I’m back in Seattle, settling in at my brother and sister-in-law’s house where I’ll be staying for a couple of months. I’m so grateful for the family, friends and support I have and I remind myself of this every single day.
However, despite all the love and support I am getting, I’ve been met with a backlash of unexpected (and let’s be honest, not so unexpected) emotions.
I think I was riding the wave of a self-empowerment high for the last few weeks because I finally had the courage to make that big, bold decision I knew in my heart was right that when I finally got back to Seattle it hit me. Oh my f--- God! It is real. I just left my marriage!
As my mom and her best friend were helping me move the final pieces of my belongings into storage I felt a swell of emotions creeping up. I’ve realized through this experience that I don’t like to let people see me cry or see me in a weak position. I tend to take on a stoic persona and find myself saying this phrase over and over again, “I’m okay, every minute, hour and day is different,” as a way to feel like I’m being honest but really, it’s not.
I’m really fighting vulnerability and protecting others from it as well.
So often people down play how they feel to protect others from potentially feeling awkward or uncomfortable. We also don’t necessarily want others to see that we don’t have it all together and that our life feels a little messy at times.
But is that really the best thing?
It’s true, some people will feel a little unsettled and unsure of how to handle your emotions and vulnerability but truly, I believe that most people will breath a sign of relief when you let them in on how you are really feeling. At the heart of it everyone has felt a little messy and we all just want to relate with each other.
People also want to know how they can help and being 100% honest with them about where you are at is only opening you both up for greater connection and giving them an opportunity to truly be there for you.
So I sat there in front of my mom and her best friend and I cried and they sat there waited for me to tell them how I felt. When I did they listened and I felt so vulnerable and it was scary and uncomfortable but in the end, I breathed a sigh of relief because I didn't have to pretend anymore. I was really honest about where I was emotionally and mentally and that felt better then telling them that every minute, hour and day is different.
It can feel a little uncomfortable. Actually, it can feel A LOT uncomfortable because it’s vulnerable but the more we give ourselves permission to be truly honest, the more others will as well. It opens up this incredible space for a deeper connection. And isn’t that what we really all want anyway?
I invite you to take a closer look at the conversations you have with others in regards to how you are feeling. Are you giving them the safe answer because you don’t want to appear weak or burdensome? Or, are you protecting them from feeling uncomfortable? Is there a place where you can open up a little more and pave the way for a deeper connection?
Remember – even if they appear a little uncomfortable usually it’s because they are in fixer mode. You’ve shared something honest and real with them and they want to find the perfect words to help you heal, to make everything okay. It’s okay to lay the groundwork and say “I really appreciate you giving me an ear and providing a place for me to be myself and honest. I know you may want to say the perfect thing to make this all better but just know that you being here for me and letting me share this experience with you is all I need"