Over the years I have built up some rather large walls. These are double layered, reinforced, special op grade walls. I know, you would have never guessed, right?!?! Recently, with the help of my mentor, I have been practicing vulnerability. Wow – that’s intense to write. Talk about being vulnerable, I just let the cat out of the bag! OK, clearly I am avoiding; resorting to humor rather than being open – spackling any signs of cracks. Straighten up, let’s get serious.
A part of this practice is to be with my emotional being, to allow, to open, to ‘flow’ – to let go of the need to analyze. This is the hardest for me. I am analytical by nature – I want an answer to everything. But, sometimes you just have to be.
It has been difficult for me to sit with my emotions. When asked by my mentor “How does that feel?” I struggle to find the words, I try to label, I place judgements and then sometimes I modify or redirect – trying to answer how I should be feeling (what I perceive to be the correct answer) rather than how I do feel.
For me a large part of this is fear. Fear of being vulnerable, fear of not being the ‘star’, fear of not being quite good enough. Which leads me to be ask, what even is good enough? Good enough to whom? To your parental units, to your partner, to your friends, to society? We (I) need a shift, we need to foster true inner acceptance and not rely on external influences. It is when we let go that we are freed.
Let me give you an example. Last week I went rock climbing for the first time ever. I was motoring through my first assent and then my analytical nature kicked in. Do they know what they are doing down there? Is the knot right? What if I fall? Shouldn’t I have a helmet on? I stopped – froze actually. I called down “Ok, I’m done. I want to come down”. I was quitting and I was ok with that (I never quit, so this was a huge step with being vulnerable). Vulnerability in the sense that I was giving up, but also you are out there spidering up a fricking wall. It was in this moment that I looked up and realized that I only had two more placements until I was at the top. I became fearless, I became stronger and I competed the climb. Now, my second practice with vulnerability. Do you realize that you have to hang back without the aid of the wall at the top of your assent? You need to trust the harness, the belay and your partner below. Once I accepted this, I was unstoppable – I went on to free climb, and even a free descent. I always knew there would be a day when my monkey arms would serve me well.
Being vulnerable forces us to live authentically. By our own rules, in our own unique way. And it is with this vulnerability that we find our strength. Strength to break holes in those walls; ever so slowly they will become rubble.
Foster love. Nourish self. Live authentically.
Thanks for reading,