It seems that I have been conditioned to avoid feeling vulnerable. Wanting to avoid pain and shield myself from it seems to be natural learning—and, at the same time completely not possible, because in my habitual reaction to close, guard and protect myself against pain, I also block out the light that reflects from it. So there is a conditioned fear that arises as the boundaries that I have built around the heart to protect myself from feeling pain, discomfort, and hurt are threatened. The reaction to prop those boundaries is in fact a chain that keeps me tethered to it, disallowing feelings of the opposites—joy, love and passion.
If I am able to witness and be with this fear and the energy of self that it is arising out of , I am enabled to experience it in a different way, to realize a potential for opening to a deeper seeing. In this experience of opening there’s a seeing of the fear that is the stimulus for adopting this superficial and familiar pattern aimed at alleviating and stabilizing and in turn to be with the vulnerability in a more intimate way. To learn to share my weakness is to make myself vulnerable; to make myself vulnerable is to show strength.
In some ways, suffering is a result of being stuck in this traditional, habitual pattern of experiencing and fearful reaction to vulnerability. Only in embracing our true nature, at our deepest core level, as emotional, vulnerable, and feeling beings are we able to tap our resilient inner strength.