Can I tell you I’m sad, or scared, or even that I love you, without feeling embarrassed? Can I tell you how I feel and stay open to you? Can I express my vulnerabilities without regressing into a place of shame?
For many of us, there are many occasions where we can share our vulnerability and hold on to a strong sense of ourselves, expressing our sadness while still feeling capable, valuable, and that we’re enough.
But there are many other times when expressing our vulnerability pushes us back into feelings of shame and embarrassment.
You see, when we were young, and expressed our feelings, sometimes we were rejected, or abandoned, or felt like there was no one there really understanding what we were feeling and saying. So we developed ways to cope with our feelings that didn’t involve sharing them with others. We learned to do things that take us away from our feelings like being so busy that we don’t experience our own emotions.
But what if we didn’t do that? What if we slowed down and allowed ourselves to be aware of our sadness or disappointment, and anger, and scared?
And what if we took that one step further? What if we felt all these things, and then shared them with the world around us?
Could we share ourselves and our vulnerability and still hold on to feeling valuable, without becoming embarrassed or shamed?
The struggle we have here is this one—if we were once humiliated in some way—by, say, our parents—when we expressed feelings as a kid—then we’re likely to be scared it will happen to us again.
So when we share feelings, a loud little voice inside shouts out something bad is going to happen, and that voice critiques ourselves for any vulnerability we may have shared.
So the hard work is to feel and share our vulnerability, and then to feel all that comes out of sharing our vulnerability—to feel that internal critical voice—and to be compassionate to all those parts of ourselves,
I know for so many of us, our lives become very busy, and we make little room for expressing our needs, feelings, and other vulnerabilities? But what if we did slow down? What if we allow time for feelings and let them be some of the most important parts in our lives? What if we let ourselves live. Really live from all of who are on the inside. After all, that’s what we go to the movies for—to watch other people live, And see their feelings. What if we became our own movie? our own protagonist?
If we reach out and share what we feel. And then we practice the art of soothing our inner critic who scares us, we live a life of self-compassion and soothing, and a life of true courage and true kindness.