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September 7, 2017

“Intelligence is Sexy,” but Vulnerability? Not so Much.

When life is dirty, dark, and stagnant, deep reflection can reveal many things, but “reflecting” is usually the last thing we want to do.

We feel lowly, unsafe, and vulnerable, and in this state-of-mind, I don’t ever remember feeling “sexy” about it.

But it never ceases to amaze me when I look back at a nasty moment and the way I crafted my words via my thoughts, and how all the consequences that followed were like steel rain.

And I know better, I do. I know how to change the dialogue in my mind to the “right” words, and I know it is more than a concept—yet being a human is difficult sometimes and that damn ego can get in the way.

This is not about denying our emotions, or our feelings, or our secrets that lay quietly in the background; it is about utilizing the power of the construct of language and feeling each and every word to the core. Within each and every “desire” is a backstory of our truth—so how we tell that story is a game changer.

Looking at “Vulnerable.”

“The beginning of wisdom is the definition of terms.” ~ Socrates

vul·ner·a·ble
ˈvəln(ə)rəb(ə)l/
adjective
1. susceptible to physical or emotional attack or harm.
“we were in a vulnerable position”
synonyms:
helpless, defenseless,  powerless, impotent, weak,  susceptible

“Vulnerability is sexy,” is it? I see that meme a lot, but (for me) it doesn’t resonate. To acknowledge our weaknesses is, of course, admirable, yet to avow “I am weak” as a mantra, is less than empowering—and I believe it does a lot of harm.

Respectively, I have great honor for opening up, but I struggle with the popular use of certain buzz words. I just can’t align, because “vulnerable” is not a description of our softness. It has a negative connotation, where softness is positive. And while it may be very subtle, there is a difference.

Our words are alive.

There was, however, a time when “badass,” “vulnerable,” “wicked,” and so on, were (in fact) sort of sexy and cool to me, until I really listened to my heart and something clicked. It was a realization that my world is a direct result of the verbiage that I choose. I noticed the rhythm, the dance, and how it was actually using me in an unhealthy way.

So, in this new light, in my practice, and facing the things that have created a lot of pain, new “words” brought strength to a once saddened and insecure place in my being. I noticed a huge contrast between softening and being open to harm (vulnerable). I figured out how I could defend an expanding heart with the power of gentle thoughts and vocabulary and how not to fall prey to the trap of vulnerability and being susceptible.

The way it looked, was this: awareness will set the mind aflame. We can create a boundary (with positivity) that cannot be crossed by negativity—and, at the same time, we can get a deeper understanding of inner pain. Some will argue with this, but language, as we all know, is very strong—and making distinctions in the heart and mind changes the view completely. Not unicorns and rainbows, but thoughtful, mindful powerful words.

“Without knowing the force of words, it is impossible to know more.” ~ Confucius

Meaning, how we position ourselves with our words is worth reflecting on. So, while I get the edginess of many popular expressions, there is a sharp side to using them that can, and will, cut us, and those cuts will draw blood. Our mindset also sets the stage for every moment to come. If we keep using demeaning language, we end up weighing ourselves down and these phrases that come in from the depths of the random mind…are dangerous. This is where unreal lies are born, and by retelling and restating things that we either don’t mean and or don’t really understand, this is where we create our reality.

The core—the heart-center), the belly—is where hard conversations inside-out can diffuse a lot of unwanted outcomes. “Listen to your gut” and pause; it is a life-saver. If we just think before we speak, and think about how we really want to be seen and heard (internally and externally), we change the conversation and ignite a cleaner story.

Words matter.

So, the next time the world has collapsed around your heart, retrace a few steps—a few thoughts—and it is likely you will find the misalignment. In this space, we are softened (sometimes mad, sometimes sad), but once a pattern unfolds, it is our option to go with it, or change it up. Don’t give away your power with unuseful thoughts and words.

This is the beauty of our intelligent mind: we have options—one way or the other it will drive us home or drive us crazy, but we won’t be sexed up in vulnerability.

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Author: Debora Lynn Laughlin 
Image: Flickr/Sarah Ann Loreth
Editor: Travis May
Copy Editor: Nicole Cameron
Social Editor: Nicole Cameron

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