Everyone, meet Jennifer. She is a Licensed Professional Counseling Intern and the newest member of Ashenfelter & Associates. We are so delighted to be working with her. Read more about her on our website and enjoy her first blog on Courage and Vulnerability.
I recently attended a conference where I was given the opportunity to hear Dr. Berne Brown speak on the topic of courage. Dr. Brown is a researcher who has focused the last ten years of her work on studying vulnerability, courage, worthiness, and shame. You can learn more about her work here: http://www.brenebrown.com/about/
One of the things that Dr. Brown said in her talk is this: “There is nothing more courageous than showing up and being seen.”
Vulnerability is a challenging thing. On one hand it is something we all long for, the feeling of being fully known in all of our messiness and beauty, and being accepted fully in that moment. On the other hand with everything in us we desire to protect ourselves from potential rejection so we wake up each day, drink our coffee, get dressed, and do our very best to keep people at an arm’s length from us. Heaven forbid we allow anyone to see the hurts, the struggles, the fears. No, we want them to see the joys and successes, but not anything that might make them think less of us.
Unfortunately, life is messy. There is no person alive who has not experienced some bumps, bruises, and even scars along the way. But, I believe that it is in the mess that we find true beauty! Think of the little boy with chocolate all over his face, it tells the story of a delicious ice cream cone. Think of the cancer patient without hair, her bald head represents a fighter. Think of the cracked window on the front of the house, it represents a baseball game between brothers. You see, life doesn’t always look the way we expect, it isn’t always neat and clean, things happen, pain comes and pain goes, and sometimes the pain sticks, the wounds are deep, the scabs keep getting ripped off, the cracks get bigger – it is in those areas of our lives where we often need additional support. It is there that we need to find the courage to sit down, be honest, and allow ourselves the freedom to be vulnerable.
Finding a place where you are fully accepted and able to address some of those hurts and struggles can be scary. It is our desire as counselors to provide that place for you. A safe place where vulnerability can be experienced and in the process you can be refreshed. This takes courage though. It is scary, there is no doubt about it, but in allowing ourselves to show up and be seen we find freedom.
If you, or someone you know, is currently struggling and in need of support we hope that you will call us. We would love the opportunity to sit down with you and talk through the struggles you are experiencing and help you to begin your healing journey.