When I Dared To Be Seen

During the course of the last few months, I’ve been pushing myself forward, mindfully, creating the life I want, the life I believe I’ve always been destined for. I have very few answers. I’m learning to just trust the process as it unfolds. I have faith in who I am, and where I’m heading. This is everything I know, in the depths of my being, as my absolute truth.

But, while I possess this unwavering truth, I still have my days. Anxiety takes over, dread settles in, my foundation feels threatened, and incredibly vulnerable.

Over the past week, I experienced exactly this. I was so frustrated that it had returned. My patience ran thin, I was just tired of experiencing it. My thoughts spun around like a broken record. When a good friend noticed my slump and asked about it, I almost felt too ashamed to share the details with her. Besides, it was just the same old thoughts, fears, doubts, as I’ve had since prior to beginning this journey.

So, with my journal, I went to the library and had a conversation with Self –

Have I even made any progress at all? 

Could this mean I’m having a relapse into my anxiety?

At the core of me, I feel unchanged, happy, clear, strong, so why/how do I still feel all of this?

No no, it’s different these days, I know it is. I’m just having a moment of “weakness”. I’ve come a long way! I know it’s there, I know it will pass, and I’ve proven that I’m now capable of managing it.

In the past my vulnerability was potent. It would infect my thoughts, my actions, it would make decisions for me. It would pass through me, brutally scrutinising everything in its path. Whether it lasted days or weeks or months, its effect would be devastating. It would leave me feeling displaced, powerless, and lost, recovery a slow process. And, I would feel ashamed, for having experienced it again, for having experienced it at all.

Fortunately, since then, things indeed have changed. I’m the happiest I’ve ever been and the strongest. I’m aware, empathetic and accepting of my Self. I’ve reconciled with many aspects of myself, which has allowed me to better manage my periods of vulnerability.

However, after this recent experience, I’ve realised that while I’ve accepted that my vulnerability exists, I have yet to do so wholeheartedly. To see it as a sign of my courage, not my weakness. To be proud of it, not ashamed. To be able to fearlessly voice its existence, rather than quietly waiting for it to pass.

I came across this by Brené Brown, a leading voice on vulnerability and shame.

“Courage starts with showing up and letting ourselves be seen.”

Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead.

So here I am, willing to let myself be seen, by you all, but most importantly, by me.

I will have my moments. At times, just a gentle shallow tide. Other days, it may be an overwhelming swell, doing its best to envelope me whole, and drag me out to the deep. On these days, I will feel it – the dread, anxiety, loneliness, doubts, fears, the absolute terror.

And when I do, I wish to welcome it all, with all my heart – with the courage to allow my whole Self to be seen, unashamedly.

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