A wave of vulnerability

I have yet to share something about my One Little Word this year. I’ve chosen to Rise, and even though I didn’t create any memory-keeping entries about it yet, I have been keeping this word in the back of my mind and it’s already been so strong for me so far. Here is a story of what Rise and healing together might look like.

Last night before bed I put out my yoga mat, thinking that a few stretches would do me good after that morning surf session. But instead, I sat on my knees and started sharing to myself, out loud, what I truly felt in that moment.

It seems my heart needed to unload something, so I went with the flow. Surprisingly, I started crying. I told myself how very difficult it was for me to interact with others because I always felt so different. That for most of my life, I’ve felt that I was not being seen or understood for who I truly was. And because of that, I had been suffering from a terrible lack of human connection, which at times became so strong it would prevent me from going towards others or even trying to connect at all.

It felt so relieving to share these emotions with myself. And now I am here sharing them with you too. Simply saying the truth, without acting, reacting, or judging. I’ve just let it out, like a part of me I had been carrying for too long. This allowed me not to place myself as a victim, but rather to look at this problem from another angle. You see, it could be so easy for me to say that it’s normal if I don’t open up or go towards people. The reason is that I was bullied a lot as a child and also as a teenager. The reason is also that I felt rejected when I was young. This allows me to uncover the reason behind the walls I built up to protect myself, but if I was to just stop here, well, it wouldn’t solve anything. It would only serve my current behaviour and support the repetition of it again and again. It would serve as an excuse. I’m tired of excuses. I want solutions.

You see, healing happens quite in a simple way. I’ve learned to recognize now that if I want to move forward and heal certain places that still hurt within, I must first come to accept them as a part of me. I must own them, as a chapter in my life, as a necessary part of the unfolding of my very own story. Accepting the past for what it was becomes the starting point of healing. Not trying to deny it, or change it, or wish that things turned out differently. But rather, accepting with trust that if I’m here, now, it was simply meant to be. Let me tell you that there is a wave of peace that comes flooding within when I say these words to myself:

“I accept everything in my life now, as it is, as part of my own journey”.

This is also called ‘surrendering’. There needs to be no fighting, no resistance, only acceptance, which in turn opens new doors leading to a gentle flow, a sense of warmth, the one that comes from the heart.

The more I go on this inward journey, the more I get used to recognizing my own feelings as the starting point of healing. I won’t lie, sometimes it takes a while, it can first show as an underlying discomfort, a lower back pressure, it can be unexplainable mood swings, stress or anxiety, restlessness, but it will eventually come up to the surface if I make time and space for it. And that’s what happened last night, in its own flow, in its own way.

Once I’ve seen and accepted this fear and those blocks, I forgave myself for shutting out each time I felt I had to. I forgave myself for not knowing better at the time. And I went down into my heart space, in order to find answers to move forward and release the block. I placed my intention: from now on, I want to know better. And the way to know better is to look within, as that’s where all my answers are patiently waiting for me to be ready to ask. Each one of us knows what we need, and how to heal ourselves. But we cannot release something if we haven’t first acknowledged its existence.

When I laid out in words how I felt, it became easier for me to mirror back these emotions, in order to release them. Questions popped:

  • How can people around me fully see me if I keep on hiding?
  • How can they understand me if I don’t show up with confidence for who I am?
  • How can they accept me if I still live in doubt of my own worthiness?
  • How can I truly show up and be real if I am always giving confusing signals?

Asking myself questions like these allows me to get deeper into the detail of the block so that I can find the courage to do things differently in the future. Other questions came up:

  • What would it take for me to show up fearlessly?
  • What do I fear will happen if I am fully opening myself up to others?
  • What do I have to lose to be confident?

Here are the answers that came up, uncovering most of my fears:

  • I am scared that if I fully light up, people will feel uncomfortable around me, that they will look at me, judge me, and wonder “Who does she thinks she is to take so much space like that?”
  • I am scared to show up as vulnerable and yet be rejected by someone I will fall in love with.
  • I am scared that because I notice so many details about life and people, and I remember so much, that people may think I’m a spy, when I am not. I just remember stuff. Meaningless stuff like what the weather was like on February 9th, 2015. Somehow my memory card is quite big. But so many times I choose to pretend I didn’t notice, or recognize, or remember because it would make me look like I had nothing else to do that time, which is you know, not cool. Busy is cool. Being too busy to remember is super cool. I won’t be accepted if I am not cool. The story here is endless…
  • I am scared that I may appear too precise about what I want that I will be judged as picky and annoying. But I like what I like and I don’t need a hundred hours to make my decision on simple stuff. But I do like to go into detail.
  • I am scared that if I go towards people I want to be friends with, they might not be interested and say no. And I already know this hurts a lot.
  • And last and so scary, I am scared of partnering up with people in my work. I am scared of drawing from the heart (I am working so hard and I am tackling that this year though), I am scared of sharing my creative inner world with others. I am scared of being seen for who I truly am, from my inner child’s perspective.

I feel that showing up here is already a healing process for me. I have received messages before from people who connected to what I said, who faced similar fears, who navigated through rough waters, who walked into the fog for a while too. I find it always so comforting to know that I’m not alone in this journey, even if our story is so unique to ourselves, the patterns and processes are the same, and that is our humanness. This is healing too.

Moving forward with this, as my word this year is Rise, I will take small actions. These will be to raise my hand to simply wave Hi to an acquaintance, engage in conversation with someone I feel I might share common interests, and also work on my self-worth. For this latter one, I am focusing on physical strength. I feel that aligning myself to my body and connecting to it is a way to build confidence from the inside out. If I feel strong physically, there comes a sense of achievement for the work I’ve done, and it helps me to feel this and embody it when I am facing uncertain situations where I would normally want to hide. I am not aiming to change too much at once, only to move forward at my own pace with what feels comfortable to me.

I think that feeling this way also makes sense as to why I chose to live in this small coastal town of Portugal. This little place is growing fast and it’s filling up with more people from all over the world. I feel as if the ones who also chose to live here may have been attracted to this place because something here made them feel safe, alive, or simply happy.

Out of all places on this planet, here in Ericeira is where I felt immediately safe. Safe to try to be fully myself without the fear of being judged. Each of my friends here carries with them their very own luggage, because they’ve also had to unlearn in order to relearn. Because they see, acknowledge, listen and understand. Because they know what the inwards journey is about, they know what it feels like, they accept things and people as they are and because no matter what life brings on you, they see both sides to the story and choose to step back into the light each day. If they do it for themselves, you’ll know they’ll do it for you too. It’s inspiring to learn from mentors online as much as it is from people around us. It helps me so much to be surrounded with persons I know I can trust. I feel very grateful for this, and it is also thanks to these amazing people that I can continue to heal and move further forward, and inward. So thank you. There is also a general healing energy in the air around here, I still don’t know where it comes from exactly, all I know is that I am here, and my heart is fully at home.

And thank you to you, wherever you are in the world, for reading. I hope your journey inwards brings you many blessings. It is one crazy ride. But it is worth it. Sending hugs.


The little tags on the featured image are from Sahin Designs.

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