Dr. JOYLYN Maniaci
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by Dr. JOYLYN Maniaci

Vulnerability: Would You Be Willing to Change the World?

So, I haven't written a blog in over two weeks. My goal was, and still is, to have one to two a week. I've been stuck in a rut, feeling uninspired. Then I visited The Muse, that's my superhero friend, Rebecca Abraxas. She's awesome and everyone should have a friend like her. Anyway, we started talking about relationships (I'm getting married in 13 days! And she's been married for 10 years).  And we were talking about vulnerability as a necessary component of intimacy. This is a loaded topic, but I'm going to focus on the vulnerability piece. (Don't you love that the intro has almost nothing to do with the content? I'll write about perfection paralysis and how I'm practicing doing something different.)

Vulnerability has been bastardized in our common practice of the word. Vulnerability is the ability to open up and share with another something that is meaningful, at the risk of being ridiculed, rejected, or ostracized; to present in the raw form, without defense or barrier.  Though the necessity of this ability is recognized and even cited in relationship research, the actual behavior is not fully encouraged or modeled well in our culture. Much of what we are presented with is modeling for masking, protecting, and defending or a bastardization of it.

The risk of being ostracized for expressing low feelings or poor circumstances is far less than in times past, when it was expected to put on a happy face. But now we are becoming a culture of complainers, connecting by our levels of pain. It is so common to comment on, share, and complain about things that are going wrong or that we don't like. Now is that it actually takes an even greater leap of faith and testament of faith in friendship to be vulnerable enough to share our greatest joys.

Think about it, how many times have you kept something good to yourself in fear that whoever you were thinking to share it with would think it was stupid, question or belittle it, or even make you feel guilty for it? Have you had the experience of having your bubble burst for sharing something good that happened to you? Have you burst someone else's bubble because you were jealous that something good happened to someone else?  


I have. I've been deflated and I've taken the wind out of someone's sails. So, what is this madness? Why is it so hard to be genuinely happy and show it? Lack. The belief in lack; the scarcity mindset. It's pervasive and devastating. It will make us believe that we are not enough, that validation is required; if another disregards, rejects, disagrees, or in any way disses our "up" that we cannot or no longer have reason to keep ourselves up, confident in our experience. It will also lead us to be envious of another's joys--disappointed that it was not our own experience, distrusting that such a grand experience will not come to us, and unable to promote and support the bearer of glad tidings.

So now what? How do we break our addiction to talking about our problems? How do we change from connection over pain to connecting through joy? Well, it depends--are you willing to feel stupid? Because that is how it's probably going to feel when you first start to do  something out of habit, something that is different from what everyone else is doing. But what if that was a sign of vulnerability? What if that was a positive sign? What if feeling stupid was just the initial sensation that came up, but didn't last forever? What if feeling stupid was all it took to create a new possibility? Would you be willing?

Superheroes are willing. Superheroes are vulnerable because they are willing to do whatever is required to change what must for the survival and growth of consciousness. They allow themselves to be subject to criticism and ridicule and are able to hold fast to their knowing, their strength, their being, and in doing so, to participate in saving the world. 

Are you a superhero? Start your superhero training today: Reveal Your Inner Superhero by sharing something fun/good/positive and holding on to the light feeling of it, regardless of the response from anyone else. Be willing to look like a total fool by sharing your unabashed enthusiasm for life and all the things, big and little that you are grateful for. Delight in a friend's good fortune; trust that the universe is abundant and will provide a great experience in equal or greater measure. You might feel stupid at first, but you will actually be saving the world. 

Want to know more? Looking for some personalized, individual superhero training? Call me: 720-509-9659. I will answer the phone. 


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