Vulnerability is Risky Business


Your story shows up and invades your feelings, your perceptions, and your structure of living life.  How you were raised and the beliefs you have developed for yourself show up.  The beautiful part of story work is that if offers us a pause. A pause offers the opportunity to align our internal dialogue with truth as though to provide a check-in with how well we are integrating our story, good and bad, with what is happening around us.

Last week I, Michelle, found myself in a beautiful, complex, and sad place. In the best detail while sparing you all the lovely details, I will summarize to say I was facing some physical issues within my body.  I had felt them for a while but had chosen to keep them to myself rather than sharing them with Mark. I had kept them to myself because I was afraid of being labeled as dramatic or too much.  After about eight days of having these physical feelings in my body, I decided I needed to investigate to make sure all was well.  As I was considering exposing my physical state to Mark, I could feel my body begin to react.  I could feel the invitation of fear to name myself as “too much,” “too emotional” and “dramatic.” I found these messages very familiar as those were the names I was given in my family of origin.  Thankfully I am aware of those messages and can be curious as to why they are showing up in this scenario.

I made the courageous decision to share with Mark and noticed his body language change as though to affirm my belief of being dramatic or too much. I had been affirming my story and names but decided it was necessary to bravely ask and check-in with him. I knew that asking Mark would possibly expose that I, indeed, was being too emotional but I was willing to be vulnerable. So, I longingly looked at him, asked the terrifying questions, and awaited the hammer of truth. I was shocked as I heard my husband’s reply, “I don’t think you are any of those things” and realized the hammer of truth sounds different from what my younger ears interpreted. It is difficult to take in the truth when the younger parts of ourselves retain the labels we were given.   The younger parts of me are still fighting for that truth.

Here is the beautiful thing about knowing your story: it is power. Knowing our stories allows us to identify structures of relating along with the vows and agreements we have made from wounding. It is a power of choice.  In the next few moments and in the next few days I had to choose to not only believe Mark but also take in his goodness, kindness, and care for me. Was it risky? Sure, but so worth it.

Today I learned at a greater depth that all of me is welcome in my marriage including all my emotions and all my thoughts and feelings.  My husband bestowed a beautiful gift of healing by offering truth which repaired my names and labels so they can be used for good (even though they were intended for evil).

Have the willingness to step into vulnerability with safe people and experience care and healing. Know your story and take a risk to show up authentically in this world.  Your true self is beautiful, and we create a better world when we offer that to each other.

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