Recently I’ve been feeling a bit BLAH. I don’t know how else to put it – just not feeling well and a bit fatigued, yet I’ve been pushing through to “meet my responsibilities” and keep my “game face” on. I realized that I was also starting to feel annoyed and moody. So I decided to get quiet – I disconnected from the world to meditate and listen. I saw that this “putting on a brave front” was tiring me and I was annoyed with myself for putting pressure on myself when all I really wanted to do was rest, recuperate, rejuvenate – to practice self-care without feeling guilty. Yet, simply admitting this to myself was difficult, so how could I ever share it with others? Let’s just say there were some ideas in my mind that I had to explore and flush out. Which brings me to our vocabulary lesson for today:
1 : capable of being physically or emotionally wounded; 2 : open to attack or damage : assailable / vulnerable to criticism; 3 : liable to increased penalties but entitled to increased bonuses after winning a game in contract bridge
Vulnerability is not a bad word or a bad thing. Being open, honest and curious can lead to amazing experiences and great relationships. People who use and adhere to clichés such as “keep a stiff upper lip; keep a straight face; never let them see you sweat; big boys/girls don’t cry; suck it up; or bite the bullet” may be a tad bit miserable and lonely. If you do not allow yourself to own and express your genuine emotions and you forcibly hide or deny them, they will eventually come out in other ways, i.e. stress related diseases or difficult personality traits like being perpetually grouchy. How will you ever get your needs and desires met if you don’t express them?
I highly recommend you check out Brené Brown, a research professor at the University of Houston who studies and writes about courage, vulnerability, shame, and empathy. Her TED talk on The Power of Vulnerability became a sensation.
Mel’s Two Cents: Don’t become a carbon copy of Oscar the Grouch (remember him from Sesame Street?!). Practice respectfully expressing your true feelings and desires. It’s OK to take good care of yourself and do the things that bring you joy. Stop putting yourself last – put yourself first! By practicing self-care, you strengthen and re-energize yourself and are then able to freely and joyfully give of your time, energy and resources to others. Remember our favorite affirmation: I love and accept myself just as I am.
Until next time.
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