As humankind moves slowly and unwillingly toward becoming more sensitive and compassionate, more of our damaged softer sides will be coming to the surface to be healed and integrated.

No doubt we will still be dealing with the cultural pressure to toughen up, quit whining, and make up our mind, for quite some time.

What is changing, though, is that it is no longer a solution to deny or suppress everything that the tribe rejects.

The parts of us that feel unsafe, unseen, or damaged are less and less likely to allow themselves to be ignored anymore.

They will create speed bumps and potholes and downed power lines in your path until you decide they are important enough to risk disrupting the status quo.

The difficulty is they will often look like life problems: difficult transitions in your career, not feeling understood by your partner, fear around money, an increase or intensification of negative habits and patterns, and plain old “feeling bad about yourself.”

These can all be areas where the wounded and abandoned self tries to get your attention. That’s if you can see through the disguise, which can be used to hide things from ourselves, as well as others.

It’s rare that we expose ourselves directly to something we have been trained, overtly or covertly, to disown or even despise. Instead we overcompensate, blame circumstances or other people, or form a blind spot to protect against painful exposure.

You might adopt a cool or detached affect to mask your vulnerability…

Or develop an aggressive, “always hustling” persona to call attention away from the fear that you are stupid and can’t compete otherwise…

Or surround yourself with people who fail you to explain why things aren’t going as well as they should…

Or set impossibly high standards for others to avoid their rejection…

Or pour all your energy into appearing happy and successful because you feel impossibly far away from either…

There is a primal assumption that exposing what appears to be weakness, even to ourselves, is exposing us to danger and destruction. And for a long time, there was a lot of truth to that.

But little by little we are moving toward being our own biggest obstacle, and having to recognize that hiding vulnerability from self might be the highest hurdle we face.

So, not only do we need to expand our willingness and ability to be vulnerable, we also need to improve our ability to identify where we hide our vulnerability.

Next time I will talk about one of the core vulnerabilities for most people and the best place to look for it.

If your spirit is prompting you to have a conversation about reintegrating your vulnerability, I encourage you to consider working with me.

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