The gift of vulnerability……..Do you reveal your true face?
Feeling and revealing our vulnerability, and being TRULY SEEN…
We are so scared of it yet we want it so much as well..what is going on with that?
In this article i explore this curious conundrum experienced by so many women and i give some simple tips on how to reveal the tender parts of yourself to the world, and enjoy it.
I have certainly been one of those women who have ‘held it all together’ and put on a brave face to hide deep feelings within myself.
Yet the more I have journeyed deep into my feminine power, the more I have found the courage to NOT hold it all together and the courage to reveal my tender parts, my vulnerable self, to the world.
And yes! What a relief!
I have discovered that I love admitting that I am not perfect!
It was a bit tricky in the beginning but what i have found is that;
It actually feels totally awesome to let go of pretending to be strong, wise, attractive or just plain ‘enough’.
It is liberating to put all the cards out on the table and drop the masks.
The fact is that Masks are tiring…
The effort it takes to put on a brave face and intricately design a front to put on that looks acceptable and appealing is friggin exhausting! Masks are a form of armour, and the thing about armour is that you have to carry it around with you, you need to uphold it and worst of all, it puts a barrier between the true you and others, and the true you, and your own intimate experience.
So why do we bother?
First of all I would point out that most of us are often not even aware that we are putting on a front, our armour has become such a part of our lives and the way that we interact with the world, that we forget that it does not serve us, and is entirely optional…
The pleaser and the rebel
Two types of masks that are very common amongst women is the pleaser and the rebel. They are almost like 2 sides of the same coin. Whilst the pleaser tries to make everything ok and hides her true feelings in the process. The rebel acts like she doesn't care, when of course she does but is just scared, and in the process she also hides her true feelings.
Please note- armour is indeed optional..
I would suggest that the reason why we consciously and unconsciously choose to guard our true face has probably got something to do with a deep fear or being rejected.
And why do we equate rejection with ‘the end of the world’?
I imagine it is because the experience of being ‘rejected’ by another person rubs up against where we are rejecting ourselves on a deep fundamental level.
We show our best face to the world, or our 'safe' protective armour so at least others will believe we are worthy….so that we can believe that ourselves.
I know, because I have studied this mechanism in myself.
And I observe that this wound of not feeling ‘enough’ is huge in women. It might show up in different disguises, and yet, if we peel back the layers and different disguises then whoop! There it is!
A sad vulnerable girl who is scared that she is not enough and that if she reveals her true vulnerable self she will be rejected and exposed as not enough…
Bless us! ~Bless HER!
The thing is that hiding your vulnerability just keeps that hurt and misguided little girl from the light of day. But if we accept her enough to let her be seen… then deep healing usually occurs.
Instead of hiding her, what about taking her out for a dance? What about putting her right there on the table with the rest of your cards? Your masks, fears and pretences,
What if you just said ‘fuck it’ I hurt, this is how much I hurt, this is my truth right now, and do what you like with it, I am still going to stand by myself whatever your reactions and perceptions are….
How do we learn to be vulnerable ???
Yet because so many of us have been raised to hide our true feelings, it can feel a bit intense and on some level actually dangerous to reveal our vulnerable self to the world….therefore to reclaim your true vulnerability you need to find a way to feel open and yet incredible strong and safe and contained, at the same time.
How to do that? Here is what works for me;
#1 get grounded
Yep, this is key, cultivate your relationship to the ground, feel your feet on the earth. Allow your body to feel supported by the earth and your vulnerability will feel like it stands on firm ground. ( A really grounded yoga/ chi gung/ dance practice really helps cultivate this).
#2 Be discerning
Your vulnerability is precious; reveal it to people who are able to receive that as a gift. Seek out safe containers (workshops, rituals, loving relationships) that can hold you and support you as you explore what it is like to let your true face be seen.
Do not throw pearls before swine…
#3 Give it space and time
At the end of the day, all your vulnerability and the wounds beneath it, want, is the space and time to actually feel what it feels. Resist the tendency to distract, brush over, and/or put your attention on others rather than your self.
#4 Receive with respect and gratitude
The ability to feel is a blessing, it shows you are truly alive rather than guarded and numb, so even if it feels sticky and yukky, be grateful for the opportunity to engage with your emotional landscape.
Compassion, compassion, compassion, it is KEY. Have compassion for humanity, as it is expressed in you and others. Welcome and rejoice displays of true vulnerability, open your heart to receive and accept, without any need to hide or ‘fix’.
Noone is really judging you but your self….
If someone else is judging you, then that is really his or her problem not yours…
Every single time I have witnessed a woman as she has let go and allowed her mask to crumple, and her tears to flow, I have been shocked by the level of beauty she has embodied in that softness.
Women are beautiful when they are vulnerable because they become truly alive, soft and real.
By the way ---Anyone who would still prefer you as a masked Barbie doll you are better off without in your life. You deserve people in your life who say YES to every part of the vast and wondrous living terrain which is you.
And if all this feels like a bit much and you do not know how or where to start...I really encourage you to seek out workshops where you can ‘practice being seen’ in a really safe and supportive space. Most Tantra workshops and women’s circles ( if held in a space of authenticity and integrity) are ideal, check out my own workshops and retreats or work with me one on one.
And in the meantime, practice by being real with yourself, you can begin by making this pledge to your self.