Below is part three in the series in which I tell you about “how I started to figure my shit out”. If you haven’t yet read part one and part two, go do that now. Part three will be waiting right here when you’re done, I promise.
p.s. For those of you who have been asking me to share my big “breakthrough” moment, I hate to disappoint, but it’s less one big thing and more a bunch of little things, including the discovery of tools I leveraged to help me through the journey. The TED Talk I reference below was one of the biggest tools in my arsenal. Part four will deliver a bigger A-Ha!, but I wanted to give this post the billing it deserved because this was a pivotal moment for me.
Originally posted Feb 14, 2013 – edited
I’m stuck. I feel like I’ve stumbled into quick sand; wanting to move forward, but paralyzed by the thick mire I’m trapped in.
I’m stuck. Stuck inside my head. I know I need to really dig in and uncover all my baggage. Quicksand-bogged baggage. Baggage that carries my body image issues, an unhealthy degree of competitiveness, and the mother of all my issues: a paralyzing need for perfection. Or, at least, the appearance of perfection.
I know that to expose all this baggage, all this deep-rooted shit, will leave me vulnerable. Exposed. And for me, the prospect of getting naked in that way is a fate worse than being stuck.
I’ve always been very controlled. One might even say a control freak. But let’s not. We’re friends, right?
A former co-worker, and still dear friend, Sarah, introduced me to Brene Brown, PhD, a researcher in sociology and esteemed author. Her TED talk, The Power of Vulnerability, served to shine a light on my deepest fears.[youtube:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iCvmsMzlF7o%5D
This message resonated with me on a visceral level.
Vulnerability is our most accurate measure of courage. ~Brene Brown
Being vulnerable is the only way to allow your heart to feel true pleasure. ~Bob Marley
When you do things from your soul, you feel a river moving in you, a joy. ~Rumi
I want to be more vulnerable, really I do. But I’m scared shitless. And I come by this fear honestly.
Raised in a home where dirty laundry was absolutely never aired out, under any circumstances. Where “what will the neighbours think?” was an oft-cited question.
No. Exposing vulnerabilities was out of the question.
This may be the makeup of my psyche, the current truth that flows through my veins, but I know that I need to change it. I need a transfusion. Without a willingness to be vulnerable, I’ll surely not find that elusive path to happiness, to satisfaction with life, to fulfillment.
I also know that I need to care a whole lot less about what other people will think of all this.
I realize now that it’s not enough for me to self-analyze and reflect, but be willing to open the kimono, exposing my insecurities, my fears, my ugliness, my imperfections. And my neuroses. There are many.
This won’t be easy. But this blog has become a vehicle; enabling this vital process.
What started out as a journal of my daily workouts, designed to keep me accountable, has quickly become my version of a therapist’s couch. I’ve been inching nearer to that couch every day. Right now I’m perched tentatively on the edge of the seat.
I’ll lie down eventually.
And I really hope you’ll all join me there. Shit is less scary when you’re surrounded by friends.
Fuck caring what the neighbours will say. I WANT TO KNOW WHAT THE NEIGHBOURS WILL SAY.
I’m tired of hiding everything. (Note to self: This would have been a great realization last November at the BLR resort, when I was keeping my struggles to myself, despite the fact that I had my dearest friend in the room right next door to mine.)
I’m easing my way onto that couch. Next stop, my giant confession, a breakthrough moment.
To read part four in this series, click here.
‘Til then… Keep moving,