Vulnerability: A Personal experience
–‘Little Ger’, needed to speak
The Physical Experience
When I find myself in a vulnerable position I may feel loneliness, sadness, grief, guilt, anxiety, disappointment, shame, fear, embarrassment or anger.
In my final year of college I failed an assignment on one module. Dyslexia meant writing assignments were a challenge for me.
I was given this news in a child’s play therapy room which the college uses for counselling sessions for children. Sitting there in this room, on a lower chair than the lecturer, I felt anger and deep shame. I instantly recognised the feeling of shame from my schooldays. I never felt good enough academically back then. I also felt really angry towards the person giving me the news.
In that moment I had to use all my awareness and experience to ground myself so that I could continue behaving as an adult. I was flooded by past emotions that were reactivated. All of me wanted to act out of all the shame I had experienced over my school years and fly off the handle. I knew I would regret my reaction afterwards so I started to ground myself. The Play therapy room had deeply triggered my nervous system as it reminded me so much of being a child in a school classroom.
When I felt grounded enough I asked the lecturer for a moment. We all have an inner child, because we were children first. In this moment my inner child –‘Little Ger’, needed to speak. I took a teddy from one of the shelves in the room and said “‘Little Ger’ is feeling low and disappointed and needs a hug right now because he didn’t do very well in school. He also feels angry at you for giving me my results in a play therapy room because it reminds him of his old classroom”. I instantly felt much better and told the lecturer he could proceed. This inner child technique that I teach clients is very powerful when we say it to ourselves quietly in our mind (as I was in a room full of psychotherapists, this was an exception and it allowed me to vocalise my inner child out loud as they understood). It can soothe the nervous system very quickly if emotions from the past become activated and we feel overwhelmed.
When an uncomfortable emotion feels very overwhelming it is usually associated with a painful memory from our past and we may find ourselves acting out and afterwards wondering why we reacted so much. Our nervous system has been hijacked. These reminders of the past are everywhere. One minute we are having a great day and the next we feel irritated, annoyed, upset and reactive towards another person or a situation we find ourselves in. Without awareness of what is happening for us and helpful techniques to soothe ourselves these emotions can begin to dictate our life and become destructive to relationships.
a profound level of oneness with the world
Each individual’s capacity to manage deep emotions that arise from feeling vulnerable is different. I find Psychotherapy and Shamanic therapy helps us to work through and manage strong emotions during challenging times in our lives. It brings us into a higher state of emotional and spiritual awareness so that we can live the life we want without emotions and triggers from the past constantly directing our life path.
This high state of spiritual and emotional awareness also brings us to a profound level of oneness with the world, feeling connected at a deeper level alongside feeling more emotionally open and freely expressing and receiving Love. We feel more moved and touched by nature. Joy, delight, rapture and ecstasy are experienced more frequently. We feel more alive.
Next week I will speak about our intrinsic connection to Vulnerability and how it is impossible to feel fully alive without allowing ourselves to be vulnerable.
Gerard Talbot is a qualified Humanistic Counsellor, Psychotherapist, Shamanic Practitioner, and Reiki Practitioner. He specialises in providing counselling that allows the wisdom from within to emerge, transforming wounds, trauma into growth to empowerment and strength. He works with individuals and couples.
He describes his counselling approach as “Psychological awakening though Psycho-Education”. This approach embodies the healing power of unconditional love, and is psycho-spiritual in essence. This work examines relationships as a spiritual path, invites you to learn to love and accept yourself and helps you to find your purpose and be present in the world. More