Episode 25: Being Vulnerable Brings True Freedom
From the words of Brene' Brown, "Courage starts with showing up and letting ourselves be seen"...."Because true belonging only happens when we present our authentic, imperfect selves to the world, our sense of belonging can never be greater than our level of self-acceptance."
These last few weeks I have been working on and thinking about vulnerability. This is a huge subject. It's something that is talked about all the time, Brene Brown talks about it, she is like the main guru of vulnerability and busting shame. If you don't follow her, or read her books, she has so much good information about being vulnerable. So I'm going to start out by reading one of her quotes. She says "we can choose courage, or we can choose comfort, but we can't have both not at the same time. vulnerability is not winning or losing, it's having the courage to show up and be seen when we have no control over the outcome. Vulnerability is not weakness. It's our greatest measure of courage."
It takes courage because it's scary, it's putting us in a position of feeling exposed. And we can't control how somebody is going to react to us if we are open and honest and share our emotions. But if we don't, then we risk feeling all of the good emotions as well. We don't get to decide what kind of emotions that we feel or don't feel. We feel them all. So if we're numbing half of them, then ultimately, we're numbing all of them. We're not feeling everything to its fullest capacity. And even though the painful things are hard, those are the things that change us. Those are the things that make us grow. Those are the things that heal our heart and our soul. And that's what brings us peace.
So it's important, but it's hard. It's hard to get there. How do we do it? What are we supposed to do? What does it even look like? We have all of our own thoughts already. We already make up stories in our head of what people think about us what we think about ourselves. If we say this, then someone might say that. We write these scenarios that don't even actually exist. And in some cases, some of the things that we are keeping safe by protecting and not sharing are because we have experienced really hard things. Being vulnerable is the surest way of living a present life. It helps you stay in constant awareness of how you're feeling, what's happening around you, how you're acting and behaving, the things that you're thinking about the things that you're doing. And it makes it easier to stay in truth and reality of how you're actually being treated.
What's going on around you from other people from the outside sources, like your job or your partner or your family members or your friends. Being vulnerable, opens you up to a really healthy life. It's not easy, though. It's really difficult. We have to talk to our logical brain and our emotional brain. And our logical brain might say, It's okay, if we share what's on our mind right now. It's fine, because even if somebody doesn't like it, it's what we feel and that's okay. But our heart and our emotional brain say, Okay, I don't think so because I know what is possibly going to happen if I share this information. I am going to get reamed or the backlash is going to be way too much, I'm not going to be able to handle it.
So what do we even do? How do we start? For me, what I have noticed is the best way to start anything is to have your team and your tools surrounding you. What that looks like for me is I have a meditation app that I use few different meditations, I use the app calm. I also have my favorite, a favorite meditation on YouTube that I listened to a few times a week. It's called let go guided meditation. And in the description it says let go of anxiety, fear and worries a guided meditation and it's by power thoughts meditation club. And that was just free on YouTube. I also like to be armed with the knowledge and the things I've learned from therapy or from my groups that I'm in or from people I've talked to or books I've read. Things that remind me why I want to be bold, why I want to be truthful and honest with myself and with other people.
All of those things kind of surround me, in this little cocoon of knowledge and of strength. It's like, each of those things can hold me up so that I can do the vulnerable thing. It's not an easy task. It feels scary and stressful at times, because we don't want to be hurt. We don't want to be ridiculed or mocked, we don't want someone to look at us and say, Oh, please, like get over it, stuff like that. It is so hard and painful. But the alternative to not speaking up to not speaking out, is that we become smaller and smaller. We don't want to be small. We are done being small. We want to do the work. We want to heal. We want to be happy. We want to live a good life. We want to reach our potential of the things that we can offer to the world and to ourselves so that we feel on fire again.
If you're in a situation like I was in, where there is betrayal, and addiction and infidelity, it is a very low, taxing, abusive situation to be in. Because in my situation, the lies and the manipulation, you've heard me talk about them were so apparent, but it was in this really covert way. It was masked in all this niceness and love, only to trick and lie manipulate. So it was scary to call out what was real, call out what I was feeling. Because my person probably wasn't going to listen to it or hear it or believe it. But sitting with it and not being able to be seen and heard, not be able to have somebody listen, hear, and believe what I was saying was causing more harm than taking the risk and letting it all out.
So for me, that's what I decided to do. I want it to be strong, I want it to be healthy. And I want it to be able to see really and truly what was happening. Because the crazy making that I felt that I would put my hands to my head and just say what in the world is going on? Am I making this up? Am I delusional? Am I thinking something's wrong when it's really not? Is this me? There was a piece of me that wished it was because then I could change it and fix it. But it wasn't. So I needed to save me.
I needed to choose me to heal me. And the only way to do that was to start standing up and saying no, what I feel is real. What I have found is real. What my heart and my gut are telling me is real. So vulnerability starts coming out. And as I learned how to share truth in counseling and state boundaries, it didn't become easy, but it became worth it. So that fear and the anxiety of setting a boundary of how somebody could treat me or talk to me was so scary. I would have to pray constantly beforehand, like okay, okay, okay, please help me remember to do the things I'm supposed to do and say the things that I need to say and help me to stand tall and not let him persuade me into thinking things are okay.
And then I'd be geared up, and I'd be ready, I will have prayed and meditated and gone to my counseling, and I was ready. And I would state the boundary. And sometimes for a minute it was taken okay. And other times I was laughed at, I was told I was ridiculous. And I was told my inspirations are wrong but they weren't. So take heart in that, that if you have some gut feelings about what's happening in your life, just try to hold on to those, try to get the help you need so that you can state the truth so that you can say it out loud, and start the healing process.
In my experience, where I first started being vulnerable, was in my experience regarding someone else. So it's like if you are standing in one spot, kind of have your arms around yourself kind of holding yourself. And everything that's happened to you is on the outskirts, and it fans out around you and you're seeing it from a different view. So it's not happening to you at that moment, you're looking at it, and it usually regards somebody else. Some experience whether it was your childhood, or your spouse, or friends or or somebody else. Even if you're the one who has caused the problem, usually you're looking outward to see why you did what you did. And you're finding some of the reasons.
Again, whether it's your childhood, or your spouse, or a friend. And so that's usually where it kind of starts where we start feeling the most comfortable, because it's not super scary or you don't feel super exposed when you're not directly looking at your own self. So We start outward. This is where we start practicing some of those things that you heard me say when I would say to my husband at that time, I felt this when this happened, or this is not okay with me, because I found out that you were doing this, whatever the scenario.
That's vulnerable, because we're calling out somebody and telling them that they hurt us. And the risk is that they're going to say, I did not, or you're so sensitive, or the only reason I did that was because you did this. Any of those reasons are blame shifting. And in some cases, it would be gaslighting, lying, manipulating, deceiving all of those things that are not okay in a healthy relationship and are not good for you. So that's the risk when we start calling out the people around us and wanting to share what's going on. But that's kind of where we start. That's where we feel the most at ease, because we have our tools and our counselor, and whoever leading us and guiding us and helping us to come up with these boundaries.
Helping us practice to be different, rather than just cower and go smaller, because we don't want to cause a problem, we learn that causing a problem is what's going to set us free. And in some cases, it saves the relationship. In cases where the spouse goes, Oh, and they have their own awakening, they can do their own work, too. And then together, you can grow and become a healthy couple, it might be good for you to write a list of some of the things that you're scared of saying out loud, that you're scared of telling somebody, whether it's a story that happened to you, whether it's things you need to tell somebody to stop doing, whatever it is, maybe start writing a list of the things that are coming up, that you feel anxious about being open about. Bernie Brown says only when we are brave enough to explore the darkness, will we discover the infinite power of our light. Now I know we all want to feel light, I know we get tired of feeling weighed down, we get tired of being in the darkness of any sort of abuse or pain or sadness, not being seen and heard. It is hard, it's miserable. It makes you feel so empty, and lonely and isolated. But it doesn't have to, we don't have to stay in it. Really, it's just about a choice. We have to choose to be different. We have to make the choice to say Today's the day, I want to rise up and do something more do something different. I want to be okay, again, I want to find my life again, I want to find my drive and my passion and, and change and grow and become who I'm supposed to be. Do you remember years ago when people would say you've changed? You are not the same person anymore? Do you think that's good? Do you think we're supposed to stay the same person as we were when we were 20 years old, we're supposed to become more we're supposed to become stronger, more self reliant, more emotionally Reliant. But if we somehow got lost along the way, or were told that we are not good enough, and that we should remain the same, and that we shouldn't have thoughts and feelings and opinions and emotions. Then again, today's the day, today's the day to gather the tools that you need, so that you can rise so that you can choose into your healing and your happiness. Don't you want that? Are you ready for it? Are you tired of feeling sad or lonely or depressed? So we have to start somewhere and vulnerability is the way to do it. Because once we own our story, the light breaks open, it starts showing what's actually there.
Now it's not easy, it's super painful. But as we start sharing what's going on learning the tools to stand up, things begin to change and we become strong. It's brave, it's courageous to do this stuff. But you can do it. I know you can. And I'm here with you. Do you have a favorite podcast episode of mine that has helped you a lot, re listen to it. Listen to the ones that will help you gain the strength that you need. If Today's the first day that you're like, you know what I'm gonna do it. I'm going to start healing I'm going to change some of these things that I've heard Roxanne talk about. In now. 25 episodes, go back to the beginning, start all over. Let me help you walk through it. If you need any more help than that, visit my website and you can contact me. Now the next phase of vulnerability comes when we've conquered so much when we now recognize when those around us are not doing what they should or treating us right and we call it out. We don't have the same fears anymore. With the boundaries that we set. We are okay stating how we feel. We have our list of things that when we feel rejected or someone doesn't listen to us, we know what to do. Let me stop and just tell you some of those words when we're having a conversation. Let's just stay with our spouse and we feel triggered or Anxiety starts coming up for us because we feel something whether they weren't really listening to us whether they didn't give us the assurance we need or validate us in the way we want,
whatever it was, maybe we saw them kind of disconnect. Anyway, whatever
some of the words we can say are. When that happened, I felt blamed. I felt uncared for I felt betrayed, I felt unimportant. I felt disrespected. I felt unheard. I felt criticized, I felt judged, I didn't feel good enough, I didn't feel worthy. I felt left out, I felt controlled, I felt betrayed. Those are just some things I've found in a list of words that help us with communication. And that can guide you when you're talking to somebody and being vulnerable. It helps remind us that we are in a conversation together. being vulnerable, is something that we have to do every single day, we should be having conversations like this with our spouses on a regular basis, every day, you should be aware of how you're feeling, and what's causing those feelings or what is coming up for you. And you should be able to share them. And you should be able to listen to your spouse as well. So let's get back to what I was talking about. About we have now conquered, or at least working on regularly calling out what's happening around us and how we're feeling about it. So we start feeling pretty good, like, Hey, I actually made it, I've done some really good work. And I think that I have healed I think that I'm good now. But as we notice, things keep coming up for us. And we think Wait a second, I've done the work, I'm super vulnerable. But we're missing the next step. And now we can be ready. And what it is, is now we have to turn all of the arrows in instead of having them out and seeing who's bothering us, or what's causing us pain, we have to turn the arrows in. And we have to look at our own selves. This is the really hard part because it is super scary to look at our weaknesses. And what happens is we tend to take a weakness that we have or an addiction that we have, or behavior that we have, that we've had for so long that came there because we were protecting ourselves from somebody else or something else. So we feel like we should have that thing. But what happens is, that thing is now the next thing in line. It's causing us harm. But what happens when we see those is that we look at that one thing. Well, there's more than one. But when we find the first thing that's wrong with us, we now look at ourselves, and we think we are the worst, oh my gosh, it's like we cannot handle seeing those dark shadows. It scares us, it stresses us out to see those shadows, the person I use for my energy clearing, she was sharing something with me about this concept of shadows. And she explained it that there's a bridge and we're at the one side of the bridge. As we start to walk we start seeing our own shadows. And we're like, mmm, I don't think I like to see that. So I'm gonna turn back around and go to the start of the bridge. And this is where a lot of us get stuck. Because our pride relies on us to feel like we have done such an awesome job. So why can't we have both? Why can't we be so awesome for the work we've done? And we now get to start looking at what's going on inside of us that we need to heal personally. What shadows are we hiding? What are we scared to open up about about ourselves? What kind of things our insecurities is our self worth just super damaged. And we need that fixed? Do we have different addictions that we go to, to numb out emotions. If we're doing that we need to look at it a little more clear and maybe with our logical brain and say, Hey, wait a second, we can be both. There is opposition in all things. We can't have one without the other. So we have to come to an acceptance and make peace within ourselves of the light
and the dark.
Because in Scripture, it talks about the dark and it talks about we have to see both. In order to choose light. We have to know what that feels like we have to have it internally in there so that we can see which one we want to feed. It helps us It makes us stronger. So there is a reason for it. But we don't want it ruling our lives and when we have addictions or we're not willing to talk open about what's going on with us or our fears or weaknesses or our self esteem issues
or whatever the things are that are our shadows
if we are not open about those things. Then those are the ones that are going to take us down. Because we can look outward and think all this stuff is fixed. And now everything is fine. But if we don't look at the honest truth about ourselves, we have only made it so far. And how great Have you felt, once you have done something that is, is hard when you set your first boundary, and it worked, and you felt good, and you're like, Hey, that was scary, but I feel good, you never go back. Once you've learned something, and your eyes are open, we've talked about this several times before. But once you know something, you do not want to go back,
you would not want to unlearn it,
it's the same with this. So if you're at that point where you've done some outer work already on vulnerability, and now you have to look internally, think of it like that, that this is freedom, this is going to lead you to more learning, where you won't want to unlearn it, you will be so happy, your perspective will be so much bigger, you'll be so much more clear, you'll be free. And you'll be able to live healthy and happy and teach your families to do the same. So looking at our inner selves, and our work is painful. And again, we need to have our tools around us we need to have that support that helps us uncover what those things
helps us keep them in the right perspective. Remember, we have to stay challenging that emotional brain, the one that tells us
we're not good
enough. We're the worst. Because look at how bad I am. We have to challenge that we have to remind ourselves No, that's not true. We've done all these good things. And now we want to heal this piece. It's love. It's not hate, it's love. We want to love ourselves enough that we do the work so that our heart can heal. There's a song that I heard the other day. I've heard it before, but it caught me so different because it's about God being our partner, and that he's always there. The song is by casting crowns. It's called just be held. And I want you to look it up and look up the one with the lyrics so that you can really see what message God's tried to tell you. But I'm going to read through some of it. It says, hold it all together. Everybody needs you strong. But life hits you out of nowhere, and barely leaves you holding on. And when you're tired of fighting, chained by your control, there's freedom and surrender, lay it down and let it go. So when you're on your knees and answers seem so far away, you're not alone, stop holding on and just be held. Your world's not falling apart, it's falling into place. I'm on the throne, stop holding on and just be held. Just be held. If your eyes are on the storm, you'll wonder if
I love you still.
But if your eyes are on the cross, you know I always have and I always will. And not a tear is wasted. In time you'll understand. I'm painting beauty with the ashes, your life is in my hands. And then again, it goes on to the chorus. But it's beautiful words and it reminds us that he is there. He is there when you are falling apart. When you don't know how to look at your own shadows, and the darkness that consumes you at times. He's there, when you don't know how to be vulnerable. And you do not know how to unlock those walls that you've been holding so close to you to keep you protected.
He'll be there.
Now, even though you don't know how to do that by yourself, and you will need help to do it. Because things that are traumatic, are hard to heal on your own. But with a counselor with a guided person that can help you open up, let go and surrender what you've been trying to protect yourself with. And God will be on your side. And people like me who have already gone before and done it and found it and found healing. We're rooting for you. There is hope and there is healing. It does work. When you work on it, it works. When you do the process. It works. When you do whatever program or tools you're given you succeed every single time you do something, the chains that hold you back,
What you're doing is super important work. What you're doing is changing your life and your family's life and generations to come. Today's the day. vulnerability is scary and painful. And it makes us want to curl up and say No way. It doesn't matter. I'm just gonna live like this and be sad, because sometimes the pain feels unbearable. But as you start crossing that bridge, you start dealing with the shadows and you see that you have a team of people that are right there loving you and supporting you and not judging you. You will keep going across that bridge. And as you imagine being linked arms
with God One side,
and a support person on the other use me if you want, I can be your support person, imagine linking arms with me and walk across that bridge, deal with each and every shadow. So you can feel the peace that God wants to give you. By doing that, you'll be able to see more clear the decisions you need to make in your life, you'll be able to notice if your spouse is also doing the work, and you guys are healing together, how happy will your home be, if both of you choose to do the work, and if not, and only one of you do, then you will know what to do, you will not be afraid, you will be able to do it, you'll be able to move forward, even though you don't know the outcome. A lot of the times we don't want to be vulnerable, because we don't know the outcome. We're scared of what might happen. We're scared of not having any money. We're scared of not having a person we're scared of how to raise children on our own, or we're scared that our spouse will not listen to us, they won't go to therapy or they won't do the work. And they're going to treat us badly forever. So we stay in that same thing over and over. But we get tired. And we don't have to do that. We can require work for ourselves and our family. We can ask that everybody heals, so that everybody can love and respect each other. It is okay to want to be cared for in the way that you deserve. You are deserving of that you are worthy of that you are enough to have that. Anything that anybody has told you that says You don't deserve it. They lie. They are the liars. You absolutely are deserving. You are born into this world given by God. You're worthy of love and care and concern and respect. You're worthy of doing the hard work that it takes to be happy and free. There are so many resources out there to help you or books or people or therapists. So look into what you need. Maybe get down on your knees tonight
and say a really heartfelt prayer,
surrender to God and ask him to show you your next step. I'm so grateful. He's asking me to do this. be there for you share my message with you share my hope and healing the tools I've used. I love him so much. He has made my life a miracle. And because of that everything I do, I strive to do for him. You have got this you can do it. Stand strong, be bold, be courageous. Don't let anybody sway you from not looking at the shadows and continue forward. Choose into healing you and I'll see you next time.
Transcribed by https://otter.ai