Updated: Sep 11, 2018
Vulnerability is a beautiful thing. I admire vulnerability in others and am a strong advocate for it. When we're vulnerable, we're relatable. When we're relatable we're able to connect with others. When we're connected we're more empathetic, compassionate, and kind. All good and needed things.
Two weeks ago I experienced an evening of great connection, compassion, humility and grace. I recognized that it was a result of all the participants being very open and vulnerable. All except me. As I was marveling about the beauty of that experience, I realized I hadn't been particularly vulnerable that evening. I was the only one of the 12 who hadn't really opened up. As I reflected further, I realized I'm not vulnerable very often. In fact, I'm not even sure what that would look like for me. How do I do that? Where do I find it?
It's not that I am aware of actively trying not to be vulnerable. In fact, I want to be vulnerable. I want to be accessible to others, to connect deeply (and all the other afore mentioned goodies.) I just don't have much experience with it.
In my work and in my circles, I tend to be the one in the chair, not the one on the couch.
Vulnerability takes courage. And as much as I'd like to believe I'd be placed in Gryffindor, I'm pretty sure I'm a Hufflepuff.
However, though I may lack in courage, I am relentless in doing the work to find and shine light on my blindspots. So, I've been curious and observant and looking for opportunities to be vulnerable- however that may look for me.
Fast forward two weeks to last night. Same event, mostly same people, and me- committed to making efforts towards vulnerability.
And then I got triggered. Hard.
(From my journal last night as I was trying to process this):
"Someone tonight triggered me. I had a really hard time with her. It made me uncomfortable to hear her give feedback to others. I found myself using my hair to cover my eye so I couldn't see her while she was talking. I built up such a resistance/ barrier around her. When it was her turn to speak, I tried to be open and listen from my heart, but I don't think I could go there completely. And when she finished, all I could think was, "I call bullshit." *
I listened to (and watched) the others give her feedback and I thought, "How are they not seeing this?" And then I doubted me. No one else seemed to notice, maybe it's me. Something she embodies threatens me? Is it a 'who does she think she is'? Am I jealous of something? I'm not sure. But I want to explore it. I wish Erika or Crystal would have been there to give me some insight one way or the other.
Vulnerability, Shadow Work, Dark Feminine, Spiritual Bypassing
I can't tell if I've worked through shit and it's clear or if its stuffed down so far & I'm numb to it and can't find it.
When I go to workshops and we do shadow work/ dark feminine stuff I can't find it. It doesn't resonate with me. I don't have that anger. (Do I ?!?)
Am I walking around so full of bullshit everyone can see it except for me? Is that why this person made me so uncomfortable? Is that me?
I'm definitely concerned about being a fraud, a hypocrite, not practicing what I preach. That may be one of my biggest fears. Is that because I speak of perfection- and I'm afraid of my imperfections? And if I shine too brightly someone will see it and call me out?
I don't want my hypocrisy to be called out on twitter or play out on the big screen. But no one is aware of their hypocrisies are they? Donald Trump can't see it, can he? So doesn't that mean I could be as blind as they are?
If I am- I want to know about it. I want to be called on my bullshit so I can resolve it. I want someone who can call me on my bullshit. Someone who can SEE me. Someone who can see what I can't see myself and bring it to light. I want all shadows lurking within out and in the open so I can see them. Address them. Love them and learn from them. ...Maybe that's my problem. I want confirmation and validation ahead of time. Someone to tell me- "you're the real deal"- before I step out.
But maybe the trick is to step out first and let the hypocrisies expose themselves out in the open- and deal with them with humility, grace, (and humor) and move on.
Is that why we're afraid of being seen? Because we're afraid the reflection won't match our self image? Afraid they'll see something we can't? And afraid we won't like it?
I'm (obviously) still trying to figure all this out. But in a move towards more vulnerability, I'm stepping out and hitting the PUBLISH button.
(*Whether she was full of bs or not is neither here nor there. She was the perfect catalyst for me to dive deep into this and I appreciate that.)