Do you wince at the thought of being vulnerable or maybe even the word itself?
Well-I am not sure I really ever thought about this concept too much but that may be because I had squashed the idea of being vulnerable because I probably was thinking it was like the belly of an armadillo—soft and easily penetrated, which could definitely lead to a serious if not fatal injury.
Well as I have grown over the past few years, I am totally amazed, first at the fact that I am still here and functioning—the loss of a loved one can be paralyzing and secondly, that the self-doubt dragon is gradually losing its voice or is at least hoarse right now. You know those dragons we all have flying around near our ears, saying things like
What if someone finds out you wrote a book?’
What if someone thinks you don’t know enough to help anyone? (This one was SCREAMING in my ears!)
Who are you to speak up?
What will they think of me for moving on after such a loss?
Am I supposed to be happy?
Do I deserve to be happy and find joy in the world again?
Is being too sensitive really a bad thing?
Of course not—we would tell others they might need to go talk with someone if they had these dragons talking so much smack to them, especially if that someone was listening to them. But, what about ourselves? Yes! We need to say the same thing, right?
For me, I knew I was feeling better and that was largely due to my support system but also due to my mindset and maybe because I am pretty determined when I put my mind on something. I’ve even been accused of frequently getting my way—which was meant as a derogatory comment but you know if I make my way and put in the effort then I don’t see that as a bad thing at all.
So, back to my change of heart. Noticing my change in myself and thinking I could be a 5th grader to someone who was say a 3rd grader with all the changing I had been doing, I thought I could at least do that. I then went about doing what I think I could to get my message out there-still working on that by the way. I did what I could and after it was received warmly, I felt more confident and thought WHY NOT? Why not go with this and see if I can help- seemed like the plan was sound. EXCEPT, I was still hiding behind a pen name. Sure I was satisfied for having met my own challenge of putting myself out there but I still was wearing a mask. Mind you a pen name is not a bad thing nor a bad way to transcend some muck, I especially like mine because of the meaning but then I starting thinking……..well actually I started reading the book Daring Greatly by Brené Brown and that changed things for me. I decided if I was going to try and help others get the most out of their lives then I’d better show up in my own life.
While using a pen name helps with anonymity, I think it gave me permission to wait to get out there and NOT do something until I had completely wrapped my head around what I had done. Two problems with that thinking, the first is waiting and the second is completely-it will never be complete, it is a journey.
I know now that I don’t know exactly how I got this far and that I shouldn’t wait. I could instead learn along the way of helping others. I really enjoy Brené Brown’s analogy of a “swamp being the soul of shame.” Not to be avoided but to be acknowledged with the proper equipment. She suggest galoshes—I think of muck boots (same thing) and she says with EMPATHY we can do away with the feeling like we need to live secretly and in silence and of course being critical or judgmental of not only others but of ourselves.
So, that is why I’ve decided to show up as me, Connie. I am who I am and that’s okay. What do I have to lose? I hope not you! Who wants to show up?
We all do!
Thanks for reading and if you have any comments or questions please contact me and I will do my best to assist.
A little more about the book Daring Greatly can be found here DaringGreatlyReview