It’s been a weird month for me.
A dear friend of mine passed away. I really haven’t experienced loss through death…ever. It’s a weird, new thing for me. Honestly we had spurts of silence where we were both just busy and didn’t talk every single day…so I still feel like she’s just out on the beach and will text me back tomorrow like she used to…I don’t know that I’ve come to understand, yet, that she won’t.
I reread our texts from the last year…one really spoke out to me about encouraging others and how she admired that I could be so vulnerable in sharing on social media…she told me to keep being that way and helping others feel good…and I read through her texts about how she had one life and wanted to travel and love and live…and I just kind of soaked it in, withdrew a bit, and decided life is short and I literally may only have a decade left to make it my best…so I’m gonna.
I read and research a lot on social interactions, behaviors, psychology, relationships, personal development…all the things about people and being human. I find a lot of solace when I read or listen to a podcast and find something that resonates with me in an ‘i always think that’ kind of way. It reminds me we are not alone and we are not put on this planet to be islands of isolation and struggle—we are all made of the same pieces and are simply trying to put our pieces of our puzzle together as best we can day by day.
For instance, I’m always trying to perfect my teacher training and think how can we dig deeper and what more can we provide and offer for the next group. I’m reading a book from two much more seasoned teachers than me and so much of it mirrors things in my lesson plans and in the exercises we work through already; it allows me to see where I could do better but also feel a bit of a pat on the back for where I have actually done a great job. I feel it’s important to discover and understand both our triumphs and our recognition of needs to improve!
I went through a messy three years. A lot of hiding and confusion turned to anger and shame and finally guilt and embarrassment. However, not that I have ‘made it to the other side’ or feel that I am in some place to offer great words of wisdom—I do feel that I can say I finally feel a little freer, don’t feel so broken, and am happier more days than sad or blue.
It’s been a process of diligence and dedication—and truthfully withdrawing from things to focus on my children and my home and my business has helped me the most. These things have allowed me to create memories and connections, create safe spaces and remember what is important to me…I don’t really know that I knew what I really cared most about besides the things you assume must matter to everyone.
I will 100% say that vulnerability has led to a major release in anxiety; there’s less surprise or secrecy of feeling like you have these things ‘wrong’ with you that no one else is going through. Chances are—most people around you are going through something just as relatable or maybe 10 times more frustrating than you are.
We can find ease in connection rather than distancing; a good balance of being ‘real’ verses over sharing can go a long was in not feeling like you have to present yourself as anyone other than who you are; and at the same time it can allow you to listen when people are sharing what THEY need or what you maybe could benefit in changing or developing in your own days. I’ve found a lot ‘vulnerability’ is just being available to others—not necessarily sharing all the gory details about your heartaches.
So if you’re feeling anxious—remember vulnerability starts with yourself. Actually talking to yourself through meditation, exercise, quiet time or even journaling to discover what you are feeling or hoping for rather than ignoring feelings you don’t understand. I know that is a major experience of anxiety for me—when I don’t allow myself to fully experience an emotion and find the root of why I am feeling that way.
So moving forward through summer and more teaching and less of other things for ‘work’, I’m hoping to continue to challenge myself to be more vulnerable in my day to day experiences whether spending time with my children or teaching a class of some sort. I want to bring a deeper experience and richer connection with those in my life and hopefully bring them a fuller version of myself, too.
Be vulnerable ❤