3 Questions You Need To Ask Yourself About Vulnerability

Alcoholism makes Buddhists vulnerable

The whole world is sick – and you can do something simple to help fix it.

When I stopped drinking 10 years ago, I thought I was a miracle walking. The blessings needed to bring about permanent change of an addictive behaviour have eluded many.

It is a very sad fact that most people who most need addiction recovery do not succeed at getting it or in keeping it.

However, the bigger picture that I am alluding to in the headline positor, involves all of us, not only drug addicts.

I speak of the greater malaise that we can all remediate – VULNERABILITY.

Researchers like Dr Brene Brown are suggesting that we all need an overhaul in WHOLEHEARTEDNESS.

In her best-selling book ‘Daring Greatly’, in the chapter on ‘Debunking the Vulnerability Myth’, she asks these three revealing suppositionals.

  1. “What do I do when I feel emotionally exposed?”

  2. “How do I behave when I’m feeling very uncomfortable and uncertain?”

  3. “How willing am I to take emotional risks?”

Where judgement, blame and risks are concerned, we as a cohort are found to be quite risk averse.

Even gamblers and Venture Capitalists may find that when it comes to matters of the heart and ego, they play their cards relatively close to their bulging chests.

Our culture reveres actors and rewards jugglers.

The people who fill our magazines and newspapers (I’m showing my age!), are paper cut-outs and con-men. They have helped us believe in a false reality.

Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

Distractions from doing our most important work and delusions that deny us a realistic viewpoint are the 21st Century hangover from out industrial and technological advances of the previous century.

Distractions are a great way to escape the rigours of the daily grind, but they are also habit-forming.

Meanwhile, delusions are things that appear real and are not. Buddha had a lot to say about emptiness which you can read in your own lifetime (or two).

Delusions in the everyday sense abound, anyway without getting into cosmological abstractions.

The world is flat, Pluto is a Planet (He’s a dog, of course), and bombing civilians will bring about peace, are some of the more common ones that you’ll recognise.

When I said I was ‘An Alcoholic’, I had big reservations. I was convinced that alcohol was taking my life slowly, and I had to drink every day, but surely THAT LABEL was gonna hurt.

By definition, I am an alcoholic, because if I put one mouthful of that wonderful shit into my mouth again, I am back on it – BIG TIME.

…But I’m also many other things.

We are all multi-faceted. Brilliantly, beautifully, and miraculously diverse.

Most of us are workers, business people, students, children, teachers, leaders and followers.

Of itself, none of these roles is good or bad.

Our perception – of others perception – of ourselves in these roles, is the area of difficulty that we are focussing on here.

What I think – of what YOU think – of me, when I’m doing [add your role here] is called my ‘Erroneous Zone’, as made famous by Wayne Dyer in the 1980’s.

It’s the meta-analysis game for the whole family!

Alcoholics carry the shield that Buddhism can dismantle
Photo by Henry Hustava on Unsplash

But, Brene goes on to say that, the shield we carry is too heavy!

It’s way too taxing on our emotions, intelligence and our spirit, to be pretending all day every day for a lifetime.

All this pretence and play-acting are doing are keeping me from really knowing who I am, AND allowing you to know the REAL me.


As in alcoholism, it seems that the first and hardest hurdle to overcome is denial.

Realising that we are far more than what we are currently showing to our lover, children, workmates, community, is a great thing. WE ARE MORE!

Moreover, the gift we give to ourselves through self-revelation is peace and happiness.

Buddha describes these two as one thing.

Happiness is Peace.

The story of all of us was best summarised by Hermann Hesse.

“My story isn’t pleasant, it’s not sweet and harmonious like the invented stories; it tastes of folly and bewilderment, of madness and dream, like the life of all people who no longer want to lie to themselves.”

I will write more on this subject over the coming months here and on my dharmaholic.com website.


For now, watch a replay of Brene Brown’s most vulnerable moment – the day she stepped out on stage at TEDx Long Beach.

Find an author that speaks about Authenticity and Wholeheartedness.

Richard Rohr if you’re a Recovering Catholic, or Pema Chodron if your Eastern minded. Maybe you prefer a bit of Rumi or Khalil Gibran?

A young man whose writing interests me at the moment is Charles Chu, @http://thepolymathproject.com/Charles Chu

Then my friends, take a break from the stage and really have a good hard cup of tea with yourself. The ‘others’ around you will thank you for coming out of the closet.

love alwaz

p.s. I have opened up a new Community Place for Sober & Happy, or Happy, or Sober or Anyone really. It’s called Dharmaholics ‘Happy Campus’.

Go there now and BE HAPPY!

6 thoughts on “3 Questions You Need To Ask Yourself About Vulnerability

    1. Thank you, Sean, is it? I just read the Weld Prison story and the wonderful “Addiction”. Very happy to meet you.
      love alwaz

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