The Power of Fragility

For as long as I can remember, feeling ‘hurt’ from interactions with others was part of my life. I could easily react to harsh words, behaviours, actions, dismissiveness, abuse, violence, abrasiveness, lovelessness, rejection, arrogance, being controlled, lack of consideration and understanding – really, I could react to anything that was not love. These reactions formed part of my daily existence, pulling me off balance more often than not.

My reactions could consume me for a whole day or many days and would continue for as long as I avoided feeling the uncomfortable reaction in my body. When I recovered from one situation, it wasn’t long before another was there to take its place, and so the cycle continued.

There were many vices I would call upon to avoid feeling the uncomfortable and turbulent feeling of ‘hurt’: busyness, excessive exercise, alcohol, drugs, eating particular foods, travel, excessive sleep, television, drama, blame and of course emotions such as anger, frustration, intolerance, despair and sadness.

The hurt seemed to stay stagnant in my body and could resurface whenever I thought about a particular person or event that may have upset me in the past. Was there any true moving on or healing from these hurts?

Recently, however, with a touch of courage, and when enough was enough, I challenged myself to explore the topic of ‘hurt’ and over the weeks that followed I discovered that there was much to understand.

A Turning Point

To personally describe what ‘hurt’ feels like in my body, I would say that it feels like a ping pong ball bouncing around with no place to rest. It feels uncomfortable, like it doesn’t belong there, which is probably because it doesn’t belong there.

Most of the time I would react to ‘hurt’ in a way where I could not feel the truth, or what was really going on in a situation. Instead I became lost in what I describe as the facts of the matter. I would hang on to the words: “he said ______ to me” or “she did _____ to me”. Whilst factually it may be true, recently I came to realise that there was more going on here than these facts alone, I just needed to be more honest.

There was a particular day where I felt a sting from an email that was sent to me by someone who was upset about a matter that I felt was quite trivial. Whether this was the case or not, this attitude didn’t stop the emotional reaction bouncing around in my body in the hours that followed.

I chose to ignore its disturbing nature claiming I was too busy to go into the silliness of this email. I was determined I was not going to buy into this drama, indignant that this situation was not going to ruin my day which had started just fine.

I chose to ignore the situation, but it was too late, the reaction was already in my body.

Many hours passed and the uncomfortable feeling continued. As the day unfolded I noticed my frustration levels escalating and my tolerance for others reducing. I no longer felt like myself and my thoughts were dismissive and without understanding.

I began to question what happened at that very moment when I read the email. What did I take on board, what did I allow to play out, what was this really about, because it had affected me greatly?

I saw how this one email of about twelve words caused such an over-reaction that it changed what could have been a potentially amazing day into one that did not feel amazing at all. I realized how such a simple thing could send me on this ridiculous tangent.

I then made a choice and that choice was to stop.

Honouring Fragility

I stopped pushing through the day, stopped fighting the reaction, allowing myself to feel fragile, with no condemnation for myself or another, just fragility. At first this was not easy, because to me ‘fragility’ was to be seen as being soft or weak and I did not want to be these things, for I wanted to be strong.

Nevertheless, I made the choice to focus on nurturing myself deeply, and nothing else. For the rest of the evening I nurtured my body, wrapping myself warmly in a blanket with a heat pack, simply acknowledging the feeling as I lay all snuggled up in bed. I didn’t try to work anything out in my head, because I knew that this would be futile as my thoughts were racy and irrational.

The next morning I woke early with the realisation that I was needing others to respond to me in a particular way. I wanted to be treated with love, appreciation, respect, delicateness and to be confirmed that I was an awesome person, instead of knowing this and holding onto this in absoluteness for myself.

Not long after this newfound awareness, I noticed how my body released from the tension and became content again. I realised that when I react in an emotional way, my body becomes uncontrollably shaky, like it has lost its anchor. And indeed it has lost its anchor because it has lost its connection to the part of me which is tender, loving and still.

By allowing myself to feel more deeply into the situation I was able to find the hidden truth, a truth that did not condemn or focus on another or make them less, a truth that had no blame and only understanding. It was no longer about focussing on another and their words and behaviour, it was about understanding why I was reacting and what I was reacting to.

What became clear was how futile it has been to try to fight, dull down, numb or run from the uncomfortable nature of the reactions we have in our daily lives. By not honouring the hurt that we feel, we can keep ourselves trapped in a time warp, because we don’t really move on until it heals from our body.

I no longer see being fragile as something shameful, because I have experienced just how powerful it can be. Now that I have learned that fragility is the bridge to clarity, it makes me willing and committed to care for myself with absolute tenderness when I feel hurt in a situation. Fragility certainly has a big role to play and is something I can now embrace in full.

By Maree Savins, Project Support Officer, Tertiary Education

Further Reading:
Reaction vs Response
Giving Power Back to Love: Making the Choice to Not Be Dominated By Hurt

1,179 thoughts on “The Power of Fragility

  1. I re-read your blog this morning as I woke feeling like I had not fully read it, there was more for me to learn and embrace from it. I can see so clearly that there is a choice to be willing to see more in a situation where we react, to see that we cannot change the other persons behaviour but we can understand why we reacted the way we did. That simple stop to understand is a value beyond measure for our own health and wellbeing as it stops the coping and numbing behaviours which can be so harming to our health both physically and mentally.

  2. A great dissection of an everyday email occurrence that can take us into an internal emotional tailspin when we choose to react instead of observe. Easier said than done, but a great place to start is to honour our deep sensitivity and allow it to be felt in full rather than trying to protect it. Feeling it enables us to get to a deeper understanding of why we reacted and what we reacted to.

  3. Thank you Maree, for great blog, shedding light on the word fragility for me. I had a hurtful experience the other day, and instead of trying to justify the behaviour of the person, and ignore my hurt, I decided to allow my self to feel the hurt, and be tender with myself, and feel into why I reacted that way.

  4. Maree you do write great blogs, this is yet another. I love your courage to share from your depths. I too have surrendered to my fragility and my super sensitivity. To truly feel the hurt and self nurture. Stop the mind and disengage the reaction. Until clarity and understanding is allowed to surface. Alternately it is not about the situation or the people, but the hurt that has surfaced to be cleared and healed.

  5. I can relate to living for years in reaction to anything that was not love around me and the more I would react the harder I would hold my body to not feel hurt and escape into my head. Understanding hurt now and rather than blaming others I look at my own reaction and why and what I was reacting to.

  6. I agree Maree fragility has a big role to play and in allowing ourselves to feel this within us we can bring much understanding and clarity.

  7. Fragility: A misunderstood word that is worth to be lived into our bodies to realise how powerful it can be.

  8. Thank you Maree. I was feeling reactive and angry about something when I started reading this blog, however, the wisdom you share makes it impossible for me to stay there. A huge amount of tension leaves my body when I allow myself to feel the hurt I feel and this is what allows me to feel my own responsibility and move on.

  9. A great sharing Maree I can very much relate to. As long as I am in reaction and in the fighting mode my body feels awful and I am busy in going against the tension, but when I surrender to the hurt I feel I can let go of it and see/read it for what it is and get out of the reaction and become understanding.

    1. Wow. So True Rachel. I too feel how movements made in fight mode bring tension to my body and am learning to Stop and focus on self nurturing, then I can surrender to what I feel and need at the moment.
      I feel I have finally found a true way out of self created hell…

      …thanks to Serge Benhayon and all of you who confirm what I am learning about being me.

  10. You describe fragility in a way that leaves me certain that expressing from and feeling it takes great strength. It is easy to react and blame another but it takes great courage and dedication to the truth to stay fragile.

  11. I have noticed that too Maree, that holding on to my hurts does not work, as it withholds me from clear observation to see what is at play and that when I react to it I become part of it and at the same time disturbing my own rhythm enormously. So the simple question is why should I choose for going into my hurts, while my life otherwise could be so full of love, tenderness and delicacy?

  12. Thank you Maree for a great description of fragility, I have recently had some long time hurt reappear lately one that I had thoughts been put to rest long ago, I realise that it had been covered up and put aside so as not to feel the uncomfortableness of the hurt. Your blog makes it very clear that feeling our hurt without blame but with fragility and a loving tenderness with ourselves is that way through our pain.

  13. It seems these days we are getting all the support in the world to deal with ways of living that are harming us and others. No longer can we avoid this and if we are willing to feel, accept and let go, we are so much more because of it. Sometimes I find this means feeling quite fragile and raw, and yet it is only a small layer in the larger picture of first uncovering and discovering more of who we are. It could almost be likened to taking off a band-aid that has been on for too long and hurts as the cover is removed.

  14. Maree I just love your analogy of how the reactions and the emotional dramas we engage in literally ricochet around our bodies ‘like a ping pong ball with no place to rest’. It’s so true.

  15. If there is an ill feeling in the body that remains it’s because we have chosen to not let go of that ill feeling. What I am learning is that these ‘little situations’ and awarenesses are never little, that they have the potential to snowball into more extreme outward results. What I am also learning is that if there is a disturbance in me from another’s behaviours then there is some part of me that is being exposed in holding onto something that the end result from another is highlighting the failure of it all. If certain behaviours or words grate on our nerves, create dynamics or we start to dislike the person, what is the quality they are reflecting and is it possible that we are being asked to look at the part of us (or the part we have identified as being us) that doesn’t like it’s own reflection? When I connect to who I truly am I love my reflection, I am amazing and I shine from the inside out. But when disconnected from who I truly am I can’t look in the mirror or I focus on all the negative parts about me, we are all mirrors for each other so how do we relate to the human mirrors all around us?

  16. ‘ I wanted to be treated with love, appreciation, respect, delicateness and to be confirmed that I was an awesome person, instead of knowing this and holding onto this in absoluteness for myself’. Love the awareness you share with us here Maree, a huge shift has taken place within me as I get to feel just how much I am truly loved and held. With this knowing, the emotions, drama and reactions that once I got caught up in are just not there any more, as I connect deeper to my living stillness.

  17. Yes I too have discovered that it is not the other person’s action that needs to be our focus but rather our reaction to it. We cannot control what others do but we can 100% control how we react to them and in our every reaction there is an opportunity for us to learn something about ourselves.

  18. Working anything out in our head will never work, it only makes us more frustrated, at least that is what I’ve experienced, racy and like you said irrational. And I would add exhausted as well. I didn’t try to work anything out in my head, because I knew that this would be futile as my thoughts were racy and irrational. To nurture ourself and embrace tenderness and fragility is truly something to appreciate as it deepens the connection with our body and in there we will always find an answer, no matter what is going on.

  19. and understanding that allowing the connection with delicacy can connect us with a deeper strength that is actually in balance, and allows us to live in a way that is truly harmonious.

  20. It seems to me that when we allow ourselves to feel our fragility instead of going into tension, we allow what is truly going on to be revealed, for becoming tense simply creates a denseness in our body which then buries the truth beneath it. “The power of fragility” is such an important lesson to learn as it shatters the long held belief that to be fragile is to be weak, which is my experience is so far from the truth; it is actually very powerful.

  21. I too got lost in the cycle of reaction and hurt taking things personally without ever feeling beneath it for the truth of the matter just feeling tense and uncomfortable with the hurt trapped in my body for hours. I have now learnt that the more I open up and honestly look at how I am feeling and bring understanding and acceptance to why I am reacting to the hurt or reaction it clears from my body and with that I am able to embrace more of me.

  22. “I didn’t try to work anything out in my head, because I knew that this would be futile as my thoughts were racy and irrational.”
    This is a great point Maree, I know in these situations the mind feels like this locked up place where the thoughts keep going in circles and there is no way out. It really takes a stop and change of action whether that is taking a walk, getting some fresh air or laying down and caring for yourself as you did.

  23. Beautiful how you allowed the hurt to just be there, and not trying to change it or rationalize your self out of it. Always not to feel it. You feel like a scientist analyzing the whole situation, making your experience accessible for people like me. Thank you Maree.

  24. It is indeed how hurts rule us if we don’t take a full stop moment to actually feel and heal them. And then feeling them is not so bad as it seemed upfront, I can even cry and then let it go.

  25. “I realised that when I react in an emotional way, my body becomes uncontrollably shaky, like it has lost its anchor.” This line was so clear for me today plus the one about a ping pong ball bouncing around in your body. When we get emotional and in reaction to something, our bodies do shake like we have lost our anchor and it can feel like we are lost at sea. Well I know I can. But by dealing with our hurts, we stand much more on solid ground and the feeling of being lost or left alone with the elements, is much less.

  26. I am re reading your article Maree and it brings a feeling of warmth and joy to my body. Stopping ourselves from hardening to a situation and soldiering on does immediately expose the fragility of our existence, our living ways and of our essence. Yet in this choice to be fragile there in lies the truth of all matters. No wonder fragility is actually our true power, for truth and only truth will encourage us to adjust and halt the hardness and tension we hold in our bodies.

  27. Some great pointers here as to how to master life rather than being its victim. Stopping and asking how am I feeling about this, and why did it need to happen. What was I needing to be shown? But without going to our heads and getting all mental about it, using a stop to stay in the body and feel our fragility leads to deeper understanding that will ever be found in our heads.

  28. I can relate Maree to allowing my reactions to constantly pull me off balance not wanting to feel and deepen my awareness to see what I was not willing to see. Now when I feel a reaction within my body I look at why and what I am reacting to first to understand the unresolved issue, which deepens my connection and acceptance of myself.

  29. ‘By not honouring the hurt that we feel, we can keep ourselves trapped in a time warp, because we don’t really move on until it heals from our body.’ Our reactions are there to protect the hurt to be felt and it becomes a merry go round to keep us like you say Maree attached to time. When we go underneath the reaction and expose the hurt space opens up and there is a flow back in our lives.

  30. When we hold on to our images from the past they can interfere with the present so that an incident that occurred many years ago can cause us to mistrust another. When we feel the energy of the present, the past is no longer an issue as we appreciate that we have all moved on.

  31. Argh the cycle of reaction where some days you just go from one reaction to the next and it literally feels like the dominoes of your imperfections and unresolved hurts are all being exposed one by one. I know it well…

  32. Getting stuck in the pattern of reaction keeps us forever in the cycle of getting hurt and never being able to move on and heal from past choices and situations. Learning to stay present with my body has opened up my awareness to observe and read into situations more often than reacting and this helps to build a steadiness within my body that feels supportive through the day.

    1. Very true Linda. Your comment reminds me that every choice we make either leaves us open to reaction or supported to observe. The more loving our choices are the better prepared we are to observe situations rather than react to them.

  33. I had never considered exactly how fragility could support us to let go of hurts like this…. being a bridge to clarity makes sense… for when we allow ourselves to focus on the fragility we possess and honour that, we come back to ourselves and from there can see things as they truly are and not how the reaction makes us perceive them.

  34. Reading your blog Maree I am starting to understand what a powerful healing medicine it is, when we allow ourselves to feel our fragility.

  35. After surgery nearly eighteen months ago i felt truly fragile, It felt amazing – just allowing myself to be where I and my body where at – no hiding – just being open and fragile. As my healing journey continued I lost connection with that fragility – which many people commented on at the time – and began to harden again. . Re-reading your blog is an inspiration to choose to return to that fragility – and its power.

  36. Maree, what you share here is huge: “Now that I have learned that fragility is the bridge to clarity, it makes me willing and committed to care for myself with absolute tenderness when I feel hurt in a situation. Fragility certainly has a big role to play and is something I can now embrace in full.”
    Is the key answer to all our woes.. Love the simplicity that we can bring back to our live – simply by this tool (choice).

  37. A beautiful sharing Maree; to allow ourselves to feel and honour our fragility is such a blessing. A gift to ourselves if we so choose.

  38. I am finding there are many layers that hold us from feeling this fragility. Illogical layers of protection that we can be unaware of if we choose, yet getting below them opens up such delicate clarity that it is worth being an investigator!

  39. I like and relate with your analogy Maree, feeling hurt like a ping pong bouncing around the body and the uncomfortable feeling that we avoid by seeking distraction and behaviours to bury it until we think it has gone because we cannot feel it anymore, rather than allowing ourselves to feel and acknowledge it and let it go.

  40. Reactions are absolute poison in our bodies and indicate that we are not choosing to see the whole truth . It’s not surprising that one reaction leads to another as the more we react the less truth we see and the less truth we see the more likely we are to react.

  41. Through being honest with ourselves first we are able to start to realise why we choose to react rather than observe and bring understanding and clarity to our own behaviour and fragility, and look at the unresolved issue we are holding onto instead of blaming another for reacting to a situation.

  42. This is exactly what a hurt does in my body; ‘it feels like a ping pong ball bouncing around with no place to rest.’ And the only thing that helps is to deepen the relationship with myself, to look at my choices, feel, like you say too Maree, my fragility and come back to what life is about, living the light that we are to reflect to others where we are coming from and going back to.

  43. I have spent too long running away from the power of fragility and hiding in the distraction of endless hurts that I replay over and over in my head thus avoiding the clarity that fragility brings and the opportunity to resolve them and move on. Thank you for expressing your experience so clearly – I can feel the destructiveness of playing pinball with my body and instead choose to embrace fragility and all it offers.

  44. Acknowledging a hurt and allowing the healing that comes from that is so freeing but it is something that I have resisted because of fearing that if I open myself up to feel it somehow that will make me more vulnerable to being hurt further when the exact opposite is the truth.

  45. It’s crazy – we do everything in our power to avoid feeling what we feel – yet when we simply feel what there is to feel; the good, bad and the ugly and Divine, there is no need for all those ‘go-to’s’ end up harming us more in the process.

  46. So true, our reactions to our hurts can certainly cloud any clarity or our ability to connect to truth. The easiest way to avoid truth is to choose to react instead of allowing ourselves to feel what is really going on.

  47. To allow ourselves to feel the hurt – and know that ‘it’ is not greater than the love that is within us – is what will change this world Maree. Thank-you for sharing so openly.

  48. Living our life in reaction always keeps us off-balance and separates us from connecting to our inner wisdom and having true clarity.

  49. “Now that I have learned that fragility is the bridge to clarity, it makes me willing and committed to care for myself with absolute tenderness when I feel hurt in a situation. ” Beautiful Maree. I used to feel I had to be strong – with four brothers at home. And so it went on. But I am now valuing my fragility more, especially as I age. If we allow ourselves to feel a hurt, rather than burying it, ( with the unintended consequences of illness maybe occurring down the road) the healing can happen much faster.

  50. The reminder to honour fragility and not just continue on, ignoring what it may be that we truly feel is a great reminder for me as I go into work today. Thank you.

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