Recently I went on an intense journey in playing with my own personal boundaries. This experience had nothing to do with BDSM or my power exchange relationship but it left me with the a motivated introspection of what it means to be vulnerable and how my sense of submission plays into that.
Vulnerability for me has always surfaced instinctual reactions of feeling exposed, uncomfortable and at times weak which is not unlike the same feelings I get when I am physically or mentally submitting to my Husband. While it is not my general opinion to think of being submissive as being weak, it was a nuisance to me to realise that my perception of vulnerability was awash with the feelings I associate with weakness.
I don’t spend a whole lot of time in a vulnerable space (for glorious reasons), so being as it was on the weekend of the Earth Yourself Retreat, which was facilitated by Nerida Mills, I got to spend an entire weekend like a jelly gloop. Sifting through some long hidden memories, experiences and home truths which as I have lived passed, and put in a box clearly labeled “dealt with and done” to never seemingly think much of again.
We all have skeletons, trauma and stories that shape and influence us. Some of us spend longer with those things weighing down on us. For me, my perception was that I had happily accepted those facts of my past and gently chose not to spend my days letting it worry me too much. What I hadn’t realised, was that so much of how I view the world now was tainted by misguided perceptions and pain. The retreat facilitated the safe space I needed to get some of those demons out of the box, pull a part the bullshit from the truth and pack it back away with a new insight and attitude for moving forward.
Being vulnerable was not easy for me. There were times when it was so painful I thought my head was going to explode or I was going to pass out. The way resistance manifested physically in my body was a shock, with my head pounding and stomach churning to the brink of dry heaving I really just wanted to crawl into the fetal position and hide. I felt like an idiot at times, and I felt irrational too. Knowing that I was in a logically and physically stable environment with no actual danger to me, the anxiety attack that coursed through me was one of the worse I had ever experienced.
My time spent in deep introspection, pushed me to highlight some pretty serious body image issues which I have never denied knowledge of. I am open about the body image issues I carry with me, and have not yet found the way to confront the shit out of them. (THIS IS MY NEW TERRIFYING PERSONAL CHALLENGE.)
Spending three days in an incredibly vulnerable state taught me life changing skills in being able to bring vulnerability and sensitivity to the forefront, with out it having to mean that I would have to perceive this as weakness. As someone who doesn’t believe myself to sit in vulnerability very comfortably, I can now see where my reservations have made me unaccessible to the people I love and cherish.
Being vulnerable has long equated as a two sided coin for me, one of shame, exposure and weakness and the other of softness, sensitivity and care. If the coin just spins and balances in it’s infinity, then the application of vulnerability in theory, should never cause me grief. I had not been acknowledging those two sides of the coin in fear that I could only ever be the weaker side.
It is invaluable to know this is no longer a truth I manifest, even if I’m still in the baby stages of practicing being comfortable with my vulnerabilities.