you are feeling down? Or your mind is racing and throwing up topics you'd rather leave buried? Me, I read and I write. They are my comfort blankets. So yesterday I sat and read a book called 'The Happiness Project" by Gretchen Rubin. She takes a year in her life to study and work out what happiness is, what it means to her and how she can get more of it! Interesting, right? She writes down 12 personal commandments for herself to remind her what her authentic self is, and she chooses 12 topics to focus on, one per month, and then writes about how she gets on with all that. I am over-simplifying it here, obviously, but it is a good book to read when you are wondering what happiness there is for you.
Yesterday I sat and wrote about my dream, I read my own book and made corrections and thought about what to write next. And just this morning I listened to a 20 minute talk by Brene Brown, about Vulnerability. Someone had sent it to me in an email. Turns out it was timely and wise and something I needed to listen to and understand right now.
Brown's research spans 8 years, and is fascinating. Well to me, anyway, since I am such a complex person when it comes to my emotions. These last few days I have found myself wishing I was simpler; less; more accepting, less demanding; braver, less scared; more open, less controlling. Worrying about 'not being enough' - that was the clincher!!! (ouch!) Hurt and miserable and about to run away - that is where I was in my mind on Friday. I'd written down all my insecurities and thoughts about the past year - my annual review as it were, and then tried to ignore it. Tried to push it aside and pretend that it was not important or of value or worthy of sharing. I was afraid of being judged for it. For my own truths from my perspective, not being good enough.
So what does Brown conclude?
She says that what we as humans all have is the power to Connect. The ability to feel connected, but that underpinning this is a need to be Vulnerable. She tried to unravel connection, what it means, and discovered that at the base of connection is Shame, or a fear of connection, the excruciating vulnerability of feeling ' I am not good enough.' In all different manner of ways: at work, in relationships, family, friends, size, shape, looks etc. What her research showed her was that the people who felt most connected all shared a sense of worthiness, of love and belonging, a belief that they were worthy of it. She called them the 'whole-hearted people.' The ones with true courage, meaning the courage to be imperfect; kind to ourselves first and then to others. Being who you are, nothing more and nothing less. By fully embracing vulnerability we can be beautiful and honest and authentic, and it is so necessary at the end of the day. Being vulnerable does mean having to let go of controlling and predicting and all those other comforting actions that we tend to do when we are doubting ourselves, our worthiness. It means loving because that is what you feel and how you are and what you want to do. It means having no expectations or boundaries or conditions attached to it:- 'to love with our whole hearts even when there is no guarantee.' How hard it that?!!!!
What have I learnt from all this you may be wondering?
That I need to try harder. That I am who I am, and that that is good enough. That you love me the way I am, and that all my wishing for a simpler mind has to stop! That the one I have is uniquely mine and that it is precious to me. That I ought to be happy to be me. ( Mmm, might take some more work!) That sharing my thoughts is not as scary as I think, because you will not judge me, only listen and accept. That there is no need to run away, only to run to. That my vulnerability is going to help me be more lovable. That I can admit it when I am scared or worried or need help. That I don't know everything!!! That letting you in my head is what I want more than anything. That I will find peace if I am willing to do that without the angst that I attach to it every time.
I have a long way to go still, but this is a start, this is me REGAINING myself in 2011.