Be present with people without sacrificing who you are.
It’s a comfort to see “get uncomfortable” in that quote because it sure does go hand in hand with being vulnerable. Fasten your seat belt needs to be included on the list, too, because the road of true belonging is often rather bumpy with unexpected zigs and zags along the way. It reinforces the need for a spiritual GPS.
Although the repercussions of being vulnerable are sometimes anticipated, the true reaction is unknown until the moment of vulnerability comes into reality. It can be an interesting discovery when diving into the situation. There comes a point in time when the discomfort of holding back becomes so unbearable that I don’t have a choice but to be vulnerable. The tough part for me is to continually balance the energy of the delivery. In hind sight, if I would step into vulnerability sooner, the build-up wouldn’t happen and there would be nothing to balance. (Oh, the myriad of lessons presented…) Regardless, if being vulnerable triggers a place of discomfort for the other person, it may remain unresolved and uncomfortable for an extended period of time. During this time, any effort made can easily be misinterpreted or manipulated.
I have been experiencing the discomfort of being vulnerable with one person for several months on end. The attempts to mend, explore, reconnect, etc. have been met with either distance or flat out rejection. It has offered me a tremendous opportunity to be more courageous in my truth and accepting that my truest belonging is to me. Nobody else but me. I have reclaimed the importance of my own belonging to me, rather than being worried about whether or not someone else is willing to accept me. I have spent enough time walking on eggshells and wondering whether or not I should reach out. I don’t necessarily fear the response from the other person as much as I fear my own response to the response. Over time, I have given this ‘friend’ an incredible amount of power over how I see myself, my life and the choices I make. When I was vulnerable and shared my truth, not only were my words rejected, but so was I. Any effort I made was often perceived in a way that was completely opposite of the intention. It stung and really hurt. I could not be heard in my truth and vulnerability.
This, in turn, opened more doors to explore in the friendship and about honoring my word. I was reminded that I can still hold space and walk with another person energetically, or through prayer and meditation, and not necessarily through direct contact. It also took me back to going through my divorce. One of the biggest hurdles for me to heal from was the fact that I went back on my word. I made a promise to my first husband, sealed and held in a sacred covenant with God, and witnessed by those who loved and supported us. I broke my promise. I didn’t follow through with what I had said I would. I perceived myself as weak because if I were stronger, I would’ve been able to heal the wounds of the marriage. The thing that I needed to remind myself of was that I was not the only person in that marriage. The value of a promise or honoring your word was not held as sacredly by my first husband. I did the best I could in that marriage, but I could only be accountable for me. I was not responsible for his choices. The same holds true in the friendship I am talking about. I can still honor my word and be present in heart and pure intention without sacrificing my truth or surrendering my personal power. I can dwell in a space of true belonging within me. My truth must be most important to me. I no longer sacrifice who I am because someone else is uncomfortable or unsure of how to accept me in light of the differences of our beliefs.
I pray that the day will come when all people will be able to separate the person from the belief. We are all human beings with family and connections. We are all important. We all have the right to exist. We all have the right to believe what we believe. However, we must remember that a belief is a belief…not a human. Humans have beliefs, but they are not their beliefs. They are not one in the same. Someday we can love and respect all life regardless of the beliefs they hold. Someday, fear will no longer steer us into disliking or hating others because their beliefs are different. Love opens us to true belonging.
May this Christmas season offer the gift of love and acceptance, to you and yours.