Being vulnerable means you can no longer be manipulated for there is no place for criticism (anything) to stick. This is freedom.
– Byron Katie
This quote was used in on of the telecourses in The Work I attended this summer.
Here is my initial response on the course forum:
I notice I wonder about the word vulnerability.
When I explored it last week, I found that I feel vulnerable sometimes when I am caught up in a belief/fear. The Oxford Advanced Learner’s dictionary says “vulnerable – that can be hurt, harmed or attacked easily, esp because of being small or weak”. That’s how I sometimes feel when I am caught up in beliefs.
For me, what Katie refers to seems to be receptivity. I am not a native English speaker so that may explain my confusion.
Anyone has any reflections on this?
The word vulnerability can of course be understood in different ways. Katie, in her quote, may have used it to point to an experience of vulnerability when (a) certain beliefs (wounds, fears) are triggered in us and (b) we still stay relatively open and receptive, and that’s a helpful way of using the word.
At the same time, at least in my experience, it seems that vulnerability points to certain beliefs I have, beliefs that creates an experience of vulnerability, and this may also be a helpful way to look at it. When I feel vulnerable, what do I fear may happen?
The word vulnerability can of course be understood in different ways. Katie, in her quote, may have used it in a more informal way, meaning a sense or experience of vulnerability when certain beliefs are triggered in us and we still stay relatively open.