Thursday, February 23, 2017

OLW Health: Emotional Vulnerability

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My plan for my OLW (One Little Word) was to take the first quarter of the year and strictly focus on my physical health. I was completely rocking it for the first month or so. I had a couple weeks of holding on to the back of the wagon desperately with my feet trailing in the ground as it tried to leave without me. Now I'm making a mighty effort and pulling myself back on.

As usual, I have gotten a little ahead of myself and decided to pick out a few books that could be helpful in jump-starting my mental health. I figured it wouldn't be a bad idea to start reading different books and theories on how to do this so when quarter two rolls around I would have an idea of what to work towards.

I did some googling for suggestions. Reserved several books from the library. The first one to become available was Rising Strong by Brene Brown. Essentially it's living with courage despite knowing that you're inevitably going to end up falling flat on your face along the way. And most likely more than once. It's about not kicking yourself, or others,while you're down and...you've guessed it...rising strong.

The key to Rising Strong? Being vulnerable. Putting yourself out there. Not just physically but emotionally too. Risking your heart and having your feelings hurt and being disappointed and disappointing others. 

Wow! Could I have picked a book that targets my weak spot any better. I'll be honest, it's been a tough read. Like it hurts to read because it's so on target and the idea of letting down my walls is scary as heck. Tears of acknowledgment and fear and resistance and maybe a wee bit of panic type hurt.

One of the lessons I'm taking to heart is her use of the phrase, "The story I'm telling myself is..." when confronting myself and others. There are plenty of times when I have caught myself telling Ken, "You think I'm....". Yet if he tries to tell me how I'm feeling I get all up in arms because he doesn't get to tell me what I'm thinking! So, I'm going to try to incorporate this in to our communication and acknowledge that the story I'm telling myself may not be completely accurate but put it out there for discussion.

She also discusses letting go of the armor we have built up to protect ourselves from hurt. Some people lash out when they are hurt (the I'll hurt you back so we both hurt method) and some use numbness and armor (that's me) so they don't feel hurt. I'll be working on trusting others enough to risk expressing my feelings and risking them squashing them. Hopefully that won't be the case. 'Cause we're all in this big messy world together right?

Yikes! Okay, back to my physical health. Time to pack a healthy lunch and get some exercise in.