form of survival to attempt to escape into ie depression and other forms of mental unwellness to try and hide the distress I was constantly in.

    And then somewhere along the line – unsure when, a few years now though, I decided enough is enough and I decided to fly solo. No friends. No family. I’ve had the odd cat and other wonderful animal along the way however in terms of people – nah. And I went within. Deep deep deep within. LOL – so far within, that I ended up needing assistance to get back out! So, now I’m back out and have been going from strength to strength, particularly within the last 4 years when I finally gave myself permission to leave behind everybody elses opinions about what “was good for me” and went and lived rural.

    I get to choose now. I get to choose who I want in my inner and outer lives. I get to choose when I want to engage with people and when I do not. I get to choose when I want to walk around the paddocks (and now I have a head torch thing I rock!). I get to watch Rā come up over the hills when I want to. I get to watch the current ice and frosts melt as Rā comes up and I get to watch the frosts drip as they melt away from the tops of trees and roofs.

    I get to choose when I want to get up and start my day. I am no longer controlled by neighbours due to my hours. I am no longer controlled by messages that I’ve been bombarded with my entire life regarding how important it is to be social etc. I get to choose now, when I want to be around people and when I do not. I get to choose what I want to spend my money on and what I do not. I rarely listen to anyone elses stuff any more. And, I’m okay with having very little respect for most people who come into contact with me.

    I am gutsy and worthy.
    I am upset and vulnerable.
    I am fucking amazing.

    And I always have been.

    I couldn’t see it – nor could I allow myself to be it, or to know it, because I was so bribed and drugged on other peoples needs and wants and requirements and desires and opinions and … and …. and … It took yet another sexually violent ‘relationship’ to get me moving in the direction(s) that I wanted to move in. Directions that near everyone I’ve ever known has guffed at me about, or felt it necessary for me to know “there’s no money to be made in assisting others to wellness” etc.

    There’s so much I’ve wanted to do with my life. So much. And I’m now giving myself permission to damn well do it. I’ve been gradually buying instruments to assist me in assisting others who respond to frequencies deep within their beings that will allow certain blockages to shift etc. I have a wealth of information from lived experiences from the inner and outer worlds I’ve walked in. I no longer want to waste my time anymore.

    My theme for this year was Self Actualisation. Doing it.

    So, in bringing this kōrero full circle … just thanks Odette. Thanks for your journey sharing. Thanks, so much.

    • You are most welcome. And thank YOU for sharing your honesty and your heart. Indeed it is a bumbpy journey to finding what resonates with us individually and others can cloud that without knowing it. Blessings on your journey. May it take your into richer heart experiences. Odette

  5. My god Odette! You are so amazing! This has touch a nerve deep into my soul, thank you. My mom’s name is also Odette.

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