27
Jan
2015

Being Vulnerable

January 27th, 2015 | in Mental Health and Well Being

To be or not to be…  vulnerable that is

 

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I have a confession. It’s nothing too dark or hideous but it seems that I as it turns out that I’m a bit of a hypocrite. I cringe at the thought, as I pride myself on my authenticity and transparency. I don’t really like hypocrisy much, not my own especially. As a therapist, I ask people to do hard things every day, to look underneath their behavior, their decisions, their coping, their relationships. It’s big stuff and I have so many very brave and amazing clients. They allow themselves to be vulnerable, to trust me and to allow me to help them be accountable to themselves, to me and to our process together.

So just imagine my dismay and my annoyance when I just kept pushing up against this one little issue of my own.  I had to take a big, hard and little bit of an ugly look at myself.  You know where all this angst came up for me??  With the whole idea of writing a blog! I don’t think I would have any problems with a lovely research based presentation, gathering or presenting data, or talking to most anyone, but a blog that sounds way too vulnerable!  Several people have asked me to do it, I have agreed on countless occasions, made several plans to do it, was offered help and you know what happened…

a whole lot of nothing!

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So up went the mirror that I often hold for others and I thought I'd better figure it out. My avoidance was quite grand and I’ve grown tired of admiring my own walls I’ve constructed ever so cleverly. You know those famous walls around us that we erect to protect us from what we’re afraid of, but then we can’t get over the wall to the people or things we need, the challenges we want to conquer.  And just as bad, what the people and things we need can’t get to us either. Enough stalling already! The truth is, I’m scared and it seems really hard to me. I’m not sure if I’m all that interesting, relevant or amusing. I don’t normally get scared to talk to anyone, I love people, I love our conversations, I love the depth at which people are willing to go with me, with their therapy, with their own vulnerability.  I never mind being real with people, being honest, or vulnerable (Or so I thought!)  I do it all the time, often much to people’s shock but the people are usually right in front of me.  I can tell if I’ve offended them, I can intuit their response, I can clarify. I can tell we have left things off with good mutual understanding. With a blog …not so much.

I ask and support people all the time to do the opposite of what they’re negative self-talk is telling them, to do hard and scary things.  I can say in all truth, to the best of my ability, I try to hold myself to the same level of trust, openness and to get real about my own stuff. So I’m going to put down my protective walls, take some risks, and see what happens. Maybe a little more of me and my experiences, learning and thoughts will come out and it might invite a few more people into a conversation with themselves, with me or those they around them.  Maybe I’ll actually enjoy it. Maybe someone else will. What’s a little wall free living and some musings going to hurt. And it’s ok to be scared when you feel vulnerable, maybe it gets easier when you do it anyway.

Maybe that’s the whole point?

Best to you.
Alison


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