The Art of Vulnerability
What ways can we develop our capacity to be with the truth of what is, to be with the fear, joy, guilt, discomfort and softness that comes with the human experience?
Each work of art in this series will be about exploring & unraveling the layers of our minds and connecting with our selves, one moment at a time.
|Spiritual Bypassing & The Art of Vulnerability: first in a series of collages exploring the fascinating depths of the human mind.|
Even our spiritual practices and beliefs can be used to add to our sense of denial and defense.
A spiritual bypass is a "tendency to use spiritual ideas and practices to sidestep or avoid facing unresolved emotional issues, psychological wounds, and unfinished developmental tasks".
"Spiritual bypass shields us from the truth, it disconnects us from our feelings, and helps us avoid the big picture. It is more about checking out than checking in—and the difference is so subtle that we usually don't even know we are doing it.
The shorthand for spiritual bypass is grasping rather than gratitude, arriving rather than being, avoiding rather than accepting. It is spiritual practice in the service of repression, usually because we can not tolerate what we are feeling, or think that we shouldn't be experiencing what we are feeling."*
|Reaction Formation & The Art of Vulnerability|
"Reaction Formation occurs when a person feels an urge to do or say something and then actually does or says something that is effectively the opposite of what they really want.
It also appears as a defense against a feared social punishment. If I fear that I will be criticized for something, I very visibly act in a way that shows I am personally a long way from the feared position.
A common pattern in Reaction Formation is where the person uses ‘excessive behavior’, for example using exaggerated friendliness when the person is actually feeling unfriendly."*
|The Fragmented Self & The Art of Vulnerability|
Dissociation is a habitual response to moments perceived as stressful. As with most things, it exists on a spectrum. Daydreaming is a form of dissociation, to escape from the stress of boredom (or the stress of what lays underneath the boredom) perhaps. Perhaps to also have some fun creative, fantasy time. It can also send us into a state of fragmentation, where we can quickly lose our grasp with our safe & social selves. Carl Jung theorized that "dissociation is a natural necessity for consciousness to operate in one faculty unhampered by the demands of its opposite."* A perspective I find to be quite empathic and helps to normalize what can be a very confusing & all-consuming moment in time.