There is so much focus these days on being self aware and being actualised and completely present all the time. And of course it’s what we all want but it’s hard. It’s a big commitment to live authentically and be authentic with yourself even when you might not like what you see or what you’re faced with. It’s easy to go into your feelings every now and again but committing to go again and again, over and over and keeping an open mind to what is there and what you’ll find can feel nothing short of onerous. A commitment to go deep and to keep going deeper and deeper. And to keep staying with it; staying with yourself.
I think somewhere in my head I tell myself that by being authentic and honest and in touch with my feelings, there will be some reward at the end of it. Some picture of a life that looks like what I want. But I don’t think that’s really right. Because there is no external reward, no top marks, no cash prize; the prize is the self-knowledge which leads to self acceptance. It’s less about attaining external things and creating abundance, and more about really accepting who you are, accepting your life and being ok with yourself. And doing it again and again as you find yourself in different situations with different challenges.
I wish we could be more vulnerable with each other. I wish when we ask each other how we are we could be honest and say I’m truly awful or truly wonderful or just bloody scared. But vulnerability is so hard. Even with the greatest and best intentions when it gets to the point of showing your whole self to someone it is actually really difficult to completely and fully go there. It feels like you need specific conditions to feel like your vulnerability is safe. An assurance that no one is going to laugh at you or pity you or tell you to lighten up or be angry with you or judge you for it.
I think we probably all judge our own vulnerability. It’s so hard to admit even the most vulnerable things that are going on for you just to yourself. It’s not easy to sit with yourself, with your vulnerability and really allow it and not feel weak or stupid or just plain angry with yourself. The things we are most vulnerable about are usually not new either, they are things we’ve felt for a long time, maybe our whole lives. So it can feel like again and again going back to this same feeling, hurt, longing and it might feel like nothing changes or will change.
It’s scary. It’s scary to even admit you’re scared. We hide our vulnerability in different ways. I know I hide what is the most vulnerable to me by focusing on other things and stressing and panicking and worrying about all the stuff around the actual thing I am really vulnerable about. It feels easier to stay in the spin, the little stresses, than going right to the core, which can literally feel like an arrow straight through your heart.
But even though it’s hard we really don’t want to ignore it or pretend it’s not there. Because that precious vulnerable feeling is really the essence of us. And yes there’s a lot of stuff around it, self anger, firm resistance but it’s worth delving into all of that to get to what you are trying to protect. Because it’s never as bad as it seems and it can actually feel very gentle and very soft and very, very much like you. And it’s ok to only go there when you feel comfortable, when you have those conditions that feel safe. It’s ok to protect it as much as you feel you need. But you also want to allow it. Want to acknowledge it, at least for yourself. You want to listen to it.
Some days being present and aware and in touch feels easy. We are grounded, we are clear on how we feel, we can easily share with the people around us and we know we are ok. We feel strong, self-aware, self-compassionate and are well on our way to actualised beings. Other days it can just feel too hard and it’s easier to go off, to stop listening, to glide through your day with a glaze over your face. I’m not saying this is ideal, but it’s going to happen and we can forgive ourselves for it. But as much as you go off, you ignore and tune out; keep also choosing to come back to keep finding yourself, to listen once again and allow for your vulnerability to be present with you. Choose once again to stay with yourself and find out what is there.