August 18, 2013 by Ken Walton
Western culture is waking up to the evolutionary potential of vulnerability. The impenetrable dominant man is losing its grip as the ideal of human development. Instead, true maturity is now one who is both externally behaviourally strong, yet also with interior psychological depths. To be confident, yet also sensitive and complex. Vulnerability is the key psychic space which allows the evolution of this complex and beautiful human.
Optimal health is achieved through being able to be both vulnerable, while also having natural protections. Not everything in the world in benevolent. Therefore, one needs natural psychic defenses to contextually mitigate how and where to engage one’s essential self. However, many people have built psychic defenses which they can’t willfully modulate. Permanent structures with a keep out sign, isolating their core being from both one’s own conscious experience, and one’s relationships with life.
Unfortunately, as a means of permanently protecting one’s vulnerability, many humans close down both body and the mind. Wherever vitality is threatened and overwhelmed permanent defenses can be built. Psychically people often dissociate, leaving the real embodied experience. The protecting psyche can also get perpetually angry, or ‘hardened’, creating a protective shield around their inner being. Physically muscles will become rigid, protecting the vitality underneath. One’s nervous system goes into ‘fight or flight’ hyperactive mode, as a means defending against future attacks. The vital flow of life becomes repressed, and lives dormant in the recesses of the psyche. The ability to feel and integrate one’s vulnerability disappears.
However, in a therapeutic relationship safety and trust can slowly be built. This provides the basic backdrop to allow one’s vulnerability to surface again. In the trust of a therapeutic relationship, new experiences can be formed. To be able to take the risk that something could be different this time. That the old story is just that, an old story. That the precious traumatized vulnerable side of oneself can be loved and cared for. A place where one can look at the world again, with the new eye, and a tear disappearing. This is the magic moment of healing.
After learning to accept one’s vulnerability within a therapeutic relationship, one can then learn how to modulate and integrate this essence into one’s life. From the intimacy and unconditional empathic caring in a healing relationship, to the creation of flexible, context specific integrations of one’s vulnerability into life. The ability to protect oneself, and not be violated again. Yet also the security to say yes to life, and experience intimacy and joy that lives within vulnerable states.
The 21st century human is one who can integrate depth and complexity of interiority into the multiplicity of relationships in exterior life.
Contact me to experience this beautiful healing process. 416-659-1617 firstname.lastname@example.org