Turning Towards Vulnerability
Updated: Jun 28
According to Welwood in Toward a Psychology of Awakening, “it’s important to distinguish our basic human vulnerability from the fragility of the ego identity, that brittle shell we construct around our soft receptive core where the world flows into us” (2000, p. 157).
I think that’s a beautiful quote.
I feel I’m at a time in my life where I’m beginning to sense my own soft receptive core, and to have my own personal experience of having the world flow into me.
It’s interesting to me how disconnected I’ve been from my own vulnerability. For the first 41 years of my life, I lived in a constant state of defending and protecting myself. I was only willing to surrender to a different way of being when the energetic, psychological and emotional toll of that defensive stance became unbearable.
My more recent experiences of having the world flow into me are no walk in the park, either. Those moments of tenderness are often raw and painful.
These days I’m experiencing a lot of connection and kindness, which is pushing up against my own nourishment barrier. Growing up with narcissistic parents, I built my defense mechanisms early in life and then spent decades working to keep them intact.
As I’m practicing letting more connection and kindness into my life, it touches the pain of going without connection and kindness for so many years. In retrospect, I believe my life has always offered me both the opportunity for pain and for joy, but early childhood experiences created a situation where I decided to not let anything in, good or bad.
I’m interested in vulnerability because it’s been my path to freedom. There’s more freedom in allowing pain than in running from it. There’s more freedom in accepting things as they are than in wanting things to be different. There’s more freedom in allowing my true nature than in trying to deny it.
I share more information on recovering from narcissistic parents here.
About the Author
Diana Calvo is a psychotherapist and coach who helps people get unstuck and transform their day-to-day experience of work and life. After 20 years successfully climbing the corporate ladder, Diana experienced her own journey of healing and awakening. She discovered her true calling to guide others on their journey out of suffering and into a life of purpose and joy. Diana left the corporate world to start her own coaching business. She lives in Denver, Colorado with her dog Joey and a beautiful view of the mountains. She works with clients across the globe.