• Nadja Eriksson

Why your vulnerability is gold

Updated: Jul 24, 2019

Are you judging yourself or feeling ashamed of darker thoughts and emotions? These so-called "negative" feelings can sometimes be hard to accept. I used to beat myself up over them, until I realised this:

We don't consciously create our thoughts, fears or desires; they just bubble up as part of our emotional makeup, the blueprint with which we came into our earthly selves. Thoughts just arise, and we cannot ever stop them. Not even the Dalai Lama. (Okay, maybe if he meditated for a year on a mountaintop; but he’s got better things to do with his time, like teaching people about the importance of altruism.) So instead of blaming ourselves for all these 60.000 (mostly repetitive and negative) thoughts going around in our heads from morning to night, we could at least try to accept them and be compassionate towards ourselves for not being holier than holy. That is self-love, in my opinion.

Especially in intimate relationships, there's a tendency in many of us to avoid exposing our hearts and being vulnerable with our shadowy emotions. We resist sharing what's really going on out of fear that our lovers might reject us if we fully showed ourselves, warts and all. So instead of going vulnerable by expressing what we're really feeling and thinking, we often add second layer of emotion on top of the initial experience. Instead of just being honest with our little primal hiccups, we lie and pretend they're not there. This may feel more secure in the short term, but it creates energetic walls and emotional separation between you and your lover. If they’re sensitive, they can feel that you’re not true, and they’d start trusting you less.

Here's a personal example from my own experience: this morning, my beloved and I were discussing our plans for the rest of the year. He spoke about going to Europe (we lived in NYC at the time) to do a weeklong massage training intensive to deepen his skills as a bodyworker. In a split second, my mind was making up horror stories of how he’d stay with some hot Dutch girl and do God-knows what over there. Totally irrational, but obviously some deep trauma that got triggered in my emotional system from a past, less-than-ideal relationship. My throat and chest clenched in fear as my mind went on red-alert.

This is where I had a choice. I could either ignore the fear and just smile and pretend (somehow, women have the strange ability to smile in your face and say everything is fine even though they’re hurting inside), or I could be 100% honest with my man and tell him what was really going on. Like, going really fucking vulnerable and actually showing him that my emotional system was in a panicky state.

I chose the latter. But not without some initial resistance. (Taking decisions can be so hard sometimes, even about the smallest of things. Anyone can relate?) So why did I have such a hard time being so honest about my fears? Because I felt ashamed of them! I told myself I'm not supposed to feel scared, that I should be over this old relationship trauma, and that I certainly should not tell him about my irrational fears, since this would turn him off. Men hate drama. Right?

Wrong! So many shoulds and assumptions! Thank God I did the opposite of what my inner censor was trying to have me do. Our subconscious can create so much unnecessary suffering if we’re not aware of it running the show. But hey, we've been there before, and a deeper, wiser part of me (my Big She) knows that these stories aren't true.

In my heart of hearts, I know that my man loves me, and he loves to hear me express my true feelings, fears and worries. He wants to see and feel all of me. He knows I struggle with anxiety, and he wants to help me grow beyond that. He doesn't like to see me in drama (which is where I go when I don’t share!), but he loves it when I simply confess what's really going on. This way, he can understand me better, help me to relax and snap out of the unnecessary mind-suffering.

So 30 seconds after I'd first escape the room, I stopped myself. I saw what I was doing (acting tough and shutting down to protect myself), and chose to do the opposite. To act from love instead of fear. I went back inside and confessed my stuff. After I had shared, he just smiled, lovingly pressing my body close to his. He held me and whispered that he'd never do anything that would hurt me.

His unbridled expression of unconditional love cracked me open. Tears started streaming down my face as my heart softened. After a minute or so of just being in this silent space of heart connection, he looked at me with a cheeky grin. "Honer achieved," he joked. Honer is not a real word. It's a term we made up for boners that come from the love of the heart, not the horniness of the sex.

Yes, it’s a thing! I witnessed this not only in my own relationship, but also during coaching sessions with couples. In one session, the woman was in deep emotional pain, because her man had a persistent pattern of emotional avoidance. I encouraged her to fully express that pain through her body. After some encouragement, she fully showed herself without holding anything back. She bravely let her body expose what her mind had tried to control so diligently.

At first he was baffled and didn't know what to do. Yet all she needed from him was to be held and to feel his undivided presence as she embodied her pain for him to witness. The more I encouraged him to feel her, the more he could support her by holding space. She unraveled deeper and deeper layers of heart protection, until she was completely open, naked and vulnerable.

The polarity between them skyrocketed and he soon had a huge honer, as he later shared with me. I had to bring their awareness back to the session, since they had totally forgotten about my presence in their rush of excitement. After we discussed what had happened, they were deeply grateful for this experience of love and openness, which they intended to continue practicing in the coming weeks.

Clearly, there's a strong correlation between vulnerability and sexual attraction. In one of his talks (sorry David, I couldn't find which one anymore), David Deida explains it as follows:

“It is the feminine opening that is so attractive to the masculine. A woman (or feminine man) who is closed down isn't so attractive, but a woman who's vulnerable while opening up can melt a man's (or woman's) heart in an instant.” (And make his cock rock-hard at the same time. Or wet her pussy.)

Vulnerability is the fearless opening of body, mind and spirit. The more we dare to go vulnerable by honestly expressing our true thoughts and feelings (instead of cowardly covering them up by acting tough), the more we're opening up to true intimacy, passion and trust. A great sex life and deeper intimate communion are beautiful by-products of this courageous practice.

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© Nadja Eriksson 2012-2020