I think it’s time that we get into what I call the “nastier side of self-care”. Here is the thing, no one likes to be vulnerable. Certain occasions present easier pathways in and out of vulnerable moments, but they are never moments I think anyone looks forward to. Certainly, this is my opinion and if you wake up in the morning saying, “Oh I hope someone challenges my identity today and that I respond with the exact emotion I feel and only respond with my emotions in mind and nothing else!”, then I am in awe of you and wish you to continue on your path of bad-ass-ery.
My assumption is few, if any, feel this way. My truth is, the most difficult moments are when the veil of my presented persona is lifted and I am left bare, or in other words, I have nothing to shield people away from seeing my insecurities. Even more, I myself, have to look at them. Most days I think I present pretty close to who I think I am; and yet, thoughts run through my head that speaks the real truth. I am only as close to the truth as the vulnerable child that lives in my heart will let me get to the truth. And perhaps I get pretty damn close. Perhaps I have been pretty damn close for so long that I have gotten used to the illusion I have been presenting.
Perhaps the fact that there is just a small secret I am hiding, a secret of insecurity, makes it all the more terrifying to be found out. Being found out that I am human, that I must affirm I will never be as perfect as my imagination and society lead me to believe.
After a long week of work at a new job, I am so emotionally depleted that I don’t have even the energy to hold the facade. I had a stress cry on Monday, stomach aches from stress on Wednesday, fear of people thinking I am worthless on Thursday, and struggling to think that I will ever be able to get out of my own way and reach the potential I know I am capable of. Basically, I have been walking, eating, and breathing vulnerability. I can’t say I enjoyed it, but I can say that while I was consistently checking in on my pain and exhausted spiritually, I felt lighter. One can say wearing the expectations of others, the environments, and the ego can be quite heavy.
So what does this have to do with self-care if it causes such an emotional reaction that feels unsavory?
Well, it has to do with WHO you’re self-caring for. If we are always putting on masks, self-defending, and hiding from showing ourselves; then we aren’t caring for ourselves, but the selves we created and reinforcing their strength making it harder to break down.
Being vulnerable does something different and more powerful. Being vulnerable doesn’t attack the negative parts of ourselves to let out truth shine through; it makes peace. It wraps its arms around everything, the good, the bad, and it shows empathy and love. This, this gives us the space and the ability to show our true selves to others. It’s transformative. It’s radical.
You are enough.