Be Real. Be Vulnerable.

by Friday, August 22, 2014

So of late I’ve been struggling with something. I’ve been struggling with the idea that I am a strong woman of today, who can always pull herself together no matter what situation she faces, versus the feeling of being emotional, weak and vulnerable.

The idea versus the feeling.

Which one is REAL?

Which one do I want to be?

Which one is ME?

So of course, whenever I’m in doubt, I tend to go with the heart. And the heart has been asking me, what’s so bad about being vulnerable? It’s OK, to put yourself out there, expose your weaknesses, and be wiling to take the shot of death.

And you know what? Fascinatingly enough, that makes me feel stronger and happier.

I realised a lot of things these past few days dwelling on these thoughts. And the reconfirmation of my thoughts came from a friend who said to me – you’ve shown courage. It’s not easy to put yourself out there. You’ve shown what a great amount of courage you have in you by doing just that, and THAT is real strength. So don’t bother thinking of yourself as weak, because you’re very clearly not.

And again, to that I thought, and so what if I AM weak right now? So friggin’ WHAT? πŸ™‚

Who said being weak was a bad thing? Well whoever did, was a fool.

Because I’ll shout this from the rooftops today if I have to – BEING/BECOMING WEAK SOMETIMES IN LIFE IS A REAL THING.

It makes you REAL.

It makes you NATURAL.

It makes you HUMAN.

And, it makes you YOU.

Fully, completely, whole-heartedly YOU.

Not a fake personification of some idea of strength and durability that’s been deep conditioned into your mind by the world.

Now, you may or may not believe in ‘signs’ but I do. And so when I watched this AMAZING, LIFE CHANGING video a couple of days ago, I was absolutely shocked and amazed at how the universe had brought me this message at the right time (the wonders that happen in our life never cease to amaze me no matter how often it happens:)), and I was also blown away by the findings that she made after years and years of research into the simple phenomenon of VULNERABILITY. An emotion that we ALL feel, that we ALL go through. An emotion that MOST OF THE TIME, we try to NUMB, we try to move away from, and we try to COVER UP with all the other million distractions that life has to offer (work, career, money, partying, alcohol, cigarettes etc).

Such a powerful and important message for our day and time. Please watch the video, trust me, you will not regret it.

The Power of Vulnerability – Brene Brown:

Some of the most powerful things that I took away from this talk:

  • There was only one variable that separated the people who have a strong sense of love and belonging and the people who really struggle for it. And that was, the people who have a strong sense of love and belonging believe they’re worthy of love and belonging. That’s it. They believe they’re worthy.

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  • These are whole-hearted people, living from this deep sense of worthiness. What they had in common was a sense of courage.Β Courage, the original definition of courage, when it first came into the English language — it’s from the Latin word cor, meaning heart — and the original definition was to tell the story of who you are with your whole heart.Β 

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  • And so these folks had, very simply, the courage to be imperfect. They had the compassion to be kind to themselves first and then to others, because, as it turns out, we can’t practice compassion with other people if we can’t treat ourselves kindly. And the last was they had connection, and — this was the hard part — as a result of authenticity, they were willing to let go of who they thought they should be in order to be who they were, which you have to absolutely do that for connection.

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  • And you know how there are people that, when they realize that vulnerability and tenderness are important, that they surrender and walk into it. A: that’s not me, and B: I don’t even hang out with people like that. (Laughter) For me, it was a yearlong street fight. It was a slugfest. Vulnerability pushed, I pushed back. I lost the fight, but probably won my life back.

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  • And so then I went back into the research and spent the next couple of years really trying to understand what they, the whole-hearted, what choices they were making, and what are we doing with vulnerability. Why do we struggle with it so much? Am I alone in struggling with vulnerability? No. So this is what I learned. We numb vulnerability.Β We live in a vulnerable world. And one of the ways we deal with it is we numb vulnerability.

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  • The problem is — and I learned this from the research — that you cannot selectively numb emotion. You can’t say, here’s the bad stuff. Here’s vulnerability, here’s grief, here’s shame, here’s fear, here’s disappointment. I don’t want to feel these. I’m going to have a couple of beers and a banana nut muffin. You can’t numb those hard feelings without numbing the other affects, our emotions. You cannot selectively numb. So when we numb those, we numb joy, we numb gratitude, we numb happiness. And then we are miserable, and we are looking for purpose and meaning, and then we feel vulnerable, so then we have a couple of beers and a banana nut muffin. And it becomes this dangerous cycle.

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  • This is what I have found: to let ourselves be seen, deeply seen, vulnerably seen; to love with our whole hearts, even though there’s no guarantee to practice gratitude and joy in those moments of terror, when we’re wondering, “Can I love you this much? Can I believe in this passionately? Can I be this fierce about this?” just to be able to stop and, instead of catastrophizing what might happen, to say, “I’m just so grateful, because to feel this vulnerable means I’m alive.

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Sigh.

Wow.

Sounds intense, and deep, right?

Well, it really isn’t.

It’s very simple.

We’re all human beings. Made of the same flesh, blood, and most importantly – heart. This is what it is.

The heart feels weak sometimes, and it feels strong at others. They are not dualities, they are not opposites. They just are two different states of being. Both of which need to be embraced and welcomed.

After watching this video, I realized that what I had been doing of late – showing courage at a time when I was feeling vulnerable, opening my heart knowing fully well that there was a possibility of getting hurt again, and even showing willingness to learn from my mistakes, work on my faults, and fight fiercely for what I believe could be the most worthy thing to fight for in my lifetime – by doing all of that, I was and am just being REAL. I am not numbing away anything going on inside of me. I’m embracing every realization and lesson that is coming my way through these life experiences, and responding to them from a place of awareness, and more importantly, willingness.

Now, I feel a deep sense of gratitude.. that the universe has brought me these feelings and these lessons for a reason. I was clearly meant to go through whatever it is that I have, in order to arrive at this point in my life where I KNOW, with all the sureness and clarity in the world, what it is that I feel and want… and that this period is making me grow, through such intense feelings that even though it hurts, I’ve let everything in once again, and I feel alive. I feel REAL. Not like a machine, programmed to be strong and durable. I feel REAL. A being with a soul and a beating heart that is courageous enough to proclaim its feelings, to admit its vulnerability, and to finding out the true meaning of feeling alive.

And as difficult and painful as this period in my life may feel right now, I know deep inside that what I am fighting for, and what I am choosing to believe in, is worth it. Yes, it is a risk – everything in life is! But at any given point in our lives, we can either choose to tred with caution and keep ourselves from the possibility of pain, or we can choose to say, hey this may be a risk and I may be confused, what if it doesn’t work out… but think – WHAT IF IT DOES WORK OUT?

Are we willing to run away from the possibility of getting EVERYTHING WE DREAMED OF IN OUR LIFE, just because we were too scared to make the braver of the two choices?? I know I’m not.

JS

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PS – Ask yourself one question – do I want to look back in my life and wish I had done something differently? Wish that I had fought harder for something? Wish that I had had the courage to take a leap of faith when I had the opportunity?Β 

Think about it – at the right moment in your life, if you take this leap of faith, you have nothing to lose, and most likely, everything to gain.

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11 Responses
  • Kunal Lala
    September 9, 2014

    Brilliant…and simply put…

  • Delna Buhariwalla
    December 24, 2014

    Awesome. Awe Some.

  • Delna Buhariwalla
    December 24, 2014

    Awesome. Awe Some.

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