Starting this blog and my facebook page have been a frightening experience. Coming out spiritually last week was terrifying, I was worried about what friends and family would think, I didn’t want people to judge me. I’ve had a lot of positive feedback but I know some people must be thinking I’ve gone ‘coocoo’ crazy. I’m ok with that now, a few months ago I wouldn’t have been though.
Back in August I was feeling particularly out of sorts, I was worrying about the new direction in my life and the consequences of change. I was worried how people would perceive me and I was terrified of losing friends. I was afraid, the inner child in me wanted to retreat deep into a closet and hide under her blanket away from the world. I’m not saying that the terrified child isn’t there anymore, she is but she’s started to come out of the dark, she’s started to walk out of hiding.
So what’s changed in the past few months? What’s got me out of hiding?
It all started with a concept that was introduced to me by one of lovely teachers at college. I was telling her my fears and worries about change and she pointed out I was feeling vulnerable. However, she also pointed out that being vulnerable was ok because it equaled strength. My head snapped back in shock, how on earth could vulnerability be related to being strong. I couldn’t grasp the concept, vulnerability alone was a tough thing for me to grasp.
The word ‘vulnerable‘ is defined as being “exposed to the possibility of being attacked or harmed, either physically or emotionally”, it means being susceptible to physical or emotional injury, susceptable to attack and being open to criticism.
“Ahhhh, how does this equal strength I asked?” Being exposed seemed weak to me, open to attack.
It’s taken me a few months to work this out but I finally understand it and have discovered that acknowledging my vulnerability has actually been a huge catalyst to growth for me and I’m stronger that what I’ve believed I am.
I tend to be a perfectionist. I don’t like anybody seeing my weaknesses, I’ve wanted to appear strong. But this limited thinking isn’t working anymore, to be real and true I’ve had to drop the perfectionist persona. This means letting people see the soft inside of me, not the hard outward shell. It means opening up, letting people in, knowing that everything can’t be perfect. I’ve started to do this, letting people know I’m not 100% ok, I struggle, I have fears, I worry. I’m starting to let people know the real me, not the fake one I’ve created for protection. And do you know what has happened? People are starting to open up to me more, I’ve become more approachable.
I’m putting myself out there BIG TIME. I’m not hiding anymore. I’m not really the person I’ve led people to believe, I’m not the party animal numbing my pain away, I’m a happy soul wanting to be free. I still want to have a good time, I just dont want to get wasted anymore (I get very sick now with binge drinking, my body repells the abuse of extensive amounts of alcohol). So yes, this means that I’m ripping off the bandaid and revealing who I really am. It may mean people don’t want to be in my life anymore because they don’t recognise me but I trust that the people who know me deep down inside will recognise the person I’ve become and want to stay in my life. I have a lot of love to give now that I’m living more of the authentic me.
I have also come to terms that people may not like what I have to say here on this blog. It’s not going to be everyone’s ‘cup of tea’ but if I can help one person with what I learn on my journey then I will be very happy and to do that I can’t keep all the information in my head any longer. I trust that the people that need to find this blog will find it.
In the past I’ve always wanted to have everyone like me but I’m learning that is not possible, I’m slowly letting go. I’m sticking myself out there and not being small any longer. I’m spreading my wings to fly.
So what does this mean in terms of vulnerability to me now. I believe now that vulnerability = strength. Having the courage to step up and own who you are is strong, its brave, its couragious. Being exposed and open to attack might be frightening but it also opens up opportunities of tremendous growth and discovery. It’s a work in progress for me but believing in myself is the first step.
“What makes you vulnerable makes you beautiful.” ~Brene Brown
Spare a moment and think about an area in your life that you might feel vulnerable:
- Are you not telling someone you love them in the fear they don’t say it back?
- Are you afraid of public speaking because you’re up there in front of an audience and are open to criticism?
- Are you ill but you’re not asking for help because you’re afraid it will look as if you’re weak and needy?
- Are you hiding something from a partner, friend or colleague in the fear that they judge you, dismiss you or might ridicule you?
Be vulnerable, show yourself to others completely without holding back for fear of rejection or judgement.
Be strong, reveal your vulnerabilities. Let it out and embrace it. People will warm to you more.
Step up and be strong with me.
Good luck my friends, stick your neck out there and be seen!
Love, light and laughter
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