While I was getting ready to post on my blog after a long hiatus, I was feeling nervous about putting myself out there for everyone to see. You know that feeling when you post something on Facebook and hoping that you get comments and “likes” and nobody says anything? I’m very bad at self-promotion, especially when it involves things from my head and heart. But there is a fear that pops up that no one will read what I’ve written, regardless if I know it’s not true.
That fear can be crippling. There is a point where you need to learn to step out of the shadows and learn how to not have fear rule your life. To have the courage to lean in and be open with others. Even if it scares the shit out of you.
A couple of years ago, I read a book by Brené Brown called Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead. Below is the Ted Talk that she gave. It’s fantastic.
The book talks about how when we learn to step into that fear, the fear of not being known, and become vulnerable, that is when we can step out of that fear. Once we embrace the messiness, the easier it is to step out of the shadows. It’s not easy, and is a lifelong process. I know that I’m still learning and I still have to remind myself that I’m worthy to be known. Some days are definitely better than others, but ultimately I know that I am worthy to be known.
I was having an evening of lots of thoughts running through my head, and as I sat, dumping things on paper, I realized that it’s been a while since I’ve really sat down to write. And when I logged into my blog, and I realized that the last time that I had posted anything was 2 years ago, so definitely a very dry and challenging season in life. I’ve found that I do well writing for a while, but I always seem to lose steam. However, after an afternoon with friends that started with “Let’s play games for a couple of hours,” ending 5 hours later after some really deep and honest conversations about life, I felt encouraged to re-engage in something deeper. Reminding me that my soul needs those types of connections and relationships.
Thinking about the past two years and all the transitions that had happened, I’m not surprised that I had withdrawn from engagement and really exploring life. The company that I worked for since moving to Seattle went through a buyout, and an increasingly toxic work environment developed due to the new management. I knew I needed to find a new job. But first, I needed to find a new roommate, and after several frustrating months of interviewing people, I eventually had to find a place for me and my cat. Apartment hunting and moving. Next up: focusing on job hunting. Company then imploded, leaving me unemployed, scrambling for a job. Fortunately, I did some contract work to pay bills while I job hunted, so I could be picky, but it was several months of interviews and networking. Then I started a new job in October (YAY!!), but training and meeting all sorts of new people was draining.
So yeah, a lot of life transitions. And being an introvert, I had extended myself for such a long time with putting myself out there in both my home and work life, I had to take a lot of time to re-charge and heal from all of the stress. My soul was so drained, but now, I’m feeling like I’m ready to tackle things that I have avoided. Doing something new that challenges me. Picking up a book that I can chew on, instead of just reading to escape. Writing more.
My faith community has been so encouraging to me during this season. Praying for me, listening, and allowing me to step back and take care of myself. I would not have survived without them.
Now to proceed with care and to allow myself the grace when I need to rest.
I’ve been toying with the idea for quite a while to start a blog. The past few months I have been learning the importance and value of writing stuff down. As a verbal processor, this has been a challenge. I usually have to spit something out, talk about it, process it loudly before I come to a conclusion (my poor roommate and my friends…it’s a good thing that they love me). I hope that having a public forum such as a blog will help me keep accountable in that area of my life. I tend to shy away from sharing a lot with those I don’t know very well. Being vulnerable is very scary. The definition of vulnerable is: “capable of or susceptible to being wounded or hurt, as by a weapon”. Why would I want to be vulnerable if I was open to attack? But I’ve discovered that when you are open to attack, you are also open to receiving the good things that God wants you to receive. It can be incredibly freeing if you aren’t constantly hiding behind a mask. No matter how much I repeat this mantra though, some days I still want to hide behind that mask. I don’t want others to see my messiness and I don’t want to be wounded. But I do want to be free. Free to receive love and grace. Free to be known fully and completely. You can’t be known fully unless you are vulnerable. Scariness, here I come!