Vulnerability is a strength, not a sign of weakness.
Vulnerability is not easy to achieve, I know myself it is painful, not just a little bit but immensely intense and it hurts. When we meet new people it can be easy to put up defences and block others out. Our authentic self or inner child has found ways to survive and is fundamentally terrified of getting hurt. If we are all honest with ourselves, rejection hurts like a bitch! I for one question my appearance and personality when shut out and need to go back to my tool box to build myself up again, understand this recovery can take time no matter how resilient you are.
Why does the fear of abandonment or rejection hit so hard? It’s not what you think, you are not weak and you are not alone in how you feel. Throughout history we depended on acceptance for survival, if we didn’t comply we could be ostracised from our villages or tribes. Isolation and ostracism fire up our amygdala, filling us with panic or anxiety, we can be convinced we won't survive. This is especially true for those abandoned as children, but we need to remember that we are able to survive and life is very different for us now.
It is likely that dogs are the only ones we trust with our authentic selves day to day, we are able to be vulnerable and open because they are non judgemental, non-intrusive and accept us for who we are unconditionally. But how do we let the right humans into our lives?
Just Me & My Dog gives you information on the things you need to look for and helps you understand who to trust. Learn how to give yourself the same compassion we give to them.
How we perceive our dogs and their vulnerability is not dissimilar to how we should view our inner child.
Both need a fundamental feeling of safety
Both need reassurance
Both need to be given the skills to build resilience and confidence
Both want to be chosen, loved and accepted
The funny thing is we don’t just hand over our dog to just anyone, we understand that their vulnerability is part of them, it’s not something we can just shut off. This means only people we trust implicitly are allowed into their space.
Yet when it comes to ourselves we are not always so careful and can often allow people in quite freely. Even if our inner child, battered and bruised from past trauma pulls the anxiety cord we can ignore them and push them down. Unlike dogs we have the cognitive skills that make our decision making and understanding more complex, we totally get the grey areas. We should choose our words with compassion and not be ready to shut down immediately.
You should absolutely take your time to slowly build trust overtime, BUT you can not form new relationships without being vulnerable, this is a strength not a weakness.
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