Vulnerability. What does vulnerability mean to me? Brene Brown said it best, “Is there something about me that, if other people know it or see it, that I won’t be worthy of connection?” I have seen this coming down the pipe for me; why do I fear being vulnerable?
I feel weak. I feel shame. I feel scared. I don’t want to admit all of my mistakes. I don’t want to feel all the emotions that come up. I want to control all of it. I realized this was becoming a problem when I started to realize that I didn’t have joy or happiness in my life. Brene mentioned in her TED talk, “And I know that vulnerability is the core of shame and fear and our struggle for worthiness, but it appears that it’s also the birthplace of joy, of creativity, of belonging, of love.” There is something that feels so true with that statement that I feel joy rising. We allow not having joy, because it can be so fleeting. Can we love someone so much but know they may not return it, or may die? Can we ask for what we want and be rejected? She explains that at the heart of it all to overcome vulnerability is to have “the courage to be imperfect.” We do not need to numb our emotions and pain. We don’t need to fill a void with food. We don’t need to create an illusion of perfection. We don’t have to have all love reciprocated. We can try to make something 32 times and fail until the 33rd time and then get it right. Was the 32 previous times a waste? We don’t have to control every aspect of our life. My protection shield of controlling my vulnerability has robbed me of my joy.
How do I start to change? Because it is not so easy to say, “Stop controlling everything.” If that was the case then you could tell a person in depression to be happy or an addict to stop using.
So, where did this start? How did I create this in my life? Ughhhh. No offense, but I already feel my back go up to stir up the past. I always remember that saying that says when you think too much into the past you dwell in depression and too much in the future and you have anxiety. You should focus on the now. I feel like I made it through those times and to look at it to examine where did I pick up my garbage and make it my own is discouraging.
But, I must do the work. I can’t graze over these issues that keep haunting me. I need to really look at it like road kill on the side of the road. I’m not going to like it, but it won’t kill me. If anything, I will go back to the birthplace of joy. And that sounds better then calling it road kill. I must embrace it. I need to see that looking at this will set me free. I am scared as hell what it will reveal, but it is worth it to try.