Recently I’ve been reading and reflecting on the concept of vulnerability. That moment when we feel we are being seen and can no longer hide; as though you are risking everything you have, and it’s terrifying. But I also know this, ‘being willing to be known’ is the only way to gain real connection with others. For me, it’s an essential experience to really feeling alive.
Often it can be sharing the ‘negative’ thoughts and feelings with others that can make me feel really vulnerable. However, if I didn’t share those parts of myself with trusted* others, how can I ever really be known? How will I know if the love I feel from another is really mine to keep? I have felt like a fraud when not true to myself, and life felt emptier.
These ‘negative’ thoughts or feelings can feel almost poisonous. I would feel trapped under a darkness which I couldn’t shift or share. I would judge these thoughts and feelings with such cruelty. But things are different now, most of the time – sharing my real thoughts and difficulties allowed me to be seen and I can feel love. It was hard, mind. It involved lots of therapy and somewhere safe to return to.
I guess I hope to offer clients the space to be vulnerable when they feel ready. It will be a risk and being seen might be a relief of such magnitude you’ll feel the darkness lift.
* sometimes some of us have been vulnerable for too long, and it’s important to feel ‘safe enough’ too. You are the only one who can really work out when to take risks and when to recover; I’m pretty sure you’re doing the best you can right now.