On Being Vulnerable

This topic of vulnerability keeps coming up.  In the last 4 days it has been discussed in the novel I’m reading, at several meetings I’ve attended and while having coffee with friends.  I’ve selected and discarded this theme several times as it is not one of my favorite subjects.  So, when it came up again this morning in another book I’m reading, I knew I could no longer push it away.  I had to admit my feelings out (i.e., become vulnerable).

As I’ve said many times in the past, becoming or being vulnerable was never my goal.  My late husband (of 18+ years) said, with some bitterness, “You don’t allow yourself to be vulnerable with me.”  Never one without a sarcastic retort, I responded “Why should I be?  Every time I do, I get crushed.”  This was my perspective at the time.  Perhaps it was a self-fulfilling prophecy.

My new perspective, however, is this:  Real, deep growth occurs ONLY when I allow myself to be vulnerable.

From acknowledging the loss of a friendship, the pain caused by a careless remark, or a promise or intention not kept, to the passing of those we care about, admitting these upsets and hurts  — first to myself and then to others — makes me vulnerable.  Loss, painful as it may be and combined with the other emotions it exposes, actually is a catalyst for change and growth.  It puts us in touch with our deeper self.  As Julia Cameron says:

“Loss cracks our hard outer shell and exposes our vulnerability.  And, exposed, we find our vulnerability is a source of strength.”

This is precisely what is happening to me. Since Tim passed 4 years ago, my Creator has presented me the opportunity to explore my self.  I have worked on this in a number of ways, and I can say with certainty that I am now a happier, better adjusted person for the effort.  As my friend said yesterday:  “I’ve known you for years, and our conversation has been on a rather superficial level.  You’ve changed.”

And for the better!  The path I’m now on offers me the chance to be and to do things I barely dared dream of before.  Becoming vulnerable, despite my protestations, has been the impetus.  Who knew?  Alas, he journey of self-discovery continues!  Please, join me in The Journey by following me on Twitter @katystarr6.  Namaste.

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Fear, Faith & the “One Day at a Time Plan”

Greetings from sunny New England, USA.

Today my son started middle school. Wow.  The passage of time, as many have said before me, is just remarkable.  Wasn’t it just recently he started kindergarten?  And tomorrow, another child starts his senior year in high school.  It’s silly, I know, but I’m already thinking about what it will be like when he goes to college or otherwise moves on.

This my friends, is called projection.  Instead of living in today and appreciating it for what it offers, I live in the past (wondering what happened to the time or what I could have done differently) or the future (what will become of me when my children move on).  With one foot in the past and the other in the future, what happens with today?  This is why the present is called a gift.

So today, I am consciously making a decision to look at my life, and where I am today.  I am grateful for lots of things:  No longer must I awake each morning to go to a J-O-B that I despise.  Of course, I do what has to be done to pay those bills, which often involves doing what I’d rather not do.  My children and I are healthy, we have a roof over our heads and enough food to eat.  In case this sounds corny, remember that there are many on this earth, even here in our own country, who do not have these basics.

Which leads me to where I am today.  I now choose to craft my life around what I have just recently admitted I really want:  to write and to share my experience and hope with others.  This desire has always been in my heart, it has just taken me a few decades to admit it.  And that’s okay.  I choose to have faith and believe that I am supported by powers much greater than myself. 

Where will this new path lead?  Don’t know. There are no guarantees.  I will, however, put one foot in front of the other with trust and move forward. Today, I will acknowledge my fear and move through it.  Just taking it one day at a time and living to the best of my ability in this moment is the best way to appreciate this gift of life.

Waiting For the Right Moment

Greetings!

Today is the day I’ve chosen to start my blog and I’m nervous,  maybe even terrified.

I’d like to say “terrified” is too strong a word, but perhaps not.  The right photo must be located, the topic of the day selected, there are lots of other things to do…Help!  And just like that, my topic has presented itself.  I need not wait for the perfect moment to begin something.  As some say, the lights are not all going to be green at the same time.  Waiting for everything to be in place, at least for me, means I may never take the first step.  So where I am right this moment is the place to start.

This form of perfectionism has stopped me in my tracks many, many times.

The journey begins exactly where we are right now, with one small step. So pause, smile and proceed!  Remove the need to do it all perfectly, and just do the next right thing to the best of your ability.