Women in Transition (WIT) forum for women in the “Sandwich Season”

February 27, 2008 at 7:44 pm | Posted in Authentic Life Events | 1 Comment
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Authentic Life Consulting invites you to the first event in the Women in Transition (WIT) Forum series, “Savoring the Sandwich Season,” for women who want to thrive (not just survive) while caring for children/grandchildren and aging loved ones.

Date/Time: Thursday, March 27, 2008/7-9pm

Location: Franciscan Renewal Center, 5802 E. Lincoln Drive, Scottsdale.

Registration: $25 per person

Click here to learn more about and register for the March 27 forum.

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Practicing relational vulnerability (Part 3)

February 20, 2008 at 6:29 pm | Posted in Vulnerability | 3 Comments
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There can be hope and healing after relational wounding.

For the purposes of this series, I’m defining vulnerability as the choice to let someone who has earned our trust, protect our weaknesses. Weaknesses are areas of limited capacity or immature character that can cause us to hurt ourselves or others.

What happens, though, when we let ourselves become emotionally vulnerable to the wrong person, someone who violates our trust, someone who breaks our heart?

During our very dependent growing-up years, our vulnerability isn’t always a matter of choice; we’re vulnerable because we’re young, and sometimes we’re hurt (often unintentionally) by those whose responsibility it is to protect us. As we grow older and seek acceptance outside our families, many of us become vulnerable to people who appear to care about us . . . but we may lack the discernment to assess their trustworthness. Instead of feeling loved, we may end up being used and deeply wounded.

When we’ve been hurt in a relationship, it’s our human tendency to keep our defenses up in the next relationship. With every hurt that goes unaddressed or unforgiven, our defensive shield becomes a little thicker . . . until one day we wake up and realize that most of our relationships may be fairly shallow. We may trust no one, including ourselves.

Having an emotionally safe place to tell the truth about the hurts we’ve experienced — a relationship where we can work through forgiveness of these hurts and the power they’ve had over us — is the key to developing a new, objective approach to relationships. Even though we may have been terribly wounded, when we dare to move out of self-protection and embrace forgiveness, we can find hope for authentic, trustworthy relationships in the future.

Next post – understanding why vulnerability is better than self-protection.

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Practicing relational vulnerability (Part 2)

February 13, 2008 at 4:36 pm | Posted in Vulnerability | 1 Comment
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We can learn who it’s safe to be vulnerable with.

In my last post I shared a definition of vulnerability that may have been new for some of you:

The act of allowing someone who’s earned our trust to protect our weaknesses, or those areas of limited capacity and immature character that can cause us to hurt ourselves or others.

Vulnerability exists when we choose to let someone know us wholly — not just the healthy parts but also the wounded places we’d prefer to keep hidden — and allow them to influence us with their insight and wisdom.

So, how do we know who it’s safe to be vulnerable with?

Consider the various settings where you routinely interact with people — your family and friends, neighborhood, work, school, church, support group, professional organization. Perhaps, you already have one or more people in your life with whom you’re authentically vulnerable. But if not, of all the people you associate with, who might be one you’d like to be in closer relationship with? Think about those individuals who seem to be trusted by others, who appear to participate in rich, fulfilling relationships.

One of the biggest reasons many of us remain in isolation or “surface” types of relationships is that we’re afraid we’ll be rejected if we try to initiate something more meaningful. We may have a hard time believing in our own value and ask ourselves, “Who do I think I am? Why would she want to talk with ME?”

Here’s a suggestion. This week be intentional about choosing someone with whom you feel you could progress toward vulnerability. Let this person know that you’d like to get to know them a little better, hopefully you already have a few things in common to begin a conversation. If you know you have trouble trusting, tell the truth about it and seek someone who can accept this about you.

Give this new, deeper level of relationship plenty of time to grow. Refrain from being fully vulnerable — try to share who you are gradually, in stages — until you see that the other person is just as committed to earning your trust as you are about earning hers.

Next post – knowing what to do when we’ve been vulnerable with the wrong person.

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