The Therapy Team 6D, 7398 Yonge St Suite# 646, Vaughan, ON L4J 8J2 416-454- 2323

As a therapist, I am honoured to be given a window into your lives. I get a glimpse into both the deep vulnerability, the pain and the suffering as well as tremendous resilience I am fortunate to witness time and time again. I have immense gratitude to you, my clients, for allowing me to walk with you during hard moments that are rarely shared with others. Recently, my clients have shared painful experiences from their past that often lead them to want to avoid feeling anything related to these negative states. Questions arise like, “Why should I be vulnerable?” “This is uncomfortable, what is the use of feeling these emotions?” “Why should I open up a can of worms only to feel more raw and hurt?” “I thought I left my past in childhood, why do we need to revisit this?”

We know that the reason we exist is due to connection. We are hardwired to connect for our survival. Vulnerability is the essence of the very experience that creates connection. Whether it’s a smile at the cashier in the grocery store, a partner saying I love you first, the stranger who helps someone who is lost, or the doctor who takes an extra minute to show her concern, vulnerability leading to connection is at the heart of living wholeheartedly, with authenticity, sincerity and purpose. Moments of vulnerability are never perfect. More often than not, we are shown the fragility of life and the beauty of connection in times of distress, in moments that are unpredictable, that catch us by surprise or desperation. It is the vulnerable moments that reach down deep within us and move our souls. It’s clear that in order for connection to happen we need to be vulnerable, we need to take the risk of exposure without any guarantee, and embrace the unpredictable, while letting go of the expectations that we have of ourselves and others. 

Now more than ever, we live in a vulnerable world and we feel more vulnerable in it. Fears and anxiety flourish in this current environment. It’s only natural to want to numb these negative feelings. The problem is, we can’t selectively numb vulnerability. Emotion is there to connect us, to teach us, and to guide us to moving to greater heights. If we numb, we run the risk of numbing love, joy, gratitude and the rich experiences we gain when we are vulnerable with one another. By pushing negative emotion away we expend far more energy in a “protector” or “defensive” role than we do connecting to others. Research tells us that when we are unable to feel our emotions and process them, our bodies hold onto the feelings and manifest them in physiological and psychological symptoms e.g. anxiety, substance use.

This begs the question, how do we practice vulnerability? Being vulnerable, involves your willingness to accept the emotional risk that comes from being open and a willingness to love and be loved. It’s when you let yourself be deeply seen, sit with uncomfortable feelings, love with your whole heart even though there is no guarantee, practice gratitude and joy. It’s when we decide to work towards healing our past, begin to relate and accept who we are and not who we think we should be. Practicing vulnerability begins when we are able to realize we are worthy of being, and of being loved.

With gratitude for continuing to share your vulnerability with The Therapy Team,

Lori Borden