By vulnerable I mean having a go at something new and risking embarrassing myself or sharing raw emotions that show I'm finding something hard (I'm super good though with other people's raw emotions just not sharing my own about me!), I do this to avoid being embarrassed and because I want the world - the people who love me - to think I am capable, confident and have it all together - ALL OF THE TIME.
Which is of course completely ridiculous because I'm human, and I don't have it all together all of the time that is just plain unrealistic.
To get all psycho-analytical this comes from my childhood where my dad skipped town - literally - and my mum was left with me age 4 and my baby brother and so I took it upon myself to balance the scale and become a mini adult and basically do my best to be self-reliant and have no needs or wants. Ridiculous. And clever. Because that's how I survived.
At age 44 I don't need to do that anymore but a lot of the time I still do - negate my needs, push down, push through, shape shift, adapt. Be adaptable is a good quality, just not if it is so constant that it is at the expense of ourselves.
ASKING for help or for anything really has been excruciating for me and I generally don't even realise I need help or that it is an option to ask until it is too late ie. I'm a crying overwhelmed mess.
Anyway the emotional stockpile has been building in me lately and I've been giving vulnerability a go, revealing some raw emotion that I would usually hold and taking stock of what is working and what I really need to leave behind.
Even writing this post is an act of being vulnerable. (To all those family and friends reading wondering if I'm ok, yes I am :) I'm just writing from the place of 'start where you are')
I'm here to tell you crying a lot, expressing true emotion and feeling, finding my voice and speaking what's true for me is exhausting but so too is holding it all together all of the time.
I was talking with my sister-in-law this morning, being completely open and vulnerable, she's a mum of 4 that she gave birth to (who are young adults now) plus a number of step children over the years, and we were talking about how when children are little it is easy for women to lose themselves in their mothering, to lose that sense of self and that it is only as the children get older we are able to even realise that it's lost and begin looking to reclaim ourselves again.
Where to start?
It is like having all the pieces of a jigsaw puzzle scrambled inside and working out how to put them together again to create a beautiful picture.
In some ways that's where I feel I'm at. Again.
I say again because it is an on-going process this one of self-discovery, growth and renewal.
And I couldn't think of a more perfect picture to share of vulnerability, growth, renewal, innocence, strength and trust than this one of me pregnant with Sol and dear sweet River's little face resting on my pregnant belly waiting to meet his baby brother.
It was taken by a photography student that was working with Pete, she stayed at our house for a couple of days and I agreed to doing some portraits. Such a special time. And on the other side of the fear and excitement and vulnerability of being pregnant and giving birth was the gift of Sol.
Much love everyone xx
p.s. to anyone feeling vulnerable or scared to be vulnerable don't worry it's all going to be ok.
It always is one way or another.