So I have struggled with this thing of vulnerability, in the last few years it is something I am learning to embody and feel safe with although it is easier said than done.
If you were to ask me about my intimate relationships, I would tell you honestly that I have never had my heart broken, I have never let another close enough to my heart to be able to fully open and there for be vulnerable in my love. It seems sad I know, so many missed opportunities to really feel deep love and connection, it is not something I have done with awareness, more like a type of conditioning I have learnt.
In the last few years this has profoundly changed, I have met and married one beautiful soul who I love with all of my heart, so deep and true in its essence it can sometimes overwhelm me. I have learnt to soften, to dissolve my walls and to allow myself to be vulnerable. It has not been an easy feat and I still have moments where I place walls or even thorns around this little heart of mine. In doing so creating disconnection and disharmony, separating myself, retreating and essentially shutting down. Obviously not an ideal thing to do in any relationship, the effort and discomfort it takes to soften again sometimes gets put off for too long, a journey I am continually making as I learn how to maintain this soft, open heart space.
So you know this bloody festive season, it has a way sometimes of triggering your shit, and this little heart of mine is hiding, it is in retreat, it is shutting down and closing of, at a time when sharing my love with my family and friends you would think would be a nice thing to do. Why? Well where do I start, I do not wish to share a story, we all have them, instead I will share a little insight.
I recently had some challenges with some friends very dear to my heart, what surprised me was this urge to run away, a strong desire to leave my friendships and relationship, to shut down and wonder this earth as a soul without connection. Sounds dramatic I know but this is true and noticing this I remembered another time in my life where I felt the same. This helped me to realize that I have had my heart broken, at a very tender age when we love without realizing and accept without judgement, I remember sadness of friendships dissolving, lack of support and care, no particular memory of an event just the feeling of despair. Bingo!!!! This is gold, this gives me something to work with, pain to acknowledge and heartache to resolve.
Ok back to now, realizing this little scarring I reflected on my super sensitivity to my friendships, I am not one who has lots of friends, just a few near and dear, I think this is a big reason why, another light bulb moment! Each time I have challenges in my friendships my lessons are profound, the latest is that it is easier to speak your truth, be honest with how you feel than try and make everyone happy, I feel like often we may deny our self the truth of expressing our feelings because we are afraid of not being liked. The second thing I learnt of late is that we can’t be responsible for others perceptions, what may be said out of innocence can be taken as contempt, I feel like this is a gem, as long as we express and have the intention of care from the heart, we can work on accepting this reality, it means sometimes people may be pissed at you or want to blame you for their bad feelings, that’s ok if they are good friends then it will eventually blow over and be all merry once again.
So without developing the mindful self-awareness I have through my yoga practice and self-study I would not have seen the light so readily, I would not recognize that generally the way I react in shutting down is because I have not resolved the past. The intensity of feelings that bubble up in moments of conflict are not a true reflection to the situation at present. I encourage you to start to pay attention to your feelings, noticing what triggers you and question your reaction, where does it come from? What you are feeling may be viable to what’s going on, or it may be way over the top, if it is the latter take some time to sit in meditation, staying open to resolving your pain.
That makes me remember hearing this – you never know that battle others are facing, it is easy to give love and care when others are sad, vulnerable and soft, it is not so easy when it is being expressed in anger, a time when they probably need it more than ever
Thanks for reading. Enjoy your festive season.