Recently, I opened the waiting room door to welcome the woman I was going to have a meeting with. From the way she was holding herself, I could tell she was in extreme pain. Her back had gone out. After saying hello, I asked her if I could carry the obviously heavy bag she was wrestling with. “No, it’s okay I’m fine” was her response. “Are you sure?” I countered. “You don’t look like you are fine. In fact, it looks like you could use a helping hand”. Before I had finished my sentence, my colleague was halfway down the hall. I let the incident go but could not help but notice how familiar the scenario was.
Vulnerability Is Strength
Having the courage to admit you need help is one of the most common challenges to women finding their voice. From my experience, the truth is most women equate vulnerability, in this case having dependency needs, with weakness. As I discuss in my upcoming book Lipstick and Soul, this is women’s blind spot. They believe themselves to be more open and emotionally vulnerable than in fact they are. The oversight limits the capacity to receive support and as you can see from the example above prevents intimacy and a sense of being cared for from developing.
Unfortunately, many women are so used to the idea of caring for themselves and or others, they do not even contemplate saying yes to support even when it is right in front of them. In fact, they may not even notice they are being presented with the gift of support because they are so enmeshed in the roles of self-sufficiency and caretaker of others —which unfortunately until these issues are addressed, limit the capacity for intimacy in relationship.
So for the sake of the inner woman, how about giving the concept of emotional vulnerability a facelift? Let’s renew the idea of vulnerability as it is currently thought of as weakness and trade it in for a new perspective that incorporates the idea of vulnerability as nourishing, like an anti-aging face cream you apply daily to keep yourself looking and feeling young and fresh.
Ready to start?
The first step in developing inner strength is making the decision to become aware that you need help, which then allows you to take the second step which is the process of accepting that you need help.
To maintain your inner beauty regimen and awaken your mind body and soul, tune in weekly and follow the Best Self-Care practices on the home page. To evaluate the connection you have with yourself, please take the Women and Relationship Quiz in the Freebie section.
Joan Shaver LMFT Be Bold Be Beautiful Be True to Yourself