I am a writer. It took me many years to recognize myself that way. I am a great writer. I have something I can teach and something to offer in my journey through vulnerability and connection.
Here is my offering for you today.
The Hard Shell
Getting out of my shell has been a long road for me. For some who see me, on the outside, they may say I am very personable or outgoing. I have never seen myself in that way. Most times I think I am shy and I force myself to be outgoing just to be accepted. But what about accepting myself? What is going on with this?
What Is Going On?
My coach gave me some homework that has been very difficult for me. It would seem simple enough based on the description. When I am doing it, though, at times, it feels like everything is closing in on me. My guess is that a lot of people would feel this way, but I have chosen to share to see what kind of response I get from this.
So, the homework is standing in front of a mirror for two minutes, looking at myself in the eyes and smiling. I get to stand like Super Woman! The caveat…I am buck naked.
In this, I am completely vulnerable and it is really scary. I have learned about vulnerability and knew I had a hard time with it. I didn’t realize how deep it is for me.
Staring at myself in the mirror without any clothes on, I have no protection. Nowhere to run and nowhere to hide. It’s only two minutes but it feels like forever. I have been doing this now for about 8 days and so far it hasn’t gotten much easier, but I do feel some shifting happening.
I am awakening to something I haven’t seen in a while, but I am still on the journey. I am curious to see what happens next.
I was told once that the physicality of our eyes never change. They always stay the same size. I see my little girl in there yet I judge myself harshly. What was happening to me that caused me to attract this into my life over and over again?
How Did This Happen?
I realized that my wall started to go up around the age of four. I did not live with my mother and she would call me on the phone and say things to me like, “Why haven’t you called me to tell me you love me? Or to check on my health?” Although I was only four, somehow, I knew this wasn’t how a mother behaves with a child. There was more to my relationship with my mother that I won’t get into, but the memory I had of this today sparked my curiosity as to why I had such a difficult time looking at myself in the mirror. Feeling not good enough continued growing into a lack of self-acceptance.
There was more to my relationship with my mother that I won’t get into, but the memory I had of this today sparked my curiosity as to why I had such a difficult time looking at myself in the mirror. Feeling not good enough continued growing into a lack of self-acceptance.
From the relationship with my mother, I closed off and put a wall of protection around me so thick and tall, no one was going to get through it, not even me. I was bound and determined that no one would hurt me like that ever again. That sweet, gentle little girl was so scared, it was all she could do to protect herself from the “monsters” of the world or so she thought.
I have since forgiven my mother and myself for the things that went on between us.
The Result of Protection
Protection is fine, if you are being chased by a tiger and looking for a place to hid or a place to go inside during a thunderstorm. For me, using protection to keep life out and my Self locked inside is not healthy. Self-love can’t get through and if I can’t love myself, how am I going to be able to love or trust anything or anyone else.
Also, being in a protective shell is very lonely. I have friends around me, but I keep them at bay, just to make sure I wouldn’t get hurt again. A lonely life for sure.
The Lesson – Vulnerability and Connection
Now I am in a crash course of breaking that wall down and connecting with my little girl. I observe her all the time from above. I still see her having that gentle sweetness that I remember people being drawn to. I think people are still drawn to that, but in protecting myself, the loneliness sets in because I don’t allow them in. I have locked myself down for my entire life until I started doing the mirror work and now I begin to see her clearly.
I have always looked outside my Self for connection. The tricky part for me is that I won’t be able to connect with anyone if I am so busy protecting myself.
I am tired of living life this way, so I decided to get brave and follow through on the mirror exercise. I knew I wanted things to change in my life. Really it was my only option.
Learning this today has brought me a new sense of vulnerability. Sharing it is scary as hell, but here is the thing. The more vulnerable I am with myself, the closer I get to my little girl and the happier I feel. I’m not quite there yet but I still feel it somehow.
I have found that the closer I can get to my little girl, the more things in my life begin to fall into place. The most interesting part of this puzzle is this. What if the thing I’m running from is actually my salvation?
What Can You Do?
Have you ever felt like you have been living a lie? Do you feel like even though you have everything you have ever wanted, there is a gnawing sensation that keeps you unfulfilled with your life? What can you do to find peace and freedom?
4 Small Ways You Can Connect with Your Self
- Go out into nature without any technology and sit quietly by a tree or brook with your Self. Stay there for 15 minutes. Don’t interact with anyone. Bring a journal and record any thoughts that came to you while you were sitting. You can even pose a question in your head about something that you have wanted an answer to for a long time. Write down what you find out. (Please understand that changing old habits into new ones require a lot of practice. If this isn’t a habit yet, your logical mind will probably take over. For the first few attempts, it may be hard as hell to do this. Don’t stop. Don’t give up on yourself. Keep going. I promise you it will start to work.
- Take a 20-minute soak in the tub with Epsom Salts. Again, no technology other than calming music if you choose. Meditate or just relax into the water. Breathe and if thoughts of what you could be doing come to mind, say thank you for coming, release them and continue to breathe. You can get to those later. 20-minutes for yourself isn’t that long. Allow the bath to cleanse you of whatever is happening in your life at the moment. The Epsom Salts removes physical and energetic impurities and you can also put an essential oil in the water too. Lavender generally works best for relaxation.
- This is probably one of the most important things you can do to connect with yourself. There are many ways of doing it, you can do research online to find the most suitable way for you. I like to breathe in, to the count of 4 and out, to the count of 4. Taking breaths in all the way into your stomach is very cleansing and relaxing. You can do this anywhere. If you are at work, take a step away from your work every 50 minutes. A ten-minute breathing break will not only connect you but will also revitalize you and up your productivity.
- The following four words have been a lifesaver for me. But they are so true and they work. Repeat 3 times, “This too shall pass.” And it will.
Protection took me out of connecting with others fully. Vulnerability is showing me that connection.
Vulnerability and connection are not separate.
Know this. You are a lot stronger than you may think you are right now. Baby steps. Take these a little bit at a time. Don’t give up. Always remember…you are worth it.
I would love to get some feedback to see how this situation works with you.
Spiritual connection is all about vulnerability. It’s about reconnecting with my spirit and then connecting with the spirits of others.