This, not that. Close but no cigar. I get to decide what’s true.
- Un-armored, not unarmed
- Disarmed, not defenseless
- Vulnerable, not a victim
- Scared, not susceptible
- Protective, not powerless
- Unguarded, not unaware
Part of my path in this stage of my life, on this journey of self-exploration, is to lovingly shine light on parts of myself that are keeping me from fully stepping into my own power.
It’s hard to face yourself with unflinching honesty and course-correct where you’ve gotten off track without pulling excuses into the mix. It’s hard to sit in silence, continually redirect your focus, and remind yourself that your own behavior is the only thing you can control.
It can be painful to see how your own projections might be polarizing and prophetic. How you can make manifest the exact situations you don’t want by almost willing them into existence through fear-based behavior.
Blame is a distraction. Constant “calling out” in the name of demanding respect, authenticity or accountability can be a validation seeking act of self preservation in which the person with the chip on their shoulder is usually saying “there’s a hurt piece of me that I want you to soothe but instead I’m going to counter-attack because I, myself, feel attacked and unsafe, and reality feels too confronting.”
In times like these, it becomes necessary to rewrite the narrative.
We can go from the “bad guy” to “blameless“ and back again, it doesn’t matter.
What matters is making conscious shifts every day. Where and how are you not showing up for yourself in order to soften your own edges?
How can you move from searching for what’s scary to safeguarding what’s sacred?
You can keep the peace or you can keep score, but you can’t do both.
Learning to access the parts of myself that are wounded and tend to them gently in ways that only I can, helps me give my protective parts a rest. For whatever reason, they’ve been working overtime – for a long time. I’m still searching, I’m still learning.
When we’re constantly in fight or flight, a perceived threat can become completely exaggerated, sending our nervous systems into overdrive and dysregulation.
This, among other things, is why we attempt to make ourselves bulletproof.
- Hurt them before they can hurt us
- Build walls before they can advance
- Hunker down and counter attack before they even see it coming
- Imagine and formulate plans for every possible negative scenario
And sometimes that’s seen as brave. But it’s actually living in survival mode. It’s your psyche telling you to listen up. It’s unsustainable and unhealthy.
So let’s reframe what it means to be brave.
Let’s look at vulnerability as a strength and a superpower (and something to build up to as part of the healing process).
We can be:
- Boundaried without being bitchy
- Co-creating, not captive
- Cautious, not cold
- Selective, not selfish
- Bold, not brash
- Open, not oblivious
- Forgiving, not fearful
- Disarmed, not a doormat
- Led, not left out
- Held, not hyper-vigilant
A dysregulated nervous system often deals in extremes. Balancing those extremes is essential to growth and healing. You don’t have to be in a constant state of denial, nor do you have to be in a constant state of due diligence – you can learn tools for when you perceive or sense danger. You can rewire your responses, adjust the dial. You can shed your armor.
You are safe.