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!
Hi! I am Shari Hines Warner, Therapist, Attorney and Speaker in South Florida. Welcome to my Blog! I must admit that sharing my thoughts on issues that I relate to my practice as a therapist is a bit foreign to me, but just as I ask my Patients/Clients to stretch themselves and move beyond their comfort zone, so too must I stretch myself.
I have found that in my practice as a Therapist, I have become more comfortable moving beyond the borders of the tidy box that I created for myself during my practice as an attorney. That box, in my mind, kept me safe and “protected” me from the imagined terrors that wound themselves through the practice of law. In fact, what the box did was keep me from spreading my wings and experiencing life at its best.
As I work with my patients in substance abuse or my clients dealing with life’s issues, I wonder what box they’ve created for themselves and what story they’ve told themselves to keep them in that box. In substance abuse, the story is most often titled “Fear”. Fear of acceptance, rejection, abandonment, loneliness, the unknown. Strangely enough, the fears are the same among non-addicts and also keep you ‘stuck’.
I challenge you to step beyond the borders of your box! Be willing to open yourselves up to new possibilities. Climb out of your rut and try something different! I know, I know…easier said than done. Try it. But if you need a little help, you know where to find me. Until then…BE WELL!
Shari Hines Warner is a Therapist, Attorney and Speaker in South Florida. Shari works with individuals and couples to find their inner strength and resolve interpersonal and relational conflicts. To schedule an appointment with Shari call (754) 999-0716 or email her at email@example.com.
Many believe that the addict is the only one affected by substance abuse and would benefit from treatment. The truth is that the family members of addicts suffer just as much as the addict themselves and can also benefit from treatment, i.e. counseling/therapy to help them learn more about addiction and how to help their loved one while they themselves heal. For more information on how I can help you and your family heal, call me at (754) 999-0716 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Continue reading “Family Involvement is Important in Substance Abuse Treatment”
Forgiveness: Letting go of past grudges or lingering anger against a person or persons.
This is difficult enough to accomplish when it has to do with others, but what about having to forgive yourself? On a daily basis we commit as much wrong against ourselves as we do others. Yet we find it so difficult to acknowledge the injustice that we do to ourselves much less forgive ourselves. Things like ignoring health issues, eating poorly and generally leading an unhealthy lifestyle (smoking, drinking, abusing substances). At some point we need to look in the mirror, acknowledge the wrong, apologize and forgive ourselves. Until we are able to do that, we are doomed to wallow in the pattern that we have worn into our lives and find senseless justifications for hurting ourselves. Let us resolve to look more favorably upon ourselves. Be kind and most of all, be forgiving…
If you find yourself stuck in a pattern of unforgivenss, please contact us. We can help you find a way to forgive yourself.
~Shari Hines, JD, MS, – MGS Therapist