Vulnerability: The Great Debate
In today’s society, there seems to be a big taboo against being vulnerable and sharing one’s heart and soul. There might be a fear of overwhelming the recipient or pushing them away. However, in my 27 years, I have found that vulnerability is actually the ticket to discovering who is truly in my corner, my tribe and my community. As I mentioned in “Love in the Time of Covid,” this has been a particularly challenging year. While I have made many disparate phone calls to old friends and family -- which has directly led to countless doctors’ offices and even to the state of Washington for a six-week visit -- cried more tears than I ever imagined I had the capacity to hold (and still continue to shed), and opened up to literal strangers, I have also witnessed my own resilience, tenacity and persistence in a manner I only thought I knew. In my typical style, here are 3 lessons I have learned from allowing myself to be seen, aka #vulnerable. 1. There are truly good people out there.
Whether or not you feel disillusioned about the state of world or have ever experienced heartbreak, rejection, abandonment or disappointment in some interaction, know that there are still good people out there. Case in point: I met a woman at a breathwork event (more on this later) who unsolicitedly put her hand on my knee as I laid in the fetal position, crying at the end of the class. She offered to give me a hug, which I graciously accepted. I then proceeded to cry into the arms of this beautiful stranger about chronic health conditions and the global experience that has been #2020. She proceeded to share with me the story of her own children’s mental and physical health journeys and offered to take me to her holistic health center. Again, I graciously accepted. I left that night feeling hope in a way I have not felt for more than six months.
2. Don’t stop crying.
Crying gets a bad rap in our society. So many people would rather numb their feelings by drinking, using substances, shopping, gambling, having sex, you name it than feel whatever it is the body needs to express. Maybe it is a critical boss or an insensitive partner or some backlogged trauma from a teenage breakup due to irreconcilable differences. Whatever it is, let it out. The body is so much wiser than our minds. Our body keeps score and always knows what we need. It truly knows how to heal on its own.
3. Let others see you.
Shed that tear or sob uncontrollably into a stranger’s arms after yoga, like me. Let’s be honest, several strangers’ arms. This time period has shown me that saving my face is more important than saving my (butt). So many people have come out of the woodwork to support me, if even just for a minute, an hour or a day. It has truly touched my soul. I have consistently seen that the more I have shown others what I am feeling, experiencing and thinking, the more I have allowed others to love me. As a byproduct, I have felt more connected, more loved and more accepted than I have honestly felt in a long time. If you have a habit of keeping everything to yourself, like I have in the past, let others support you.
I promise, you will be surprised.