There is an art to working with vulnerability, from both the giver and the receiver. While I don’t subscribe to the notion that vulnerability alone creates change or openness, it is certainly an essential aspect. And like any art, it takes practice and guidance to get beyond stick-figure vulnerability.
I practice in a way that allows companions to feel that they are always in a trusted and open space- one that allows them to take a deep breath and be brave. Being open with another person demands a multifaceted trust. Trust that someone won’t react in way that is harmful. Trust that they would never disclose information that was never meant to be shared. Trust that the person who receives is aware of and sensitive to the kraken of trauma. Trust that says, I have spoken my truth, now hold it and me with dignity. This level of trust is essential between spiritual companions.
Spiritual companions or directors must also follow a code of ethics. Most people will claim that they have an inner ethical code, but for the work of spiritual companions, there must be an external resource that can be referred to. For example, Spiritual Directors International has done a tremendous body of work on ethical guidelines. These guiding practices, regardless of their source, should be shared with any potential companion along with an engagement agreement, which clarifies roles and responsibilities.
If you’re interested in spiritual companionship, send me an email. All initial consultations are free while we work together, in trust, on discernment.