The vulnerability hangover

Kenny AskewIt’s New Year’s morning and I’m suffering from a hang-over, a vulnerability hangover, my hangover I wake up to when I share too deeply – maybe expose too much; wake with the fear that somehow this truer me will put me out of the fold.

“Don’t be weak, don’t be afraid, at least don’t show it, don’t talk about it. Don’t talk about who you are, your weaknesses and fears, about your sensitivities and how you can be hurt, your spirituality and your relationship to the something more.”

It is the tug of war of living in two worlds, that of the healing arts and that of a carpenter…worlds that can seem very far apart. And vulnerability seems to be the bridge linking the two. Somehow vulnerability, courage, fear and shame seem to share this bridge. How we organize and expose these elements can have incredibly different outcomes.

Sitting with people in a Hakomi way, we are asking them, inviting them and ourselves to go to the edge of what we know and open to the unknown, the unknown of ourselves; living on the boundary with a foot in two worlds like a fool jumping into the unknown, longing to open to the mysteries of ourselves.

When I look for the cure for a vulnerability hangover, rather than say, “I will never be vulnerable again,” I find safe places, like Hakomi, where I can be real and let my truer self come to the party.

One voice says, “Hide, don’t expose.” Another voice says, “Be willing to be vulnerable for it is the birthplace of creativity, imagination and connection.” With loving presence we give our vulnerabilities a soft place to land.

There has got to be something incredibly powerful in vulnerability, otherwise I wouldn’t be so compelled to share, to expose and to explore these depths. To explore these places puts me in touch with the extraordinary realms, and as soon as I am in touch with them, I want to share their brilliance. When we find something incredible that puts us in touch with the more – the more of who we are, we want to share it. But how to find the words? Is it in the words or the experience? How do we share an experience? Maybe by truly letting ourselves feel our experience.

In the zone of vulnerability, I find things that feel valuable and worth talking about. I think there is a healer part of ourselves that is an elegant opportunist, a master of present experience, that recognizes an opportunity and puts us on the path to epiphany. I love that part and I hate that part. That part looks for growth opportunities, not necessarily comfort opportunities. I don’t know how I got the idea that vulnerability was weakness, because it sure seems like it takes a lot of courage to be vulnerable.

My vulnerability hangover feels better. Maybe it’s time to hit the sand and expose a little more.