Last week was a tough one, two men I knew passed, one in his sleep and the other took his life. Both were humble, gracious and generous men, the second appeared to have the perfect life by our outward standards; perfect family, great personality, successful, a true giver and missionary. I was in the midst of dealing with my own vulnerability and appearances so it resonated with me even deeper, not that this is why he took his life, (we don’t know why) I do know this, he struggled knowing he was enough and that there is enough. I know I do, I have come a long way but I still have to recalibrate that belief more often that I would like to. I think I show the flawed/vulnerable side of me I realized as I began to write this, that the angst I felt of being really open was a good indicator that I may not be as open as I think. I am not as brave as my friend Wanda who shares the good, the bad and the ugly.. no secrets, real and raw.
I tend to think my short comings (both of them) and flaws are on display boldly for all to see. I believe I am an open book and not trying to hide anything. I don’t set out to appear perfect and that I have it all together, nor do I set out to perform but I find more often than I would like, I feel angst when I perceive that I am falling short of some standard… My house is not clean enough, my stomach is not flat enough, I didn’t hit the ball out of the park on for my client this time etc…
You see I want everyone to be happy and I definitely don’t ever want to be the source of sadness or displeasure. I actually do see the bright side of almost everything and try to focus on that but sometimes I bypass the feelings that need to be processed and the pain that can be healed. I think I am an open book, and perceived with flaws on display, but apparently not- I think others see me falling short and judge me, and yet they always seem surprised when I blurt out one of my less than finer qualities. There was a time those close to me seemed to have no mercy regarding my flaws and my counselor at the time said they were just mirroring back to me what I was doing to myself.
That seems to have switched and I am surrounded by people that truly have embraced me no matter what, they have seen my tears, my broken parts and my failures and champion me while reminding me who I am, yet I still find that I am struggling sometimes with that same embrace for myself. I realized I am most uncomfortable with neediness, my dearest friends have lovingly pointed this out as I have admitted that being really loved is my greatest fear at the moment.. to be needy and to be vulnerable enough to be loved not only despite my shortcomings but embraced with them. Two of these friends told me that one, I had to embrace my flaws first, not just focus on fixing them, both reminding me that it’s not really love if they don’t see the see and love all of it. One challenged me to write down all of the ways I have been measured in the past. As I wrote them, I was reminded of was one of the biggest lessons of the past few years and that is we attract things into our lives, I viewed the list from that point of view.
I don’t completely understand why I am still somewhat terrified of love when I am so surrounded by so much of it, by people who love me and that have seen me neked (for you Texans)..but I definitely am looking at it. The ego would like us to focus on things that matter not and to believe we are alone in these thoughts. I am glad to have those who are walking through it with me as I don’t want to make the same mistakes I have in the past and I believe the only way that is possible is to heal the damage and change the belief systems that took me there in the first place. I was told my flaws would touch people more than my perfection so over the next few blogs I am going to share some of the things I wrestle with as a challenge in vulnerability and to hopefully let someone out there know that they are not alone.