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By Penelope Andrade

July 1, 2010 (San Diego) -- Are you scared to be vulnerable? For many the v word (vulnerability) strikes fear in the façade of stylish imperviousness.

Vulnerability is avoided at all costs as too wimpy, too childish, too dangerous. The problem is that vulnerability is a prerequisite for giving and receiving love, for physical and emotional health as well as for great sex. The challenge is to find a way to stay strong while allowing vulnerability to flourish.
Here’s the tip. Focus on finding genuine strength. Feeling emotions is a fast way to do that. Watch sad, mad, scared feelings come and watch them go. Notice how quickly your body feels good again. This is relief you can count on. You can always find respite in awareness no matter what is happening.

Next, ask inside if you’re ready to let down defenses. If yes, be tender. You’ve built a fortress and it won’t come down in a day. Pick a loving person—someone you know cares for you. Let them know they matter to you. Just that. Breathe. Look into their eyes, if only for a moment. Notice the healing energy flowing between you. Welcome any tears—they’re the oil of your heart. Allow any trembling—this is just energy dismantling barriers. Feel your life force coursing within. It’s all good. And it’s safe. Finally, place a hand on your heart and acknowledge silently or aloud, “I am strong enough to be vulnerable.” ©

Penelope Young Andrade LCSW is a licensed psychotherapist with over 35 years experience integrating the best of traditional and alternative approaches for bodymind transformation. 858-481-5752

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