How do you handle the feeling of vulnerability?
Stand up and open your arms wide as if you were about to hug your favorite person in the whole world. Feel that feeling as you stand with open arms. That’s the feeling of vulnerability.
Vulnerability is the feeling of love. You express love with your hands and arms. When you are comfortable with vulnerability you keep your arms and hands open and express love no matter what is going on around you.
When you are afraid of vulnerability you clench your hands and cross your arms in front of your chest, protecting yourself from love. That reaction is an expression of fear, the opposite of love.
Do this and love
This week’s Ageless Movement Practice is all about opening and strengthening your love expression. Your arms and hands will open and grow strong. You will express love freely!
You can do this! Stand again and roll your inner arms out, squeeze your scapula together creating back cleavage. Breathe in and out of your open heart and feel love flowing through your arms and hands.
Keep your heart open as I spill out
I used to be closed down to love. My childhood was spent taking care of my bipolar mother. My experiences with her were less than love. By eighteen, I was hunched over, closed fisted, and kept my arms clamped across my chest. My shoulders came up to my ears and I wanted to be as far away from my mother as physically possible.
I looked old, felt weary, was unhappy, and blamed mother. She took love from me and gave little back. I often thought if my mother didn’t exist I’d be happy.
I know that seems super harsh. To help you understand I’m going to tell you one of many stories of my mother’s inability to love and care for me.
I fell in love
At the young age of fifteen as a freshman in high school, I fell in love, bonafide head over heels. The object of my love was an eighteen year old senior in my high school. And not any senior but the guy that all the girls wanted and chased after. I remember to this day how gorgeous he was. He had shoulder length hair, a super fit athletic body and one of those faces that would be in GQ.
Being a lowly freshman I never thought he’d notice me. He was dating the hottest cheerleader in his senior class. But somehow he did see me and fell head over heels in love with me. He broke up with his girlfriend, dated me, and soon I was wearing his senior ring.
I was on cloud nine. It felt like I was floating and I was the envy of all the high school girls. I couldn’t believe my good fortune — until my mother ruined it all for me.
One evening I invited my super hot boyfriend over to my house. All I remember is my boyfriend and I sitting on the living room couch snuggling and talking sweetly to one another when my boyfriend’s entire body stiffened.
I looked into his eyes. He was looking over my shoulder wide eyed.
Slowly with a sinking heart I turned my head and saw my mother standing stark naked a few feet from us. My heart collapsed into my belly with hot burning shame spreading throughout my entire system.
I don’t recall what happened next or how we got out of that horrible situation but I do know that I was gone. It wasn’t my boyfriend’s fault in any way but I broke up with him because I was ashamed and angry. I no longer felt his love or joy in our relationship.
I felt dirty and vowed never to love anyone again. Pictures of me from back then show me slouching with a scowl on my face. I didn’t want to ever be vulnerable again and have my mother take away my love.
Love became a battle field
As you can imagine love became a battle field for me. If someone loved me, I’d do what I could to destroy their love. This battle consumed me and I didn’t trust anyone or anything, I was shut down and mad.
In adulthood I spent years in talk therapy working on my issue and made some progress. There were many relationships and a couple of marriages with me in various stages of shut down and armored against the feeling of vulnerability.
As the flow of life happens, I fell in love again. Really in love. Head over heels just like I was a teenager again. The sad part is that I didn’t know how to open up and love. All I knew was how to shut down or do battle. I lost my love. That loss was so painful I decided to focus on my life’s challenge. I began loving myself daily with a movement practice to open my arms, hands and heart.
I also sought the counsel of a wise man who specialized in intimate love relationships. My love injuries are scabbing over. I’m practicing vulnerability and attempting intimate relationship with a former partner who never stopped loving me despite my love challenges.
I don’t know the end of the story but I do feel much better. My heart is more open and I’m happier.
A gift of love
My left hand gifts you this Ageless Body Note From Your Heart
We are your arms and hands. We want you to know that we are here for you to express love. That’s our sole purpose. Every movement you make, project you take on, painting you create, word you write, food you prepare is an expression of love. Our favorite expression is flinging our arms wide open and letting love in.
Your left arm and hand is your love receiver. It’s how you let love in. When you shut down and armor against receiving love we give you pain in your left hand, fingers, wrist, elbow or shoulder. That’s our way of saying open up and let the love flow in.
Your right arm and hand is your love giver. Its purpose is to express love to others. When you close down, stop giving love, clamp your right arm against your side and clench your fist, we give your right hand, fingers, wrist, elbow or shoulder — pain. We want you to shake off your hurtful love experiences and give love again.
You are pure essence of love. Everyone around you is love. Some have forgotten or are ill and can’t show you love. Be strong. Open and strengthen your hands and arms and you will experience love.
I’m giving you a big heart hug right now. Feel it??
I love you!
Your hands and arms (via Michelle Andrie)