Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Vulnerable Isn't the End Goal


I realize I am about to potentially open up a can of worms here, but here goes nothing.  I was trying to find a way to express to my husband what it is like to feel, what up until today, I would call vulnerable. You know the way you feel when everything is 'right' in your D/s relationship and you feel you can just 'be'.  I thought I would look up the word for inspiration~ not because I don't know how it feels, but because I was looking for a less floral  willie way to say it.

Those who know me, know there are a few terms I don't relate to around 'here'.  Journey for example is one of them.  As I have said countless times journey conjures up a vision of a cat and two dogs travelling across the country trying to find their owners who 'forgot' them when they moved.


 For me ttwd is much more like an adventure. Some great friends, some scary times, and creatures that appear scary initially, but aren't in the long run.


  So I use adventure not journey.  ( Also not a fan of referring to my husband as my HoH or Dom, again that is just me)

It would appear now that vulnerable may make the list of words being booted out of my wheel house. As I said I looked up the word and the definition not the wide interpretation of the word, it wasn't something I could actually BRING to my husband.



Simple Definition of vulnerable

 easily hurt or harmed physically, mentally, or emotionally
 open to attack, harm, or damage


I am unsure how other men would interpret this, but I can tell you that at the beginning of ttwd my husband would NOT want to take me on an adventure if the description above was the destination for his wife.  I KNOW, I can hear you yelling at me now, " Yeah, but...."  Look, I am just sharing the actual definition.  Try and 'think like a man' ladies.  LOL.  How many times have you read or heard women ttwd relationships say " My husband is concerned I will become....(insert a version of this definition).

I know among ourselves here, as women and perhaps even husbands who have been able to concretely see/feel what we mean, understand a different ttwd-version of vulnerability.  ( I do agree, as I will talk about later that we have to be vulnerable to GET where we are going however).

DON"T yell at me.  I am not saying we are WRONG, I am actually trying to say, maybe a collective 'we' have been sending some conflicting messages by using the word vulnerable with the opposite sex.   When I approached Barney with my findings he admitted that when I first talked about vulnerability he couldn't understand why that would be a good thing.  He thought of it in a military way, like fortress that was susceptible to harm.  Over time through reading blogs and on forums, he understood what the collective 'we' meant, but it isn't his definition of vulnerability, again as the end result.

While clicking around on the internet, I came across invulnerability. Here is a definition given for this word
Incapable of being wounded, or of receiving injury; not vulnerable.
Unanswerable; irrefutable; unable to be damaged by an attack or convinced

  I will tell you when I am what I have previously stated in my most 'vulnerable state', I actually feel VERY content in my own skin, I am almost euphoric, and I feel very, very STRONG because of it.

I wrote recently about hair trigger emotions, and being vulnerable and the potential for hurt.  After reading and discussing today, I am beginning to think I was wrong about that.  The potential for hurt isn't IN what I used to refer to as my most vulnerable state, it happens as I am leaving it.  The fear of losing it has me reacting the way I do.  While I am what I refer to as "in the zone", " true to my core" , "in the bulls eye" or " squishey, squashy, cuddly with my husband"  I am Teflon Girl.  The little troubles of the world slide off me, rather than stick and burn.  Sure life and all her bipolar bitchiness throws stuff our way that has me moving from my core, but I am open and unguarded with my husband and others.  I am not defensive.  I don't look for 'monsters under the bed' that aren't there.  Bumps in the night are just that.  Even moving slightly away from my core, those things all have similar perspective.  What I am not though is a dictionary definition of vulnerable.  Because that definition has not one word of strength or contentment in it.

I now believe that we do have to spend a great deal of our time in a vulnerable state.  For myself I will say that when I am slightly away from my centre, core etc.. I have to be willing to be vulnerable again.  I have to 'put myself out there' with my husband.  I have discovered recently that even though we have reached this amazing level (for lack of a better term here) in D/s emotionally, there are still many many times where we encounter issues.  There are still times of miscommunication. These times occur when we stop communicating (or at least I do) about issues that I would have considered 'novice' Dder or D/s issues.  And while the steps are still similar,the emotions are deeper, and the situations surrounding are different. The new depths can echo old insecurities, just with a different spin. I think *maybe* because there aren't as many epiphanies as we go along or they aren't always as great, we tend to lose focus on the sharing aspect....again I am speaking for Barney and myself.



When we are where we want to be, there is no need to be vulnerable.  There is as I said this amazing euphoric state of being.  I am not worried about rejection, or his reaction, about getting hurt.  I feel an acceptance in my own skin. I am no longer vulnerable.  Maintaining that level of being is extremely difficult however, with life always seeming to have me inching away from my core.  Hence forcing me to be vulnerable again and not wall up.

I suppose the real question is, can you be vulnerable if there are no threats?  Take an orchid plant for example.  It is extremely vulnerable in many parts of the world.  However in a controlled environment, ie a greenhouse, is it really vulnerable?  If its needs are met adequately; water, sunlight, temperature, is it really at risk?  I don't think so.  It is at risk when someone opens the door and the outside world can make its way in, but if the caretaker is aware, adjusts the temperature, closes the door fast enough, squishes any pests that enter, the plant becomes no longer vulnerable again.


Maybe I 'lied' a bit.  There are times when I do fit this text book version of vulnerability since starting ttwd even in my euphoric, I am on the bulleye state.  There are times I am a bit afraid, more than I used to be.  Or rather more aware of it than I used to be.  I seek out my husband ( say in a crowded place) for comfort, and that little bit of vulnerability does make my heart flutter as much as it does my stomach turn.  Why?  because he can make it alright.  No one else can.  Sure I could be with any number of people who love me, but only he understands (as best he can) that I am anxious. He is my anchor in times like these.  That being said, those times don't define me.  Those times are outwardly, concrete and tangible signs of vulnerability that he can change.  Is it rewarding to him?  I'd imagine so, (swoon -my night in shining armour) but how rewarding would it be for him on a deeper level, if he felt he 'created' a dictionary version of a vulnerable wife?  Ttwd has forced me to face many of my fears.  Some of which I have been able to almost overcome, or at least quiet them a little. Other fears have been given a voice and therefore are out in the open more.  There is a potential for hurt there, but generally it doesn't surface.  So I am unsure if I could say I am text book vulnerable at that time.

I will say I allow myself to feel more.  I will say that has the potential for great hurt....potential.  It isn't a forgone conclusion though, for if I am standing on the bulls eye I have an ability to see 360 degrees, and that is a fantastic viewpoint to see all stories behind something/someone actions, words, motivation.  One sliver off of the bulls eye however and things do tend to alter the view a tad. And the longer I am off the centre, the more I drift away and the more the perception begins to alter.

One could argue that if your walls are down your unguarded self is open to attack.  I can't argue that.  Everyone is different. When we are where we desire to be, which as I said is not often, vulnerable is not what I feel.  I feel so utterly content.  I feel powerful (inner power) with the armour shed, because it is not needed.  I feel weightless. I feel strong.


 I do have to reenter my vulnerable state over and over again to regain what we desire. I therefore believe, at least in my case, that vulnerability is a necessary 'evil'-  A means to an end but NOT the end goal.
********
 Something  I have never done is ask what people think ( I just always assume people will share if they want to..meh guess not) but have been told by a couple of ladies, one bossy *cough* Susie *cough* one to ask " So what do you think? "  ( sheesh that still sounds lame to me...just sayin' )

27 comments:

  1. first, thank you for the invitation. second, this was a very deep post! LOL. i'm not sure how i feel about the word vulnerable. all my life i've stayed away from that very state. but i have realised I search it out with BIKSS - somehow it feels safest when i allow myself to be bare, emotionally i mean, maybe because I feel it is then that he can protect me... (does that make any sense?)

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  2. I think it makes perfect sense. I believe that many men, though not all, need to feel needed in order to be able to protect us. That need can be seen much easier for them when we are overtly vulnerable. When we show them our unguarded self, we prepare them for the ability to protect us, as well as give ourselves the opportunity to let someone protect us.

    For me taking that step into baring it all, can be scary. Not so much always because I believe Barney is going to reject me, but perhaps because I am afraid that I will be BACK in the vulnerable (feeling) stage longer than I want to be. It is a little difficult trying to explain that when we are where we (Barney and I) want to be, I am bare, and unguarded, yet don't FEEL vulnerable in the least.

    Happy you could return to my blog Fondles!

    willie

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    1. you know, now that i think about it (and as you can see it took a while for me to think about it) i don't think i let myself be vulnerable with other partners before (and it took a while for me with BIKSS too) because I'm afraid I'd be disappointed at their inability to to BE THE MAN. then i'd get frustrated or whatever and maybe think less of them. and perhaps i never wanted to take that risk.

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  3. This comment was posted on the Willie's World public blog. I asked Clara if I could paste it here so we could read/talk about it also...

    ClaraJuly 5, 2016 at 5:48 PM
    Think like a man....seriously Willie, my head might explode, lol. Okay we'll deal with that later. However Barney's thought of it being a fortress that was left susceptible would probably be closer to Luke's view too. In fact when we were discussing that unnamed feeling this weekend. He came to the idea that he was building a fortress around me. I had said I felt safe when I hit that feeling and that it was like being surrounded by a box. He saw that image as limiting and stifling. I had to continue to explain that the box was something he built that provided the space for me to let out my true feelings. He then saw it as a fortress that protected me and let me "expand" outside of myself but it is always safe because he is there to share it with me.

    I think you're on to something though. The getting there requires that we open ourselves up and that can cause fear and the possibility of being hurt. But once you're there what is the name of the feeling? You feel euphoric. I feel peaceful and quiet. My mind stops processing everything over and over. Someone else may describe their "space" completely different. The experience is as uniquely different as the way each of us does ttwd.

    I also wonder if it gets easier to stay in that feeling as the (adventure for you :)) journey continues? I believe I stay in that place longer and longer but just like you, I slip and need to be called back. That's a subject I know I need to explore more. You talk about facing fears. I had no idea ttwd would make me look inside so deeply. I think for me, it's sometimes hard to stay in the feeling because I have to accept myself before I can really accept that Luke accepts all of me. I would rather put on a mask and harden my heart so I don't have to deal with the parts I don't like. Who knew when you let down the rough edges people would respond with kindness and gentleness back.

    All this to say.....Yes, I agree vulnerability is not the goal. I agree we need to move through it to get to ??? Come on everybody. Let's find it's name.

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    Wilma RubbleJuly 5, 2016 at 6:15 PM
    I will comment further later but I will expand on my euphoric statement. I feel euphoric BECAUSE my mind has stopped ( NOT an easy thing for me) and I feel peaceful. As I said, I can just be. Perhaps I visualize calm waters after being in the storm and because I was able to make it through I equate that with feeling euphoric? I know for sure part of the reason I use that word is because I honestly never thought it was 'in me' to let go to that degree. I thought I hit my 'glass ceiling' 2 years ago. Boy was I wrong! I swear it is like a drug. The desire to return to those feelings is strong and addictive!!

    I just wish my husband could feel the depth of it as much as I do. I know he sees some of it, but perhaps not the unabridged freedom that comes with it...OMG now I am visualizing one of those tampon commercials with the girl running through the field of wild flowers. Sort of does feel like that though!

    So there...move through the vulnerability stage and right into a tampon commercial...LOL

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  4. Hi Willie my friend, how is the coffee this morning? Wow, great post and you really made me think, which is a good thing lol.

    Firstly, I won't start on the word 'journey'lol. Your reference to the Incredible Journey made me laugh.

    Very interesting comparison of the definitions of vulnerability and invulnerability. I'm not sure what the 'right'word should be in the ttwd context. I think most of our men wouldn't want vulnerability to be the goal for us, by definition and are possibly even put off by it. You are right in that it has its own meaning in the ttwd context which 'we' understand, well, sort of understand lol. I agree too that it's easier for our men to feel needed and to protect us (so to speak) when we are vulnerable.

    I think within vulnerability there is also strength. In ttwd we choose to be vulnerable to our partners, andI think that in itself takes strength.

    Love and hugs
    Roz

    PS Your blog seems to have disappeared from my blog list

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    1. Summertime here Roz the coffee hours now vary. Thank you for your kind words concerning my post. Funny how it is always the ones I think, " meh " that seem to resonate with some people. Guess I am a horrible judge!

      I wrote this post a couple of months ago actually. Well not in its current form, but a great deal of it. I then discussed it at great length with Barney. He still holds strong on the vulnerable not being an attractive word. Not that he doesn't like my fortress unguarded when he is concerned, just that he doesn't like the idea that I would believe myself to be capable of great hurt when I am with him, like the word suggests.

      As I said I truly believe we have to be willing to BE vulnerable or at the very least what 'we' perceive as vulnerable in order to get to 'the good stuff' *wink*.

      "I think within vulnerability there is also strength. In ttwd we choose to be vulnerable to our partners, and I think that in itself takes strength."

      I agree but with conditions! LOL. I think, as i said that in order to achieve our end goal we do have to let ourselves experience the feeling of vulnerability. It doesn't always mean we are actually vulnerable, but if we are a tiny afraid of being embarrassed by what we need to express, or afraid that we will be mocked, (even if it is just our insecurities and no longer the reality that makes us feel this way) and we carry on and express ourselves, let ourselves need etc..that is a HUGE strength. I believe it is staring vulnerability in the face and figuratively saying 'screw it" that is were the strength lies. ( As always this is opinion is based solely on my experiences and observations only).

      Love
      willie (I'm not willing to be vulnerable to hug!)

      What do you mean it was removed from your blog list? Private blogs aren't on blog rolls. Did you sign up for Willie's World. That will always show up there and tell you if I post here.

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    2. *where the damn strength is...not WERE...sheesh

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    3. perhaps "bare" or "open" is more accurate than "vulnerable"? those are the words i sometimes use when talking with BIKSS, cos yeah, vulnerable has a "negative" implication to me at least.

      and you're perfectly accurate about the strength. BIKSS taught me a while back that when I'm at my most submissive/available state, is when he recognises the power and strength I hold within me. *hurray for him understanding that*

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  5. I absolutely agree that vulnerability is not the end goal--not the negative kind (as understood by most men) and not even the positive kind that we women have come to understand. That said, there were times at the beginning of our journey (hehehe) when we used ttwd to help me get to a vulnerable place. That was short lived in the sense that once you begin to unearth your own soul and get to know yourself better, you are opened up to a much more vulnerable (the positive one) you than ever before. Once you've gone there, I don't think anything but total self denial will completely erase it. Hence our desire to be taken care of, the quest for wholeness and oneness with our spouse. The desire to be loved completely and wholly for WHO we are. Like you, in this kind of acceptance, I am crazy strong. I can go out and conquer the world feeling...lol...perhaps more secure than I ought to. More importantly, that strength is woven into my relationship now in a way that I couldn't have understood some years ago. It's not that it never wavers. In fact, that's part of why we continue to utilize the physical piece of ttwd. To get back to the strength which is found in the complete security of being one with my husband. So that's what I think. A new word needed that both genders instinctively get? Maybe and maybe not. Perhaps part of the process is having to explain it over and over till they get it and understand us. Perhaps it's part of what presses their protector button when they truly realize how content we are when we are in our happy place. I also think that in the act of ttwd itself they get to experience this positive vulnerability by watching us first, realizing their incredible responsibility for our hearts and in turn, it helps them begin to unearth their own needs. Maybe? Perhaps I'm overthinking it as usual. My husband might read this, laugh, nod and then offer a super insightful grunt.

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    1. Good grief woman, use the enter key to break up your thoughts would ya? I had to reread this 10 times.

      *smack* and that is not a kiss....that is for the JOURNEY word. Okay now that housekeeping has been looked after....on with the 'show'

      I agree that within the context of at least our relationship ttwd was a HUGE and continues to be a huge factor in bringing down walls. In our relationship the D/s aspect ie, me submitting to Barney's wishes, and I don't just mean sexually, I mean in aspects of our lives outside of the bedroom plays a larger and larger part for me to feel 'at peace'. When life throws curve balls, or heck even dust bunnies at me, the physical aspect of ttwd helps keep those walls at bay. I also agree that once you have been there, which ever depth you have so far encountered in your ADVENTURE, nothing can completely erase that feeling from you. I often try and remind women that they are never starting back at the beginning again. It is as if you have been imprinted.

      Where I start to differ on your line of thinking ( and of course you didn't believe I was going to just go along with you did you?) is new word part. I am not suggesting we require a new word, okay maybe I am. As you can see from the comments everyone has a different way of expressing their feelings IN that state, of course except YOU! LOL. I believe there isn't a catchall here. That being said vulnerable ISN'T even close! LOL.

      I also STRONGLY disagree that " Perhaps part of the process is having to explain it over and over till they get it and understand us" . Why (besides the fact that it bugs you and it is fun to disagree with you?) because I *think* that this might be where some people stumble and don't get back up with ttwd. If they continue to be vulnerable, as a means to an end, but haven't gotten to their version of end yet, why would they continue to try? If they believe that being vulnerable is the END GOAL, why in heavens name would that be attractive when you are struggling through the vulnerable part? LOL

      My point is, there IS no positive vulnerability. It yields a positive result. There is no dispute in that. But IMHO the vulerability part is about as much fun as taking a tablespoon of Buckley's cough syrup. In every sense of the word. You sit and fester for a while knowing it is going to be gross, but you have to do it. You know the awfulness of it won't last forever, and you'll feel better after...so you do it! After you swallow (wink) you do that double gag, (talking cough syrup here people!) make a face, and then let the feeling of warmth rush over you as the pain from the coughing subsides. The Buckley's is a lessor evil than the coughing so you do it, to get some peace. I say being vulnerable is the same idea. You have to be because as scary as it can be, it is still far better than the feeling of isolation of being walled up. You do it because just like hacking your head off affects those around you, so does being closed up. You do it over and over again, until you no longer need to...well until the next time some snot nosed kid coughs in your face! LOL

      ( For those who don't know Susie and I are good friends so if it seems like my response was bitchy, IT WAS! LMAO!!!)

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  6. Hi Willie, I don’t want to yell at you, and what you write about how being in your most vulnerable state makes you feel very content and strong is something I can relate to. And what you write about how you are open and unguarded when ‘in the zone’ also makes a lot of sense to me. I enjoyed reading your way of looking at this, it is definitely thought-provoking, and I have not thought about vulnerability like this before.
    So, basically I understood that when you are ‘in the zone’ you are not vulnerable because you are in harmony with yourself, but due to life happening, you are pushed out of this zone, and getting back to it means to let yourself be vulnerable until you have reached this spot again. I like the definition of vulnerability being emotional exposure, because it implies the inherent risk, however it does not really make sure how positive this can be, when it works, when you can trust without being hurt intentionally.
    I love that you write you allow yourself to feel more. This is pretty awesome. Yep, I agree on the potential for great hurt, true, but when it works, this is a deeply satisfying experience. It’s where I see harmony. I like your picture of standing on the bull’s eye where you can see so much, and still try to figure out whether this works the same way for me as well. I get you on feeling content, it is like not lacking anything emotionally, but I usually do not believe I have much of a fantastic viewpoint, meaning I do not really believe that I see much of the stories behind things. What Roz says about vulnerability and the strength you need for it is something that is maybe true, and in a way it could be close to what you mean with being Teflon girl. :)

    love

    Nina

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    1. Hi Nina!

      " in harmony with yourself" I love that! Yes! Yes! Yes! I can't explain how it happens but a thousand times yes!

      This post, as I told Roz I wrote a long time ago and then told Clara I was posting it but no longer needed to process it, has given me a great deal to think about once again. But this time because of what you ladies have written in response. I think now that I am every bit as vulnerable to the outside world when I am 'on the bullseye' it is just that I no longer feel every ripple heading my way. It is like I have the ability to triage issues and move them away from me or share them with Barney if need be. Maybe that is just a different way of saying I have a 360 degree view, I'm not entirely sure.

      Emotional exposure, what an excellent way to put it. The reason why I like that is because that is exactly what happens. Maybe that is a better term than being vulnerable? I think I'll bring this phrase up with Barney because it would explain so much concerning those times when I have hair trigger reactions to happenings. It is because of emotional exposure that sometimes the WRONG emotion or one that is much more severe comes flying out (um not trying to mount a defense here! lol). All of my emotions are exposed, raw, open, so not only do love, joy, and bliss surface quickly, sometimes, hurt can as well.

      Wish me luck!

      love
      willie

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    2. I think emotional exposure sounds much more pleasant than emotional vulnerability.

      Alas, no matter what you call it, it's hard! Lol.

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  7. Hi Willie,

    I always like to think a bit about your posts and see how they line up with my own thoughts before I write anything...so here goes.

    I remember reading once about school children and fences. There was a school that decided that they didn't want the children to feel fenced in, so they eliminated the fence. The children, in response, grouped up in the center of the yard and didn't use the whole playground. Once a fence was put in, all the children felt safe to spread out. I think there is an inherent need to have protection and feel protected. So, for me, it is more a question of who is providing the protection.

    I can relate to this when I think about how I used to go hiking at night for my job with a compass and a flashlight. I had to be much more alert and focused if I was the one who had to find the truck at the end of the night at 2:00 in the morning. If I could rely on someone else, then I relaxed and had a much freer time of it. I could go fourteen miles through the woods and not think a thing about how to find the truck. We still needed to find the truck, but knowing I could depend on someone else freed me. I was just as vulnerable to bears and rattlesnakes and getting lost, but I felt safer because it wasn't just me. So, when you say there is no need to be vulnerable, I so get that, but I think for me, it is not about not being vulnerable, so much as it is being protected by someone and so my protective mechanism can go into neutral. I think that's the freeing part. That is what, for me, I think, is so wonderful about a dd relationship. You have found someone you trust to provide that protection, but also someone who is fulfilled by providing that protection.

    I felt the same thing when I was a pairs figure skater. I could fling myself in the air and know I would be caught and I could be fearless because it wasn't just on me to make it safely back to the ice. We were in it together. I could be strong and powerful and feel safe, even though my safety was not in my hands.

    The problem comes when the person I'm with can't find the truck or I end up hitting the ice because I trusted. So, I also get the risk part and the anchor part. There were times when we wandered around trying to find the truck and then the next time I unwillingly picked up the task of being sure I knew how to get back because I wasn't so trusting the next time and the free feeling was gone. Was I dropped on the ice? Yes. But lots of times my partner saw me falling and threw his body under mine to cushion the fall. I wasn't quite so brave the next time even though I know it was a mistake and he was doing his best to protect me and even worse, lots of times it was my fault when I crashed, not his.

    So, now as I read what I have written, I've come to think that the right word for me isn't vulnerability. We are all vulnerable, all the time; it's why we build walls. I think maybe better words are brave and trusting. Perhaps that feeling of contentment is that the trust is not misplaced or foolhardy.

    I looked up brave and found this:

    bold, intrepid, daring, dauntless, heroic. Brave, courageous, valiant, fearless, gallant refer to confident bearing in the face of difficulties or dangers. Brave is the most comprehensive: it is especially used of that confident fortitude or daring that actively faces and endures anything threatening.

    I looked up trusting and found this:

    to have trust or confidence in; rely or depend on.

    I know I haven't found someone, but how nice would it be to find someone who I can be brave enough to trust.

    Cygnet

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    1. Hey there Cygnet.

      I do like the point of the children and the fence, (and as I told you reminded me of a story from Lillie and Ian, so that was an added bonus!) Odd how boundaries set us free! Such a paradox really. I like the thought of that though. Because of the fence, regardless of what may lie on the other side, (which was Ian point of his story, we push to the boundaries given to test them) the fact that we have been shown we can not 'wander' off gives us the opportunity to explore.

      While I agree with your other two analogize within the context of the entire ttwd relationship, I have to confess I'm a little confused deciphering them regarding the timing concerning the need to be vulnerable. Let me explain where my confusion might lie. In both your analogizes, as I understand them, your pursuit to the arms of your partner is fearless because he has shown you he will catch you, and if your partner is willing to find the truck you can enjoy your hike without the worry. Maybe my confusion is that in both cases you are literally moving toward your end goal, perhaps fearless in your pursuit. I would love to say that that is the case for me, but more often than not it is sheer determination rather than fearlessness that has me trying to get back to my 'end goal' when I waiver. Once there however other vulnerabilities are no longer visible. No longer is the immediate fear of banging my head on the ice, and if I do, I'm closer to it! LOL or the fear of being lost from the truck, IN it however is another story.

      I know it may appear I am splitting hairs, I don't mean to be. I am just trying to see if we are talking about the same time frame here. Does that make sense? For me the word vulnerable can very well be used when I am trying to get back to my safe place (ie his arms, the truck). This is when( oh my English teacher is rolling over in his grave now...is when) I have to be brave and open myself up to the elements, be vulnerable. When I am there however, I can let my guard down. Of course the 'journey' between those two points does dictate if I will make it there or not.

      I am not entirely sure how brave I am during the move however. Some days I just close my eyes, take a deep breath, and go for it, because really what choice do I have? Stay put and live a mediocre existence from what we know, or move forward and give us a chance.

      Thanks again for your comment Cygnet. Whether I screwed up the interpretation of the analogizes or not, I very much enjoyed it. As did others!

      Cheers
      willie

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    2. Hi Willie,

      How nice that I remind you of Lillie and Ian. I do miss them!

      The following is a total free form thought process about you wrote. Hopefully you won't find the bunny trail too hard to follow!

      Now I'm confused...lol.... I think what I was trying to say is that we are always vulnerable and we need to be protected (that I think is a given). We can build a wall and fences and patrol them ourselves or we can trust someone else to build the walls and fences and let them protect the required walls and fences.

      Now about the time frame thing...I don't think it's all or nothing. I think it is more about a gradual shifting of responsibility to be protected. I think that is what you are talking about when you speak of the end goal. I would say the end goal is letting go and trusting that he'll catch you...every time.

      The hard part is that even though he has caught you time and again, there is still that small part of you that isn't sure that this will be the time that you hit the ice. So, you hold back a bit, just in case. That, in my analogy of ice skating it a recipe for a major crash. So, you have to, in the parlance of all good sporting analogies: Go For It! Which is what, I think you refer to as determination. The problem, which I think we would both agree, is that you may find yourself crashing a lot and you can't let that keep you from continuing to let your guard down and be determined and not put yourself back on patrol (tot totally mix analogies).

      So, it seems like you are speaking more about being determined to not let that small part of you take control and spoil things and live for the moments when you are caught and soaring.

      Maybe I am less confused than I thought...

      So, now this has me thinking more about the ice skating. We always practiced off the ice with lots of mats around until we felt secure (and crashing was not so dangerous) and those were times when we tried to work out all the ins and outs of things. I could practice letting to, so when I was on the ice I just had to do what I had practiced and we are back to determination. The trick was not worrying about the crashes and that I think is what your response to my note is saying....how do you not worry about the crashes when you're getting to your end goal? I think I agree when you say it's a necessary evil.

      Perhaps the exhilaration is in the risk and when you say you must reenter your vulnerable state over and over I think that's right but I also think what makes you feel vulnerable continues to change. So, I can look back at a lift that used to scare me and say it doesn't anymore....and you can look back at something that made you feel vulnerable and say it doesn't anymore...and that is because you are getting braver which in my eyes means you are getting closer to the end goal.

      Yikes...did that make any sense at all?

      Cygnet

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  8. Okay this is getting a bit confusing...but anyway here is the public comment Misty made on Willie's World

    MistyJuly 7, 2016 at 12:56 PM
    I haven't always felt this way but...

    Being vulenerable doesn't mean you're just opening yourself to bad things, you're opening yourself up for good, too. Every time we open that door, we are at risk (he might run off into the night screaming or he might turn into a monster), but we have to take that risk to let in The Great.

    The other side of that, the place that we are afterwards...it's called being alive. What we feel is LIFE coursing through our veins. Living, really living, is addicting. That's why people do crazy things like jump out of airplanes, because it makes them feel alive. (I'll take my risks on the ground, thank you very much. Lol.)

    It only makes sense that we would want that all the time...once you have a taste, it's hard to go without.
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    Wilma RubbleJuly 7, 2016 at 1:01 PM
    Alive is an excellent way to put it Misty. Do you mind if I copy this to the private blog? There is a discussion going on there as well

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    1. I agree Misty that being vulnerable, as our good 'friend Brene Brown has said in her Ted Talks, opens us up to good as well as bad. I am not denying that. I am also not saying that we do not need to be vulnerable to get where we are going. Life is full of opportunities to make ourselves vulnerable. Absolutely you need to be willing to be vulnerable to feel alive. I also agree that it is because we do we end up feeling the 'rush' of good emotions that comes from shedding our walls, being vulnerable, that it becomes addictive ~the end goal that is. This is the reason we put ourselves out there time and time again. I just meant that once you feel alive, as you said, the feeling of being vulnerable, no matter how short a time it is, seems to dissipate.

      Are we actually still vulnerable? Perhaps we are but in a different way. Regardless those moments when we feel we are where we want to be, offer us many wonderful feelings, none of which I think we feel can be described at least as vulnerable. Like you said ALIVE and LIVING ! And on a quieter day, 'just being'.

      willie

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  9. WOW...you do know how to get a great discussion going. I laughed at your definition of journey...but I do prefer the word adventure....since I feel that is more accurate in my situation. I have always been uncomfortable with the word vulnerable...and now I know why....Master has helped me to feel a lot of things...safe, loved, protected, sexy, wanted, desired, and yes...submissive,,,to name a few. But vulnerable, not so much. He has opened me up to new ideas and experiences, showed me that I can trust, accepted me as I was...and have come to be.....while aspiring for better things....vulnerable, no. I now realize that is because the definition in my head matches your definition. Loved reading all the comments..thanks for a wonderful post..
    hugs abby

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    1. Hi Abby

      I'm not sure how I managed it, but I'm happy it happened. I do love the opportunity to discuss things! It is wonderful to hear that your ADVENTURE has led you to so many positive emotions.

      I will confess that getting to where I want to be with our relationship and staying there has often asked of me to be vulnerable. Sometimes the 'threat' is merely in my head, and sometimes it is because of our past history. I am unaware if this is different from your adventure because Barney and I have had a long history before starting ttwd or not. Perhaps it also has to do with both of us discovering ourselves, and Barney not quite being the driving force?

      I can't say being vulnerable along the way has 'hurt' me permanently at least. It has hurt my feelings,and it has hurt my pride at times, but in the end I would imagine overcoming these emotions and moving forward has added something to our relationship as well. I know in our experience that Barney has been made vulnerable many times too.

      Despite having learned many things, and making great strides with allowing myself to be vulnerable, it isn't a place I enjoy being! I much rather prefer feeling secure, and as Nina said in harmony with myself. I will add however, that once we reached a certain point, not sure when exactly that was, that even during my vulnerable moments, as Susie implied, the imprint of being on the bullseye is still there. Some days buried deep beneath, but it is there pushing me forward to allow me to strive for it again.

      And despite ALL of this vulnerability talk, I still do feel empowered by my submission- and love feeling its strength shine out of me! Because that is my authentic self.

      willie

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  10. Eric51 Amy49July 9, 2016 at 9:41 AM
    I've read your post twice and oddly, I keep going to a time when my children were young. Many of our friends had their homes set up in such a way that the kids could do whatever in their rooms, but the common areas of the house were to remain "guest ready" at all times. I didn't do that. I taught my kids inside voices versus outside voices. Fast food manners versus white table cloth manners. Society guidelines versus being at home guidelines. When I think about vulnerability, I think about all of the walls or "acts" or displays we put out to "be" whatever it is we are being for the situation at hand. I wanted my children to feel 100% free to be themselves, regardless of mood, highs or lows, whatever was going on in their lives, while they were at home. When I am vulnerable, I am free to be in whatever state I am at my core at that moment. I think for Eric, spanking and ttwd has become a way for him to help me let down whatever has built up in my head and return me to my factory settings for lack of a better word. Yes, that's it. Replace "vulnerable state" with the word factory settings. You in your purest state. Yes, at risk of viruses and other attackers but also, the most basic you that there is. And by basic, I mean pure, your skin, your core. I'm all over the place. Love you Willie. Great food for thought. Amy

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    Wilma RubbleJuly 9, 2016 at 4:37 PM
    Interesting concept. I actually wrote a post my first year about being brought back to factory settings. Of course the Wilma I was then and the Wilma I am now are not even close, or at least the factory settings aren't! LOL. I did however need to 'break through' to those settings as you call them and coast along there before I could ever have 'reached' where I can go to now. It makes me wonder where I'll be or how I'll feel in 2 more years from now? Maybe not any different, just that I can stay there longer? Who knows?

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    1. Okay private blog expanded response Amy. LOL

      We differ here, "When I am vulnerable, I am free to be in whatever state I am at my core at that moment" . To me I don't feel vulnerable when I am free to be in whatever state I am at my core. I do feel vulnerable while trying to tear down those, well I can't call them walls so much now as I can curtains, and even at that they are becoming more like sheers at times. Once they are gone, I no longer feel vulnerable.

      Perhaps like I said the vulnerability is only in my head at times. Perhaps even 'there' I am like the orchid and still very much vulnerable just that all the risk factors seem to be temporarily displaced. I really can't say for sure. All I can express is how feel when I am past the vulnerable portion of the scenario. And yes for me there is generally a vulnerable part of the scenario. I don't end up staying on point for longer than a few days, at best.

      Yes I can hear you all, poor Barney. LOL

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  11. Hi Willie! Thanks for the invite! ;) I think one has to be strong enough to allow themselves to be vulnerable, so I don't see vulnerability as a weakness, but as a strength. Well, within this context anyway. Certainly vulnerability can be a weakness and open oneself up to harm, physically or emotionally ... but that's not what I'm talking about. What I mean is you have to be secure enough with yourself and your relationship to be able to be open, to let down those walls and to let your partner fully in. And when that happens, well, there's just really nothing like it, is there? So, while vulnerability certainly can have negative connotations (and often does in our society) there is another side to it entirely. ;)

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    1. Welcome Lilli

      I agree whole heartily with the fact you have to have strength to BE or allow yourself to be vulnerable. I just meant that once we achieve the level of connection after being that vulnerable, I wouldn't consider myself vulnerable or open to hurt within the context of my relationship. As I said it is a necessary 'evil' to achieve the end goal, just not the end goal.

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    2. Oh, I totally agree that being vulnerable is more of a means to an end than the end goal itself. I mean, what would the point of that be?

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    3. LOL. What would the point be indeed!

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