Have you ever shared something vulnerable and wanted to puke afterward? Maybe this was during a meeting, or sharing with a friend, or maybe you shared something online where you were terrified to hit Post.
I know what it is like to live with the feelings of vulnerability, while still pushing through because we are aware there is healing on the other side.
My last day using I found out my wife had an affair. The first time I shared in a meeting about my wife’s affair brought up a crushing feeling of judgment from everyone in the room.
I was not enough for my wife, how can I be enough. My share in this one meeting surely caused one of the worst sober hangovers I ever had.
Have you ever shared something you wanted to hide the most? I can tell you right now, the shame from that moment was enough for a relapse alone. I guess that moment was my bottom, and the pain was enough to invoke change, but I still cannot believe I didn’t use over that pain.
Maybe you still feel the sting of stigma from being an alcoholic or addict? I experienced these similar feelings as I released my blog and podcast, Recovery Squared. I was still living this stigma so much I had to have my coach virtually hold my hand as I hit send on my first Facebook post.
I want to provide a broader context of the horrible feelings brought on by vulnerability and the feelings it creates. These feelings are part of a Divine process of healing. It is simply a step. My goal is to shed light on the larger staircase.
It is possible to transcend the idea of vulnerability into simply a way of living in truth without judgment. I went through this process and was not until I recently heard the term I had once forgotten about, the vulnerability hangover.
There is a cure
Almost a year ago I wrote about vulnerability and how important it was during my process of healing and recovery. Today I see the larger picture in the role of vulnerability.
Where I am in my last vulnerability post and today is night and day. Today I see the stages in where vulnerability plays out. Here are some notable highlights I shared in this post.
- Vulnerability creates connections with others.
- The vulnerability is a learning process to become fully accepting of ourselves.
- It teaches us who should and should not be in our life when they cannot accept our vulnerability.
I want to clarify by definition what vulnerability means:
Vulnerability: capable of or susceptible to being wounded or hurt.
Recovery allowed me a safe place to learn to be vulnerable without being hurt. I didn’t want my vulnerability to stop in the anonymous rooms of my past.
During my journey, I was fortunate to read many books, but one stands out in the learning of what vulnerability means.
Brené Brown’s TED Talk might even be more compelling.
NOTE: I find it interesting that Brené Brown was in recovery for all but a year just as I was.
I made it my mission to share my vulnerable story with everyone. What I found was that I connect with nearly everyone. I’m often told that I am inspiring, I owe this to being vulnerable.
I don’t hide who I am. Being authentically me, inspires people to be themselves and gives them the courage to live outside their shame.
I owe this entirely to what I previously referred to as vulnerability. By definition, this means that I am being susceptible to being hurt based on me sharing something shameful.
When I first launched Recovery Squared, I was still at my professional corporate job. At that time I still held onto the stigma of wanting to keep my past, professional and purpose lives all separate. Have you ever had aspects of your life that you wanted to be separated?
I later learned that to empower ourselves fully, we must merge all aspects of our life under alignment in truth. I must not be different things to different people.
My coach at the time had to hold my hand virtually when I released my Recovery Squared about page on Facebook. I thought I was going to die actually. Have you ever thought, “I’m certainly going to die if I hit post!”
What she told me was that “Steve, The electricity isn’t going to go out, and people are not going to start crashing their cars because of something you post on Facebook!”
Her coaching helped offer me some perspective, but this is not what I feared necessarily, but was glad to know, I wouldn’t cause any car wrecks that day.
What I was afraid of was being let go from a job or being rejected by the people in the industry that I was part of for twenty years. My career was how I fed my family for my entire adult life, so yes, I was scared.
I also had legal concerns while going through not only a divorce but a custody proceeding. I was admitting that I had a drug problem, that I could have been a better dad and husband. In my mind, at the time these were all things they could use against me.
Have you ever justified holding back something you felt called to do or say, but had to go against your fears? For me, it was easy to justify holding my message for some perceived outcome. It’s so easy just to do nothing, right?
This lesson taught me to share my truth regardless of how susceptible is made me. In the end, truth always wins, and the only way we are susceptible is when we hide our truth, and this puts us in spiritual death.
Since being vulnerable is being susceptible to feeling hurt, how can we be hurt? Can you think of ways vulnerability can hurt you?
Vulnerability and being susceptible to feeling hurt are linked. Today I see it as the simply my truth. Others might perceive it as being vulnerable, but I no longer have this perspective.
When we learn to live our truth, we learn to accept what is. When our truth is our highest state, it doesn’t matter what shows up a base on living our truth. There is no need to label something as vulnerable.
If we are living out our truth and judge it as vulnerable, what is it about ourselves that we are not fully accepting?
We are ultimately fearful of being judged. We can learn to stand in our truth and overcome the fear of being judged. This judgment from others is simply a manifestation of our internal judgment of ourselves.
When we remove our internal judgment, we can stand fully in our truth. When we stand in our truth, we connect deeper because someone can only accept us as much as we accept ourselves.
The truth is the courier of love and where true pathways to connection live.
Truth never hurts, it only destroys the illusion and false perceptions we hold. Breaking down illusions and false perceptions can be painful.
Our reality is an illusion and perception, and when we become suggestible to alternate realities of truth, while no longer bound to fractured states, we allow more truth into our lives.
I continually look for ways for my false illusions and perceptions to be removed, so my being is expanded into infinite possibility. We are all one so the more truth I live, the more connected we all are.
Feeling vulnerable is a process of stepping into our truth. When we observe the feelings of being hurt as mere messengers, guiding us into a more fully realized truth.
We can then experience bliss despite our truth and transcend vulnerability.
Judgments come down to beliefs of ourselves and to more fully stand in our truth and transcend the concept of vulnerability, we must remove the false and limiting beliefs we hold about ourselves.
I typically call myself a transformational coach, but I think I might modify it here, I am a Transformation in Truth Coach. I am continually seeking my truth, and part of my truth is helping others find theirs.