invulnerability and overachievers
Vulnerability when held, witnessed with compassion and welcomed but contained in loving and supportive boundaries is so beautiful.
Vulnerability is healthy, and normal. A natural part of the human experience.
It brings deeper intimacy, fosters connection between people and creates a sense of being known, understood and accompanied in life’s ups and downs by the people we’re being vulnerable with.
And, it’s SO different to a variety of more immature expressions of emotion. Volatility, excessive neediness coupled with an inability to self soothe and an expectation that someone else will change or do something to ‘fix’ it, total collapse into pain or lashing out at others are all expressions of the SAME wounds, albeit done with far less responsibility.
For fear of showing up as the latter, many women don’t allow themselves to have the former.
I see this pattern over and over again in the women I work with, and it’s because this particular psycho-emotional blueprint is a near PERFECT foundational ingredient in over-achievers.
Cut off from the expression of their vulnerabilities and needs, the human psyche HAS to find a way to get its needs for love, connection, validation and belonging met…
Often an early environment where vulnerability is shut down or shamed, or where there is no room for the vulnerability of the child (because of a parent’s own disregulated emotions) is the starting point. The same environment will generally also reward the ‘opposite’ traits – confidence, competence, having little or no needs, being ‘good’ and, yep, you guessed it – achievement.
Thus, you learn vulnerability, needs and emotions = ‘I get rejected/punished/abandoned.’
Achievement, competence, being useful = ‘I get loved.’
Pretty simple, right?
These same women will often go on to find adult relationships that perpetuate these wounds, finding themselves with partners who are emotionally unsafe in various ways.
Throw into the mix that being low maintenance, resilient and determined to achieve are a recipe for real world success, has perhaps even had people with less control over their emotional state look up to you, AND the fact you’ve likely looked sideways at one or two (or many) women having big feelings and thought of them as some version of weak, and the stage is set.
Until the cracks start to show.
See, no amount of achievement, being useful to others or overriding your vulnerability to look good will actually nourish your system.
Thats why the women I work with come to me exhausted, lonely, with libido issues and can’t see a way out, because their only map of how to solve the problem actually makes it worse…
Their systems are STARVING for real nourishment.
For presence. Softness. Slowness. Connection, pleasure, laughter. Permission to not have it all handled. To be seen, deeply, and accepted there, in all their mess…
At this point, we have to give their psyche and nervous system an ENTIRELY new map for what it means to be vulnerable.
This often requires a messy, challenging, ungraceful descent into the welcoming and acceptance of all that which has been repressed previously; which is utterly TERRIFYING for the system of the woman who has been invulnerable for SO long.
But, its SO worth it. 🙏
The richness of living available on the other side of this journey of re-templating are beyond anything that the old wounded, repressed map could deliver.