Faces of Vulnerability
Many of my learning moments come from my clients. From groups to therapeutic sessions to speaking at conferences and workshops. One this that remains consistent across the different arenas, the word vulnerability makes people run for the hills. Is it the word? Or the idea of what they will need to do to show a representation of the word? Either way it brings a reaction to those hearing it.
For some the face of vulnerability is anxiety. That face is one who starts to think of all the worst results of consequences of the action. One who is suspicious of the actions of others, while taking a second look at themselves? This face for many is overwhelming and not welcomed in intimate spaces. Many pretend they do not see this face or even have this face themselves.
Another face of vulnerability is shame. Shame presents itself when the reminder to being vulnerable means sharing those actions we aren’t very proud of. The past we want to so desperately forget and hid from. The “old” self we no long want to be acquainted with. This face tends to sit back and observe every other face and want to pass judgement on others to deflect the shame they have for themselves.
Vulnerability comes in the face of confusion for some. This face presents it’s self because pieces are missing. Either from extensive trauma or numbing. In addition numbing is another face of vulnerability. We numb because we hurt due to situations where vulnerability showed it’s face and we were taken advantage of. Hence the face of confusion.
Lastly the face of vulnerability can be seen as a face of acceptance. A face that has traveled through all of the prior faces and maybe a few others. This face has run from being transparent and willing to change. Yet even in the time of confusion, a clear picture can be seen when you have the willingness to make change. Finding the balance between honesty and acceptance of self and others. We cannot change the things we are unable to change in the lives of others however we can change our perspective towards change.
Being vulnerable is also about having the willingness to change. Vulnerability in itself is all about change. Changing the way we think and approach a situation and allowing ourselves the opportunity to let others in as others let us in. The face a vulnerability is a face we wear at some point or another. However as we continue to grow and learn from one another, take not on the faces that encourage us to change. Redefine your understanding towards vulnerability. It can be strong, empowering, supportive, willing, accepting and caring if you allow yourself to become vulnerable. These too are faces of vulnerability and I challenge you to use one of these faces instead!
The topic of discussion at my house for the past few weeks has been our living room. “It’s ugly and outdated. We need to fix it”, I would tell my father. It wasn’t until a friend of mine came over and made me realize something. The moment she stepped her foot inside my apartment, she complimented our living room; “Wow. I love your living room. It’s beautiful”. Shocked and confused, I let out a chuckle and replied: “You’re joking, right? I haven’t stopped annoying my dad to change it up. I think it’s hideous”. “Val, what are you talking about? The blue curtains match the blue couch, the painting behind the couch pops because of the color contrast, and the coffee table is unreal- I’ve never seen anything like it”, she answered.
I stepped back, looked around, and analyzed everything she previously mentioned. She was right. From the medium sized palm tree in the corner, to the coffee table my father designed, and even the collection of antique pictures taken of my dad’s grandmother when she was 16. The room was truly a work of art. It was beautiful! I immediately felt bad, as I not only neglected a masterpiece but I offended my dad. This room had his personality written all over it; it was his creation.
Taking a step back!
Unfortunately, this situation happens to many of us. People become this living room. This could explain why as teenagers we treated our parents the way we did; that, and well, hormones. We get accustomed to our parents’ presence in our daily lives, that we begin avoiding them and taking them for granted. This happens in other relationships as well. We stop seeing the beauty we saw when we first met someone because with time we get acquainted to them. It is an inevitable crime that we are guilty of committing.
See, I couldn’t even describe the living room before my friend came over; I couldn’t even tell you that the curtains matched the couch, as I never realized this detail. I would simply pass by this room everyday on my way to my bedroom, without even glancing at it. I was not even sure what I wanted to change about the room, I just wanted it to look different. It took an outside perspective for me to realize how great this room was. I now appreciate it and have been reminded of the beauty. Change is not as simple as changing a living room. It is important for us to be able to recall what makes an individual special and appreciate those traits, as everyone has their own unique characteristics to offer.
No one deserves to be forgotten and neglected like my living room and it was all because I forgot to stop and observe what it had to offer. Children share a positive outlook on the world around them because they are genuinely fascinated by their surroundings. They are experiencing and being introduced to certain things for the first time, as my friend demonstrated as she walked into my house. If we had the same perspective as children, the world would be a better place. We would demonstrate love and appreciation to everything, as we should. Life is fascinating. People are fascinating. We should never get accustomed to anything around us. Everything is different, unique, and has something to offer. Sometimes, we just need a reminder.
MGS Counseling & Therapy Services, LLC is a South Florida private practice. Mrs. Wilson works with mothers dealing with postpartum and fathers who have difficulty with transitional changes after a new child. In addition Mrs. Wilson works with individuals, couples and families to find their inner strength and resolve interpersonal and relational conflicts. To schedule an appointment with Mrs. Wilson call (754) 999-0410 or contact by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Parenting? What’s that? I can’t tell you how many times I have heard this from expecting or new parents. Grandparents that have to take over the role of mom or dad due to a change in the family structure. For some an addition to the family can be a scary thing.
So what is parenting? Where do we get the rule book or guidelines on how this is supposed to be done? Well the answer to this is simple and one many of you have heard before. There is not such book to be found. However we do have something that we never had before. We have the ability to gain access to a network of people who can provide us with insight and education on developmental stages for our children. Mothers and fathers who could share scary, funny or insightful stories in the journey of parenthood.
This network of people I am referring to can be found in our communities, families and social media support groups. We have the ability to reach a number of people, our parents could never dream up. MGS Mom’s and MGS Healing Mothers have shown such support to Mothers and Expecting Mothers along with Mothers who have lost a child. Parenting starts when we know we have support, understanding we will have ups and downs. Along with gaining understanding in ourselves and the situations we will have to encounter.
Parenting is sharing an unconditional love with a child or children who see you as their superhero. Sharing the silent moments after they have gone to sleep with some well needed quiet time. Gaining that second wind after you feel your fuel tank for energy is on E. Parenting is when you share a story in a support group and other parents can relate. Parenting is defined as so many things. We as parents can work together to make sure our children get the best example of what that can be.
So as you walk or run through this journey of parenthood. Utilize the community support you have and share support with another parent. We all have our own stories however we can all use the support.
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Till the next time.
Live, Laugh, Love
T.P.C (The Parent Counselor)
Gail Wilson is a Therapist, Life Coach and Public Speaker in South Florida. Mrs. Wilson works with mothers dealing with postpartum and fathers who have difficulty with transitional changes after a new child. In addition Mrs. Wilson works with individuals, couples and families to find their inner strength and resolve interpersonal and relational conflicts. To schedule an appointment with Mrs. Wilson call (754) 999-0410 or contact by email at Gail@mgscounseling.com