Summary: How do you protect yourself from harm? And when do you feel threatened? Paying attention to your body can help you learn when you're really vulnerable--and when you only feel so, based on past experience. Learn about the word vulnerable in today's post.
We've been talking about sadness in its varying degrees, from "a little low" to major depression, and where such feelings start in the body. For a lot of people (maybe you're one of them), this can bring up a completely different feeling: vulnerability.
Vulnerability is a sensation that you feel everywhere--from your head to your toes and all points in between, especially in your bowels and your chest. Although it's a feeling that's part of the fear scale (file under "scared" versus "mad," "glad" or "sad"), being vulnerable does not always derive from fearful feelings. It can quite easily come from sadness, too.
Actually, you can feel vulnerable anytime, anywhere. (Raise your hand if you've ever had a panic attack.) To protect yourself from this, you might shift into other sentiments, like anger, as a sense of protection.
Let's look at the actual word to learn a little more:
Vulnerable (VOL - ner - uh - BUHL) - (adj.) being in a situation where one is likely to meet with harm; lacking protection from danger or resistance to attack.
It comes from the Late Latin vulnerabilis, meaning wounded. And that comes from the Latin verb vulnerare: to wound. Having entered the English language circa 1600, it's interesting that this word once shared both the act of wounding and receipt of the wound as a part of its definition and usage. After all, today we're most likely to put up our guards when we feel vulnerable ... even if the threat of harm is only in our minds.
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