The Safe Experience and Expression of Our Emotional World

“The greatest gift we can give ourselves is to be able to acknowledge our faults, to honour our emotions and to express them in a non-destructive way to others.”
~ Karen Wilson

VULNERABILITY is something I see more of than most in the specific type of occupation I’ve been called into by God. Sometimes there is a pause – an awkward-enough silence – an uncomfortable space – for another person to take a risk; “What the heck, here is my problem/what I’m feeling.” There is always more to come once the process has started. Putting myself regularly on the receiving end, it is never comfortable, but it is vital for growth and healing.

The essence of growth and healing is captured in Karen Wilson’s quote.

Such growth and healing never take place devoid of the Spirit of God. Let’s break this quote down to its component parts.


To express our weakness requires strength. To even become aware of our weaknesses requires much humility, which also requires strength – to face what we will hate (no overstatement here) to learn or consider is real or right about ourselves. Nobody truly wants to embrace their faults, but when we do, God opens the door ajar, enough for the waft of freedom’s breeze to be tasted in our olfactory sense.


We are children. We all are. We only have to be upset or have the capacity for joy to understand the child state is irrepressible. The moment we accept we are children – needy of love – needy of a relationship with God – is the moment we begin to be open to our emotional world; and that paves the way for the blossoming enigma of the spiritual world to emerge – to take its rightful place in our lives. We are empty shells, spiritually, until we have embraced this emotional world – which, at least initially, will scare the living daylights out of us.


Having made the steps of acknowledging the brokenness deep inside us, and having honoured that space where the emotions cry out to be heard, expression is made easier, more palatable, and therefore safer.

We hurt people too easily in our emotional reactions. We regret too much. Hurt people, of course, hurt people. The wisest of all people understand the delicateness of communicating interpersonally where there is the potential for emotional infractions abounding.

It takes such courage and skill and loving tact to communicate our broken vulnerabilities – in humility and in safety – before others so that they won’t be hurt. But such a practice is richly rewarded. And, just as much, there is great character and reward in protecting others when we are emotionally vulnerable.

© 2014 S. J. Wickham.

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