To come into this world is to be vulnerable. Vulnerable to pain, disease, hunger, anger, frustration, dissapointment, resentment, jealousy, fear, despair, and death. There’s no guarantee that any of us are going to make it through life unscathed. At any moment, we can lose our comfort, let down our guard, and have life turn on us quickly.
It’s not fair really. I was born into this world without an instruction manual. No sign posts to guide me to a safe path. I was born crying and hungry and much of my behavior today is to avoid having either of those emotions come back to me. There have been plenty of people and groups whose mission is to persuade and influence me to be part of their cause. Some promise riches, others promise being part of something special. Still others promise opportunity beyond this life. With so many voices speaking to me, I am vulnerable.
I’m vulnerable because in my mind, I don’t truly know what the consequences of each decision I make are going to be. As a baby, crying helped me get fed and so that methodology of approaching situations has carried on. If I want something, I simply find a way to get it immediately. There’s no thought that delaying the decision might make me more safe in the long run. Life often times is a battle to meet the needs of today and stay alive until tomorrow. The cycle repeats itself.
Somewhere along the way, I grew up from being a baby. Just a little though. I discovered I could think for myself and take care of my own needs. But I still have this instinct inside of me that feeling good meant someone taking care of me. This makes me vulnerable. Imagine after 11 years of marriage having a day where I’m particularly vulnerable because I don’t feel I’ve had my needs met. By chance or for some other reason, another woman takes care of that need and lends a listening ear. Vulnerability is created from the perception of lack of needs met.
My mind is boggled knowing that if I am vulnerable and can be influenced by events around me to find what is meeting my needs most, how is it for my family, my co-workers, and the human race? How much is really going on in each of our heads? What vulnerabilities are causing me to make irrational decisions and potentially harm other people? How many others are doing the same?
I don’t have an instruction manual yet. I think I have a rough draft of the first page done though. It’s to vigorously discover what my needs are and understand myself and those around me. It’s to take all my existing beliefs and assumptions and put them to the test every day. It’s to know that I am a vulnerable person. I’m vulnerable to someone meeting my needs. I’m vulnerable to food. When I’m frustrated or stressed, I eat and eat and eat.
Any one of us at any time can let our guard down and succumb to a vulnerability. Whether it’s to food, entertainment, or the enticement of another’s affection, the vulnerabilities are there. The only way I know to guard against them is to admit to myself they are there and they can affect me and to try to understand what makes it that way. In the Matrix, The Oracle is talking to Neo about decision making. Most of us know what we are going to do. It may very well be inevitable. The key is to understand why we made the decision. I believe it is that understanding that helps me know who I am and what makes up my soul. And in doing so, I understand a little bit more about you.
- Me Being Vulnerable
- Take As Long As It Takes
- Keep Your Standards High
- Get Strong First
- What Goes Through the Mind of Another