We lean away from discomfort, we tend to shelter ourselves from raw exposure, lying to ourselves that these defences will protect us from the inevitable pain. Instead we present a well preserved self to the world, the facade of stability and 'strength'. Why? To protect our seemingly fragile self-worth. It becomes this habitual dance, hustling for self-worth, ducking out of the way from any potential blows. It sounds exhausting even writing about it! What is it? 'It' is the fear of vulnerability.
To be vulnerable leads to eventual heartbreak, or hardship. Many of us choose to opt out and take the safer, well paved road; and then we wonder why we feel empty, lack meaning and have an undercurrent of unease in our lives. Well my friends, vulnerability is the birthplace; it is at the core of creativity, joy, wholeness and most of all love! This vulnerability is the key to living a wholehearted existence. Wholehearted to me, is being 'all the way in'. You don't have one foot in, one foot out of your life when you are wholehearted. Nope, you are knee deep in the love and the shit working your way through. Why? Because joy is worth it! That deep seated, nothing can alter my worthiness, I am lovable and true kind of joy!
Risking failure and defeat are not nearly as terrifying when you recognise your worth runs far beyond the ego driven competition. How we manage our self-talk and react to failure defines how we feel about ourselves and the world around us. Do you embrace self-compassion and patience as you stand up from the fall? This is a great lesson that does not always come naturally to me. So I have patience with myself as I learn patience ;)
Become curious about how you react to your world and those who are in it. Investigate when you seem to shut down and shut out. Often you can feel the lump in your throat or the turning in your gut when someone has hit a little too close to home and you need to abort mission! As in, 'nope this is too real, too close to the hurt, I am OUT.' The first step is the recognition and learning to sit with it. Why? Why sit with hurt? Because unimaginable joy is just around the corner :)