Twenty two months into Ryan’s healing journey and I had to make a conscious decision. Do I want to be vulnerable again or not? Do I expose my thoughts, my feelings, my heart for the world to see? To read? To feel and to JUDGE?
Here is a flashback thru what brought me to write in the first place and its experience. Below in an excerpt from a chapter in the book I am writing . . . we will see if it makes the final cut ;0)
– – Vulnerability, The Birthplace – –
Upon his diagnosis, Ryan’s openness left me with a decision to make: Did I want to join him in his open expression or just stay quiet? I could have chosen to keep it all to myself and not let anyone in. Instead I chose to let my feelings out. At first I tinkered at the idea of various ways to be open then one night I chose to take pen to paper. I couldn’t write on paper fast enough so I let my fingers flow thru the keyboard. All of a sudden, my heart burst open and I wrote straight from my heart. I was timid at first and in time I allowed myself to just write. Write my heart . . . write my pain.
I wrote and I found a new path for my expression of thoughts, feelings, emotions and rationale.
I found peace.
I found my power thru writing.
Writing out what I felt and how I perceived things to be gave me an outlet to explore my own self. Thru that writing I let the world in. Initially, I wrote for me. I wasn’t too conscious of my audience and especially unconscious that my openness would bring about a whole group of uplifting followers. With that, writing would also bring a group of not-so-nice followers and critics. I certainly didn’t dream my openness, my words would be distorted and used against me and Ryan. Pretty naive, huh? When I became open and allowed the world to take a bird’s eye view of our lives it came with incredible beauty and it also came with incredible ugliness.
In the beauty of the human experience also lies a dark side. Towards the end of 2016 and especially the beginning of 2017 I went thru a time of doubt, shame and fear. I was doubtful that my words were helping anyone. I had lost my way in my writings. It was no longer about what I wanted to write, but rather what the audience wanted – or at least a certain few. I felt a subtle pressure and I no longer felt the freedom to just be me. I felt shame because in my own journey thru Ryan’s healing I was exposing places, people and things that maybe I felt differently towards at a later time. I saw my personal evolution as something to be ashamed of instead of accepting it for what it was: growth. I was always honest in all of my assessments at the time I posted each blogpost. However, I allowed the negative feedback to create doubt and cause an odd feeling of shame. I never felt like I was a lier, but I felt a shame that my inadequate credentials gave me no right to have a voice. I hold no degree, no medical background. I’m just a support person who expressed the journey of cancer while it was happening. The feelings turned into fear. Fear of other’s opinions, fear that I might say the wrong thing, and mostly fear that I would be misunderstood. Fear halted my writing. I wrote quietly for myself at times, but to show it to the world was something I wrestled with.
It’s amazing how us humans tend to accept criticism and forget about the love surrounding us.
Why do we do zero in on the few loud voices of negativity when there are exponentially more that feel differently? My answer: we are human. You are human. I am human. Our inner child deep within assumes the world is all about love and the thought of the opposite causes an interesting reaction. In time we can make conscious decisions to reverse these tendencies . . .
– – END EXCERPT – –
How is it that I have allowed a handful of negative opinions overcome the fact that our blog has been viewed at nearly 100,000 times? Oh the humanness in all of us. I laugh now. All those views, the hundreds, maybe thousands of incredible, loving and uplifting messages and all I did was hide behind shame, fear and self doubt of my own worthiness.
Sure, messages like “you’re sending people to their death” . . . “you are clueless” . . . “you are an imposter and should be ridiculed” and then the lies and rumors said about us would hurt anyone’s heart. But at what point do we all decide when a person’s opinion is simply that: their opinion? I knew this inwardly, but it took me months to finally let it be reality for me once again.
I started blogging again just 5 weeks ago. Why? Because I found my way, again. I will keep finding my way and continue just as I shared my heart thru the blogpost, “Rise Up.”
An amazing moment happened about a month ago. I found the words of my struggle thru another speaker named Brene Brown. She explained exactly what I was experiencing but couldn’t put it from concept to intellectual words. Brene’s TED Talk “The Power of Vulnerability” changed me. In her powerful 20 minute TED talk she made one statement that will forever have an imprint in my heart.
“I have a vulnerability issue.” . . . “At the core (of said vulnerability issue) is shame and fear and our struggle for worthiness . . . but it appears (vulnerability) is also the birthplace of joy, of creativity, of belonging, of love.”
And that’s what I found.
I found vulnerability thru my writing.
And, thru vulnerability I have once again felt the birthplace of joy, creativity, belonging and love.
Thank you, Choice and LV164 for that gift.
Live Free. . . Because YOLO!