Isn’t it crazy that we’re already in the 5th month of the year?!?!
And, you know…new month, new theme…
This one might even make you a little squeamish…
Gratitude & vulnerability!
Are you still with me?
Yes, I want to talk about being grateful and vulnerable in the same month. I may even make them part of the very same conversation because, honestly, I’m great at being grateful, but I really suck at being vulnerable.
I want to be grateful for vulnerability.
I want to be vulnerable in my gratitude.
How can these things possibly coexist in this world where so many equate vulnerability with “weakness” and often gratitude is empty?
Where are all of the authentic beings who bare their souls?
See, last week, my therapist asked me a question to which I did not have an answer…
What am I protecting myself from?
Good question. I wish I knew.
So, I started rambling…
- I can’t handle rejection, failure, or success.
- I don’t want to get hurt.
- I don’t feel authentic.
- I might not want the same things out of life that I thought I did.
- What if I make a mistake?
- What if I don’t like who I am?
- What if I change and people don’t like the real me?
I, I, I…what if, what if, what if…
The list went on and on, and I’m sure much of it was not terribly articulate. For someone who puts up a really strong front a majority of the time, I have lots of insecurities. Surprisingly though, I have fewer than I used to…so there’s that…
But, seriously, what am I protecting myself from?????
Leaving myself open to being disappointed or disappointing others? Keeping the bar low when I want to set it high and prove to myself that I can achieve it?
The more I think about it, the more I realize that one word encompasses it all…
I’m terrified of putting myself out there, of taking risks, of being anything more than what I’m “supposed” to be. And, that’s a really crappy thing to do to myself and my daughters. Actually, it’s really crappy to do that to anyone in my life because it means that I am not being true to myself or to them.
How do I overcome vulnerability?
By being vulnerable. Yeah, I said it. It requires an action. A really uncomfortable action.
What’s my vulnerable first step?
Determining ways to allow myself to actually experience vulnerability.
I’m already cringing mentally and physically, but I know it’s something I have to do if I want to live authentically. Continuing to “protect myself” is detrimental to both my physical and mental health.
Where do I start?
- Ask for help and support.
- Speak honestly about my dreams and goals.
- Say “no” when I want to say “no.”
- Be who I am, not who I think others think I should be.
PSA…Don’t “should” on yourself and don’t “should” on others!
- Be grateful for all of the things in my life, both good and bad.
Gratitude can help me be more vulnerable?
31 days of raw gratitude could change anyone’s outlook, so I’m going to start by keeping a gratitude journal for the month of May. Each night, I will list 5 things I am grateful for in my life. I’ll even publish them here on my blog for all the world to see. Some days will be insightful, and some days will be ridiculous. They will all be real.
Here goes May 1st…uncensored…
- I’m grateful my oldest participates in an indoor sport that we can enjoy in all types of weather.
- I’m grateful that my clothes are uncomfortable so that I can’t stay blind to the fact that I use unhealthy ways to “protect myself.”
- I’m grateful that I’m still a big dreamer but am becoming a doer, too.
- I’m grateful for lemon slices in half & half tea.
- I’m grateful for the intoxicating scent of honeysuckle in the air on humid nights and mornings.
Well, that wasn’t exactly comfortable, but nothing worth achieving usually is.
Baby steps, people.
Also in conversation with my therapist, she challenged me with one thing I can start doing to symbolize my movement toward the improvement of my physical health. In true people-pleaser, overachiever fashion, I wanted to list all the “right” things I could do and all the ways I could “change.”
Thankfully, my therapist knows I start “all-in” and burn out really quickly…which just leads to disappointment and lots of other unhealthy things on my part. The biggest thing it leads to is inaction because I don’t like for things to get difficult. It has always been easier for me to shut down and not participate than take on problems head-on.
Action is required here.
- I agreed to get my hemoglobin checked again. It’s a little low, and I’m a lot tired. It’s tough being over 40!
- I also agreed to drinking 4 to 8 cups of water per day. This is a step up from what I’ve been doing, so don’t think I’m getting away with anything easy here. Drinking more water is probably the hardest thing I could attempt to do on a daily basis. I know all of the benefits of good hydration, but sometimes I just fight back in my own passive-aggressive way. (Also not healthy, but that will be a post for another day.)
That’s it. That’s all I have to do.
I’m still kind of freaking out.
Just writing all of this makes me feel exposed and vulnerable. Writing, in general, is a very personal thing for me, and sharing my writing is even more so. I’m grateful to have a platform on which to publish!
Join me and share your gratitude journal.
There’s no judgment here, so if you’re really grateful that you didn’t have to leave the house today, that’s totally cool.
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