Last week, I began talking about vulnerability and how the avoidance of it can hinder our ability to honour our needs – in particular, the need for emotional safety.
This week is part 2 and what can happen once we are meeting our need for emotional safety… and how vulnerability can help deeper connection.
Here’s the video (and for those of you who need it, there’s a video transcript at the bottom of this email as well).
In the last video I was sharing with you about emotional safety and why it is so important that we need to meet this need before we’re able to go to the deeper needs within us in a certain situation and the more that we build our trust that we will meet these needs for emotional safety by taking action. For example, talking to a friend and saying: ‘I notice that I’m feeling anxious. Would you be willing to help me by speaking in a whisper so that I can stay connected with you in the way that I’d like?’
The more that I do that, the more trust that I have in myself that I can show up without being protected in this way because I know that I can lean into this if I need to.
So then, meeting my deeper needs for connection or belonging might look somewhat different. For example, having the conversation: ‘You know, when you come home after going to the pub with the guys (or girls), I notice that I feel really scared and I’m wanting to show up in a different way with you than by withdrawing in the way that I have been. I’m wondering if I could talk to you about what that’s like for me and what it reminds me of when that happens’.
Now…we’re in vulnerability – and already, this was the most vulnerability that I could come to in that moment.
So now that we’re at a deeper level of vulnerability, I might like to share with you ‘what it was like for me when my Dad used to come home after he’d been drinking. And what is was like for me to sit with my brothers and sisters in the room and internally saying prayers that my Mum would be OK.’
And maybe it’s not as full on for you as this situation. Maybe it’s just that you’re Mum didn’t pay attention to you because she was so busy working and you are now desperate to be seen or to be known.
Whatever it is for you.
But it’s important to share that ‘I actually get triggered in this place, and scared, and I know it’s not necessarily because of something that you’re doing but I really would love your help in understanding what goes on in me when those things happen.’
These are the moments when we can reach toward each other.
But…if we’re with someone who really doesn’t care about our emotional wellbeing, we may need to stop at the level of emotional well being – caring for ourselves at this level and not necessarily having the conversations underneath.
That can look very different depending on the situation but for me, how that looked at the last Embodying NVC Retreat was to realise that I still had a wall up. I looked around at all the people that I was there with and I realised that I still had a barrier up around my heart. That I was not fully open and receiving and it was to do with my sometimes discomfort about receiving from people. That there was still a shyness within me when people are just loving me to the point where I find myself putting up a barrier to my heart. So I was able to share that with the group and it was beautiful to just share honestly that this goes on for me and to more deeply recognise that these moments come up.
There was not necessarily something ‘to do’ but there might be. It might be to talk to this part and to simply get present to what is it that it’s afraid of. Or perhaps, it’s just about sharing it.
So I invite you to these deeper and deeper levels of vulnerability that are all connected with our needs.