One of the things I struggle with is feeling and allowing anger in myself and others. A friend or family member posts something political or hateful on Facebook. I can feel a reaction arising immediately in my body. It’s a mix between what feels like their contraction and my aversion to it. It also can sometimes feel like their opinions are a slap to my own beliefs. It’s hard and it’s challenging and it still needs tender loving care to digest this into a place where I can feel compassion for both of us.
A couple of days ago Robin at Breezes of Dawn wrote a post titled A Monday Meander: Vulnerability Please detour over and visit her post if you haven’t read it. It prompted me to want to explore vulnerability so much more. About why, when and how we learn to share our most intimate selves with the world. Perhaps even about when it’s more advisable to keep our treasured fears and secrets inside.
When I started blogging years ago I was afraid to post anything that felt too vulnerable–like the first paragraph I just typed about anger. To shine light on fears or confusion or awkwardness in the public realm. Something inside was fearful: you will see who I really am and not like me. You will see I’m not a polished invulnerable put-together person. You will see my confused, not-knowing, hot mess, silly, stupid, awful, compulsive, angry, wild sides and you will say–no, not her, I am not like her. You will run away. Or worse–you will try to fix me instead of listening compassionately.
We humans learn to wear masks from an early age. We painstakingly put makeup on over our flaws. We learn how to act (and how not to act) from society and don our personas to best advantage. We’re taught it’s not OK to feel or act on the raw messy human feelings that all of us experience.
We put so many of our “unacceptable” feelings in a Pandora’s box and lock it away deep within the human psyche. Goodbye everything that doesn’t look good to others. Hello human approval. We often try to fix ourselves endlessly, to get rid of the gnarly parts of self that just feel wrong. Or we’ve locked away and lost the key so long ago that we’re not even aware of our vulnerabilities. We want to be like those shining other people with their put-together beautiful lives. Not little old me with warts and moles and unacceptable thoughts and feelings.
Oh, dear human, it’s a challenging journey we take on this spinning blue and green planet. I believe the spiritual journey can open us up to something much larger than our human woes and reveal a Oneness that envelops us like a warm loving mother. Then this same spiritual force gently points us back to all those unacceptable unresolved undigested locked-away feelings and whispers, “Now it’s time. Now it’s time to begin to open your heart to all that’s yet unresolved.”
And it feels so vulnerable to peer inside as the demons arise! Yet we begin to do the messy work of actually looking at these repressed feelings. Being with them. We ourselves become a mother to ourselves whispering, “Here, here, you too can exist” as the emotions arise with their kicking, screaming, whimpering energy. Then we sometimes, if we’re lucky, watch the demons turn into hurt banished little children suddenly welcomed into the conscious parts of our human psyches.
Our hearts start to open. Slowly, slowly, we’re able to sit with the reclaimed energies. Slowly, slowly, we’re able to sit with the challenging energies of others. Slowly, slowly, we’re even perhaps called to speak about in public. To be vulnerable with others. To share that we’re all the same: we’re beautiful and we’re home to the world’s lost and hurting children.
Should we speak our vulnerabilities in public? No, no, no–not until we’re ready. Not until they are ready to be spoken. Our vulnerabilities often need time, space, incubation. We need to become comfortable enough with them before sharing with others. Maybe we’ll gather enough courage to share with a close friend one fine November day. Maybe we’ll only want to share with safe friends our entire lifetime. Do not ever rush opening your heart publicly. I have done that in the past, and it can be heart-wrenching to hear others knife, dissect and try to fix your most tender intimate parts.
Some of you may remember the dyad process that I wrote about a few weeks ago. Opening up and speaking from the heart in a sacred and protected container is a wonderful way to bring forth all the boogeymen who want to see the light of the Holy.
The work sometimes feels never-ending to me. Spirit keeps showing where light wants to shine next. Some areas feel impossible–like they will never break through to the light. Other areas have opened to reveal the Holy in full glory. There is a lot I do not share publicly. I am always trying to listen carefully to what wants to be revealed and what still needs incubation and quiet solitude.
Please share any of your thoughts or experiences about vulnerability if you’re called. ❤
Day 32 of a seventy-five day journey to connect more deeply with God, Spirit, Holy, Love…to explore “What the Heart Knows” during the waning days of 2020.