My Breakthrough in Vulnerability Deepened My Relationships
One of the things that I've struggled with most is my sense of worthiness in relationships.
To find connection and closeness with others, I became an expert at listening and being that safe space for people to land. It made me feel important in the relationship, that I had something to give. That people needed me.
I recall it being a normal thought that I would hold back talking about myself, because I genuinely didn't think that people would want to know. If I did, I would speak fast, rushing through what I had to say to "get to the point". My voice would be quiet, and I'd brush over things that were actually important to me with such disregard that the person listening would never have known.
My rationalization was that there were more important things to talk about - politics, social justice issues and the state of our world. Besides, I could take care of myself.
And the impact was that I felt lonely. No matter how many people I had around me, there was a subtle missing I could feel, that would be strengthened when I wasn't invited to a night out, or saw on social media that people had done something fun I hadn't know about.
It's tempting to think that our sense of loneliness is related to not having others that we are close to, but more often than not our sense of connection is directly related to how much we allow ourselves to share our thoughts and inner selves with others.
There's a subtle nuance between the two - one relies on some unknown reason we aren't close to others (and often blames external circumstances) and the other puts the onus on us to create that connection and be the source of relationship with others.
It takes two to tango.
My breakthrough in my relationships came when I decided that I would authentically share what was in my heart.
Not what I thought they wanted to hear.
Not to please or impress them.
Not hurried as if to get it over with as soon as possible.
I took a deep breathe and shared the passion in my heart. I shared what I believed in. What I'm afraid of. What I didn't want others to see. What I didn't want others to know. For me, it required me to turn the tables around and be the one who is listened to, rather than listening.
It was so uncomfortable at first. But through the years it has brought joy and love in to my life far greater than I'd ever imagined.
And suddenly, I don't feel alone and struggle so much less about my worthiness. My relationships are stronger, deeper and more meaningful then they ever have been before.
Instead of spending your brilliant energy on managing the perfect version of you, decide that you are worthy of love and connection. All those things you make mean something negative about yourself - they aren't true. I promise you. You are brilliant and worthy of belonging exactly as you are, and as you are not.
Open yourself up to the people you love. Show them what's below the surface. Face your fears that you'll be rejected or abandoned. Lead with your heart.
To my fellow givers with huge hearts and desire to make a difference, tell me, what is in your heart that you really want people to know about you? I'd love to hear.