It's a strange thing to experience isn't it? Vulnerability. It seems many of us humans would much rather be in constant control, wearing our masks, and choosing the do-it-yourself route, rather than ask for and accept help, or share parts of ourselves we'd rather keep hidden.
To make ourselves vulnerable, is to take a risk, a leap of faith. To embrace uncertainty. To be okay with not knowing what is coming next. To simply be open to whatever comes from us putting ourselves out there in a different way. I think in an attempt to remain in control and 'together', or in wanting to it to appear that way to everyone around us, we rob ourselves of some potentially beautiful experiences. We'd rather feel 'safe' and remain in our familiar place, even if it's not working for us.
Making ourselves vulnerable takes courage. It can feel scary. I'll admit that. I'm no pro at it, that's for sure, but I have noticed that every time I force myself to do something out of my comfort zone (which has happened many times, over the past four years especially) I always learn something new. I also observe myself becoming stronger after every experience.
Vulnerability is not a comfortable feeling for any of us I'm sure, but any kind of inner growth isn't going to feel comfortable. It's always through those uncomfortable times, we know we're growing. I don't imagine a caterpillar is necessarily comfortable through the cocoon stage, as it morphs into a butterfly, but what a worthwhile process for that creature with the end result being freedom and flight!
In February, 2009, I left my very comfortable and familiar life in the Northwest Territories. My soul had been calling to me for awhile already at that point but I'd been to afraid to do what I knew I needed to do. My business was failing miserably and for years already. I'd been living on my savings, and hadn't taken a pay cheque in 2 years at that point. I'm not one to give up easily, or want to see myself as a 'failure', so I stuck it out in that stressful situation for far longer than most people I'm sure.
Looking back now, I can see that I hung on too long because 'quitting' wasn't an option for me, not to mention I was horrified to leave my comfort zone and take a wild leap of faith! That would require me feeling far too vulnerable. I somehow found the courage (or maybe it was exhaustion from the stress? haha) and I did it. I closed the doors on the travel agencies, cleaned out two homes, and two office buildings and was on the plane within six weeks. I had no idea where life would lead me, what I did know was that I was being led. I felt super vulnerable and afraid but I knew I was here to do something more with my life and to find inner peace and happiness. That was my mission.
I had no idea how long it was going to take to 'land' so to speak. I certainly didn't think it was going to be over 4 years or I probably never would have lept. Okay, yes I would have. This journey has found me at times, with very little money. I understand completely now, that I was meant to walk this path. To 'live' it, in order to understand what it feels like to have nothing. I'd only experienced life taking money and everything that comes with it, completely for granted. I look at life through a completely different lens now. Amazingly enough, I've been able to find happiness and inner peace through the most financially challenging times of my life.
Had I not been willing to take a risk, make myself completely vulnerable, and be willing to be led through these uncertain times, searching for true meaning in my life, I'm not sure I'd have found the Artist in me that I'd buried away in order to 'get on with life'. Nor would I have learned to NEVER take anything for granted. Ever. Especially food and a place to sleep. I'd also not have learned to find joy in the smallest & simplest things in life. Mostly, I'd ever have learned the hardest lesson of all for me. How to receive and accept help from others. I'd always been the 'giver'. That was familiar and comfortable to me. To receive or ask for help was far too vulnerable a place for me to go!
My humble thank you to everyone who has been following along on my journey, everyone who has purchased a piece of my art, everyone who has given me words of encouragement, a meal, a bed, or a shoulder (and Bobbie for listening to your guidance to leave me a sketch pad, 2 pencils and an eraser before you drove off and left me to house sit for 6 months on Lummi Island in the beautiful state of Washington). I had no idea how much that particular time would alter my life. Finally to Cindy, for believing in me enough to welcome me into your home and family for the past year, having no idea how long it would take for my vision to be clear and for things to move as they are now.
I don't love feeling vulnerable, probably never will. I only know it's worth moving through the uncomfortable part to get to the good part and I'm going to keep doing it! How about you?
Peace, Love and Vulnerability