Vulnerability from a Physical and Emotional sense

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Week two Vulnerable -The Physical Experience

– So let's unpack “vulnerably”

The Physical Experience

So, let's unpack “vulnerability”. It belongs naturally to all living beings on this planet and at its most basic it can be defined as feeling receptive to harm and pain.

In respect of the physical body. I feel most vulnerable when I am at risk of being physically attacked which can ultimately leave us feeling undefended, unable or unwilling to defend ourselves. We are all susceptible to risk, injury and ultimately dying so "to be vulnerable is to be human". It is inherent to life and a core condition of being alive, "to be vulnerable is to be alive".

Vulnerability can be viewed as being susceptible to harm and pain. Physical and emotional vulnerability applies to both an individual's external physical body and  their internal (subjective) experience.

As a human being I experience, express and articulate my emotions differantly to all other creatures on planet earth.

Emotional Experience

"My jaw was on the ground"

Feeling emotionally vulnerable happens mainly after a feeling of risk, perceived threat, or attack. For me, I call it an emotional experience which generally occurs when I am indirectly or directly aware of being in a vulnerable position or condition.

This experience can illicit physical pain or incapacity. We  have all heard or used statements such as "I was in shock when I heard them say that", "My jaw was on the ground" or "I was left speechless". Normally these expereinces are accompanied by  uncomfrotable feelings of hurt, helplessness, failure, intimidation and  feeling lost, uncertain, judged, rejected,  foolish, clumsy, just to name a few.

As we are interactive social beings we will encounter these expereinces from day to day, it is all part of being human.

When this experience occurs it can feel so unpleasant that we may be compelled to distract or find ways to numb ourselves.  When I can become more comfortable with being vulnerable and allowing myself to feel uncomfortable in these life situations,  I am less reactive, irritated, controlling, embarrassed  and  more calm, open, understanding and less judgemental.

Woven Into the Fabric of Everyday Life

"Vulnerability is not in itself negative. It is an important factor in our willingness and ability to experience life" 

We are all individual therefore the level and intensity of our life experiences vary. How we cope with these experiences is related to our capacity to manage or bare any uncomfortablness they may evoke within us and our level of awareness. Because these experiences are unavoidable we can say "Emotional Vulnerability" is a basic condition of human life.

" Sometimes vulnerability can be percieved  as pain, fear and deficiency, however it is also an inherent part of our capacity to feel joy, intimacy and love".

Next week I will talk about what emotions can be evoked.

Gerard Talbot - IACP Accredited Psychotherapist, Dip Humanistic Counselling & Psychotherapy , BA (Hons) Pluralistic Counselling & Psychotherapy.

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



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