Really showing up is hard. Allowing yourself to be seen is hard. Its also deeply transformative. This is what I struggle with in sharing things about my personal life on social media. That said, its what happens in therapy -exposure. Though in a therapists office, that exposure is met with an empathetic, holding presence and not the void that is the internet. And while I am holding myself in kindness and compassion in sharing things, not knowing how they will be received is the hard part.
And these are the risks we take when we show up and allow ourselves to be seen. It is the courageous path because we don’t know the outcome. That’s vulnerability. Not knowing the outcome and still doing the work, still having the hard conversations. Still sitting in discomfort. Still bringing to light what has been kept in the dark. Still trying.
So this is how I’ve been vulnerable lately. I’ve been speaking up about how I feel about things and using emotion words. I do this a lot on my own, I’m always aware of how I’m feeling, but sharing it is a practice for me. I’m great at objectively describing things, but when it comes to personally, I am not as clear, I tiptoe, I guard myself, I’m careful. So I’m working on being more open with my own experience, and its incredibly empowering.
Those that know me are aware of my minor (major) obsession with Brene Brown and her work with vulnerability. She is aspirational to me. Her genuineness and ability to be herself while talking about the hard stuff is how I want to be. I am a constant work in progress, as we all are.
So I am going to challenge myself to share more about my experiences with the tough stuff. My hope is that my vulnerability will serve both of us, and I am willing to take that risk. Social media has enough of the highlight reels. What I value and typically look for is authenticity, humanness, people being real about whats actually going on. Finding others stories, and reading words to describe experiences you’ve never been able to is what got me into psychology. That feeling of being understood for what you’re going through, that you’re not crazy. That’s why I’m here. To show you that you’re not crazy for feeling the way you do.
So this is my offering. To show you that I, too, am human. That I don’t have it figured out. That there’s stuff I’m good at, and stuff I’m not good at. That there’s things that scare me, and things that excite me. That I have moments where I want to run and hide, and others where I want to dance on public transit. That sometimes I don’t stop to feel my emotions and tune in. That sometimes I leave myself. The more I practice staying, the faster I come back, the quicker I tune in. That a few years ago I lost a lot of my hair. That it still hasn’t all fully grown back. That’s vulnerability. That I’m working on being here for myself more, setting boundaries with others and myself, allowing myself to take time to not be so serious about life and relationships, about figuring it out.
Everyone goes through stuff, and I’m right there with you. I am a human first, therapist second.
This blog and post are not replacements for therapy or therapeutic intervention. Please see a therapist or mental health practitioner for personalized therapy.