I just watched this piece...
and it reminded me why I write these and why this exercise is so good for me. It reminded me why I spend my time trying to live from a place of gratitude. Why I try to keep open and vulnerable even having been hurt. It reminded me why I put myself out here even when it is scary.
I write these and strive to live from a place of gratitude because I want to keep my heart open to all of my emotions...the ones deemed easy and the ones viewed as difficult because, as she points out so clearly, you can't numb one part of you without numbing all of you....and I don't want to live a numbed life. I just don't.
I want to live a complete, whole life...one with the full gamut of feelings and emotions. I want to live a life that is full and rich and rounded...even when it might feel safer to put the difficult feelings in a box, or stuff them down with a cookie, or a gin and tonic, or a shopping spree.
I don't pretend that living from the heart is easy. It isn't, but it sure is rewarding as a whole. I have my ups and downs just like everyone else, but I'd so much rather live from my heart, and be open, than try to stuff my emotions, or to cover my feelings up with a blanket of indifference. I have big emotions...I choose to feel them. Even when it is painful, my life is richer for it because I do.
When those feelings are ones of hurt, or anger, or doubt, when I'm struggling with Depression and Anxiety, when I'm having a moment of self-loathing, yeah, sometimes I think it would be easier if I didn't feel like I was going to be consumed by those very uncomfortable emotions. They're difficult and often miserable, and they sometimes they just plain suck.
That being said, I wouldn't trade the way that I feel love, and joy, and laughter, and the passion and the strength and the self-love that I am capable of because I feel so deeply for all of the money in the world. If I have to sit in the "darker" sensations in order to experience the light the way that I do, then I'm OK with sitting in the dark from time to time.
I want to feel everything because I want to stay connected...to myself, to my feelings, and to my friends and family.
The place where I sometimes find myself getting lost and where I lose sight of the balance of things, is that it is okay...genuinely OKAY...to not be okay in front of other people.
I forget that just as I love my friends however they are in the moment (happy, sad, hurt, giddy, angry, heartbroken, wildly loved), chances are high, they feel the same about me. I forget that it is okay to call on my friends, even if we haven't spoken in a while, and say "I'm having a rough day, and I just needed to hear a friendly voice." I'm always deeply honored when my friends choose to do that with me. I'm never anything but happy when someone I haven't heard from in a long time reaches out to me. And I love it when people share with me....the good, the bad, the beautiful, and the ugly.
I'm the first person to say and mean "however you are is okay with me." I truly mean that. However you are is okay with me. I also mean it when I say "call me if you need me." I'm genuine when I make those statements.
I have a big heart. I love my friends and family. I am completely comfortable with expressing my love for others, and I am genuine in the desire to offer an ear or a shoulder when it is needed. I am okay with being the first person to tell another that I love them. I am fine with that kind of vulnerability, and I don't worry about the possible rejection in doing so, because I understand that I love how I love and that isn't predicated on being loved in return.
Where I lose sight of my comfort with vulnerability, is that I have a tough time with the idea that I will still be loved when I'm "not okay".
Along those lines, I also watched the piece in the following link today (thank you Rose). It is all about vulnerability and connection. It is about 20 minutes long but it really is worth every minute. I started to cry when she got to the end.
What I'm going to say next is not a fishing expedition. Please understand this. It is me processing and sharing.
What I realized, and have been struggling with for most of my life is that I have spent so much of my life feeling like I'm NOT "fill-in-the-blank" enough. Not pretty enough, not smart enough, not thin enough, not good enough, not talented enough, not funny enough, not compassionate enough, not strong enough, etc., etc., etc. I have felt this way while simultaneously feeling like I'm TOO "fill-in-the-blank" in other ways. Too intense, too needy, too trusting, too open, too moody,too young, too old, too flaky, too fat, too stupid, too...whatever.
I have joked in the past that "I want to be perfect yesterday." In striving for this ridiculous and unattainable notion of "perfection" I've paralyzed myself from actual growth. In the process I've often heard myself utter the sentence "I'm not _____ enough but I'm too _______." What a ridiculously vicious and un-winnable cycle I set up for myself. It is a thought pattern that has only served to keep me stuck.
Well I grew tired of being stuck. Over the course of the past year and a half, I've been working hard at living from a place of gratitude. I've also been working hard at embracing my imperfection, and allowing myself to do things that I'm not good at. I have come to a place in my life where I genuinely love and like myself, and that is such a relief.
The good news is that I think I'm also starting to finally and very slowly embrace the notion that however I am is enough. That I am enough exactly how I am...right now....today...this moment. Up, down, abundant or depleted....I am enough.
I still get scared sometimes that I am going to be "too much." I still have a hard time with expressing my unhappiness when I'm feeling it, but I'm also finally grokking that I'm not an island unto myself. I need my friends when things get rough, and I need the support of my community. If I try to hide when I'm down because I "don't want to get it on anyone" then I'm keeping myself from experiencing support and connection and true friendship.
In essence, I'm robbing someone else of the opportunity to feel like they get to be there for another person. In addition, by doing so, I'm not affording someone else the opportunity to open up to me. How can they truly open up to me, if I'm not willing to also show my vulnerability?
If I continue to keep myself to myself, then this keeps me disconnected....and leaves me feeling unsupported. The worst part is that I've done it to myself. I know, intellectually, that there are any number of people I CAN call when things are tough, but when I'm down, I forget TO call, because emotionally I don't want to be a "bother" or a "burden" to anyone, and I'm finally really getting that this is just plain silly!
Well tonight I'm calling myself on my own hypocritical bullshit because it does not serve me, and does not allow for the kind of openness that I strive to live by. I call myself on it because I cannot expect anyone to truly trust me, to truly rely on me, or to know that I am there for them, if I don't show them my weaknesses too.
So tonight, this reminder is what I am most thankful for. I know I've got a remarkable support network. I am blessed with a wealth of people who I love and who love me. I have a beautiful treasury of amazing people in my life who offer themselves to me with genuine love and affection. I just have to allow myself to accept those things as freely as they are given...and to remember that I also offer those things and mean them when I say them, so I have to trust other people's genuineness too.
I'm thankful for the the happy accident of clicking on a link that Rose was gracious enough to share. It has given me wonderful food for thought.
Thank you, Rose. And thank you, my friends, for your love and patience with me while I grow. There is so much love in my heart for you. So much love. Thank you.
Tassels and Stripes
20 hours ago