I have wrestled with vulnerability.
Like, no joke, rolling around on the floor WRESTLED with this thing called vul-ner-a-bil-ity
I have defended myself against the defense mechanism inherent in vulnerability.
I have hidden from it, cajoled it, loved it, hated it, abandoned it, given it too much attention in the landscape of my life, I have indulged in it, I have locked it in the kitchen cupboard for fear it would annihilate me.
Sometimes I have even asked it what it needs, or taken it for a walk, or placed it at the center of my altar.
My core “story” is that if I am too vulnerable I will be abandoned, or killed.
You know, just casual consequences for being exposed. Because I learned early on that it was dangerous to let anyone know how I was really feeling.
At the root, that desire to NOT be abandoned or killed has kept me from being as vulnerable as I could, with lovers, with friends, with clients, with colleagues.
Because what if they see me clearly? The consequences have felt oh-so-dire to me.
The truth is that in my adulthood I have been abandoned, many times over, by employers, by lovers, by friends, by community. And I have survived. Because sometimes things just don’t work out. Because sometimes the Universe has a different plan in store. Because sometimes people are just assholes.
I get to choose whether or not that means I believe there is something wrong with me. I get to choose whether or not to feel abandoned. I get to choose.
Because this is my one wild and precious life.
Side note: I have actually NEVER been killed. That might already be obvious from the fact that I am writing this now. ;-)
When I was Artist-in-Residence in 2008-2009 I found an 8 foot tall wooden door with glass panes (some broken) behind a dumpster on the property where I was in residence and created into a piece entitled, “I can love enough for both of us.”
The door represented my body and each of the four glass panels represented different parts of me: my root chakra/the ground I stand on, my sacral chakra, my breasts/heart, my mind. I used paint, duct tape, a bra that I cut into pieces, some broken glass, lace, hundreds of images of eyes and red lace to create this artwork. (Image attached.)
I created this giant piece of art because I wanted to release the story that in order to be loved I had to love enough for both people, because obviously no one could just love me for me.
No one could love my messy, vulnerable self.
Or, maybe if they actually did try they would abandon me or worse yet try to kill me.
I wanted visual representation larger than my own physical body so that I could look this story in the eyes and know, beyond the shadow of a doubt, that it was NOT TRUE.
Everyone has a core story (or stories) running in the back of their mind at any given time, informing how they show up in the world.
For those of us who are entrepreneurs we HAVE to understand our story, because EVEN if we have named the story, EVEN if we have done healing work around it, it’s STILL GOING TO rare its head, wanting attention, when sh*t goes down in our business.
And sometimes even when sh*t isn’t going down.
There is POWER in choice.
You can choose to recognize your story.
You can choose to love the small child part of you freaking the f*ck out.
You can choose to give him/her the support needed so that part of you isn’t running the show in your business.
You can choose to acknowledge this is a part of you that’s going to show up from time to time, and DEFINITELY when you uplevel.
Then you can choose to ACT from a different energy, a different possibility, a different story.
In every crisis lies opportunity.
That is your magical super power for business growth.
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