Exposing my vulnerability

Last night was my Lightworkers Circle. It is a group of women who have taken part in a program to become certified as Spiritual Healing Touch Practitioners. I have only taken one class with a most of the members. We meet once a month to practice and listen to our leader who organizes the classes and meetings. She is completely certified and has her own practice. I actually see her to “get on the table” as that is the best way to learn. You have to receive the therapy to really know how to give it. I have been only at this process for about four months. The group is a blend of about ten women who have varying degrees of experience and we all are in different places in our journeys. I love our get togethers as it is one of the few places that the energy is always extremely uplifting.

There is a part of our meeting where we share a story or experience with the group. The variety of tales is as different as the participants. There is one girl who is particularly eloquent as always seems to have an amazing thing to share. The stories last night included visions in the clouds to traveling to magical places with spiritual connection.

I decided to share my post on Seeking Blessings. I thought if any group of people would enjoy this, they would. I also decided to read it instead of telling it off the top of my head. I do not always articulate in a clear manner when I am relating something…especially something…that reveals my vulnerability.  For example, I still struggle after a year telling John stuff. He knows more about things I have experienced than anyone and has never judged or criticized or demonstrated any behavior that would put me off. On paper, I can tell him anything, but it takes a lot for me to open up face to face. And he is not the only mentor I work with that I struggle vocalizing my thoughts. So last night, I figured this would be a great opportunity to offer up my writing and also share something that I thought was pretty profound.

I struggled to open the two pages of very tiny typed words. Why did I not enlarge them when I printed it out, I thought. And out of my mouth came the first apology. I am trying to break the apology habit.  I explained a tiny bit about the blog. A couple of the other women know I write, but no one has asked for the URL. I do not force it on anyone.  I struggled to explain the experiment without reading it exactly and I thought, just read it. So I dove in. I know how to read a story. It is one of those teacher skills they give you. So I took a deep breath and proceeded on. My voice started out fairly strong but as I read on I felt my breath leave me. And I started to have that dreaded waiver you get when you become nervous. I was pissed at myself for doing this but I was in too deep. I periodically looked up to check my audience and smile, which I thought would ease my fear, but it didn’t.  I got to what I thought were the humorous moments in my tale and yet not one person laughed or even smiled when I checked. That put me into a panic but I persevered. Finally I get to the point of my post about being aware and seeing the small stuff as the real blessings. By this point I was pretty shaky and glad it was over. It was not the fulfilling experience I had hoped for. At all.

I got done and folded the papers. I surveyed the room. Some of the members said thank you and how nice. Truly I did not hear them as I was spent. I did not realize how exposed reading my own writing had made me. This is only the second time I have ever read out loud to a group something I have written that was personal. The first time was even more disastrous as by the end of my reading I was almost in tears. I was hoping for a little discussion, but instead they moved on. In my head I thought a little too quickly actually. I faded into the couch and remained silent.

The last person to share something is a lady who I really think highly of. She is very evolved and spiritual. She has always reached out to me and been very supportive when she is at our meetings. Her story for the night was amazing to me. She had taken a singing class, by herself at the Omega Institute. She talked about the powerful experience and really shared her vulnerability and how difficult it all was. She has the gift of humor and is a spellbinding story teller. I sat in awe. She drove herself there, had her own cabin room and attended this class. I cannot even drive to a class here in Rochester area without panic. The thought of attending a seminar by myself is not in my realm of abilities right now. She took this class to get back or rediscover her singing because she felt this was something she is being directed to do on her path. I kept chiming in as she told her story about how amazing I thought she was. And I do. This is something I would love to be able to do. Each piece of her story was like hearing a mecca I would like to get to.

I started taking recorder lessons last year. I missed music as it was such a part of my life. I enjoyed the class but had a huge issue with the recital. But I did it. I am back this year and the class starts tonight. I am going to study on learning to play an alto recorder this year.

As the group member was telling her story, I became connected with her path. When she finished, I told the group about my recorder classes. I uttered a non-coherent rant about how I missed music, that I had taken voice lessons since I was eight and lost my ability to sing and do music and …on I went in a disjointed string of words trying to connect my story to her experience. I was so honestly elated for her and shared my feelings of awe of her courage. But I think I should have kept my mouth shut about my own experience and feelings. I think it was misperceived. I was trying to tell what an inspiration she was to me. But I think my effort failed.

After the meeting concluded, we all stood up. We systematically say good bye with a separate hug to everyone. I stood closest to the door and waited for the hugging to being and then the exit. But what happened really upset me. Instead of leaving, members paired off and finished private conversations. I was facing the back of everyone. Feeling already vulnerable, this was too much. No one was talking to me. I stood there for what seemed to be an inordinate amount of time. I was almost ready to turn and just walk out and thought that would have been childish. Finally someone turned, and hugged me and we proceeded through our ritual good bye. As we walked out the door, again, people paired off leaving me alone. I got to my car and got in…and yes, I started to cry.

When I got home, I retreated to my garden chair to evaluate my feelings. My reactionary thoughts were all childish and based on the fact that I had exposed my vulnerability and it did not go well. I tried to analyze why I felt ostracized, which is what I felt at the end.  My thoughts went back to how much I have always felt disconnected and not part of the group in many areas of my life. In truth, I have not resolved this issue, but struggle with it not becoming the elephant in my life. But when I am forced into a situation where I have to face this demon, well it still wins. I was very upset with myself last night and rehashed it over and over in my head of what I could have done differently. I tried to figure out what was the message when everyone turned their backs. Was I reading something into a simple moment of private conversations? Did it matter? The answer is yes, it does matter. I perceived being ostracized for a reason and I have to deal with this. Obviously, the feeling is much engrained and will continue to rear its ugly head until I learn to deal with it. Last night every instance of my feeling like I am not an equal to those women came up in my head and I wanted to quit.  Leaving the group is not the answer. Running never is head. Besides, it is pervasive in my life. It is a real issue. Exposing my vulnerability is also a huge issue. I admit this morning I feel like I have retreated down the slope of my spiral. I did not sleep well at all and I am very empty and tired this morning. I am also disappointed with myself which is only making matters worse.

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8 thoughts on “Exposing my vulnerability

  1. Actually, writing this and knowing it will be read was a good way to face your demon. I think it took a lot of courage for you to be this honest, and it is very well written. I don’t know what happened at the meeting. From what you described, perhaps it came across as disingenuous reading what you did but being so nervous about it, or talking about music after the other woman did. But you know that is not what you meant, that your intentions were/are good. The rest of the group will see that over time, and if not, it is enough for you to know your own heart. It can be disappointing and lonely to feel like an outsider, I’ve often had that feeling too. You can continue down the spiral, or embrace who you are. Know that even if it doesn’t always come out the way you intended it to, you have a good heart and that you are loved. I think you did a great job with this writing. It says a lot about who you are. Chin up, there are good things in store for you 🙂

  2. I agree with thoughtsalone…it took great courage to share with the group as well as write about your experience here. Proving that you have far more strength and wisdom than you give yourself credit for. Also, when we have an issue that affects our lives, it will surface time and again so we can figure it out and find the resolution. Since it is your desire to overcome this issue, it is presenting itself so you can get a good look at it. Sometimes, we have to “go into the fire” to burn away that which is clinging to us and let it fall into the ashes. Lets talk more on this. Wrapping you in a hug and sending Love & Light! Blessings!

  3. You said it didn’t go well. To me, it sounds as though it unfolded superbly. You chose to reveal yourself and DID IT, successfully. The majority of your discomfort is wrapped around reactions that you did or didn’t get from those in the group. That is something that you will never have any control over – you did your thing, and it was perfect, and vulnerable, and heartfelt. Therein is the growth, totally separate from any reactions from anyone else. Kudos to you! Peace . . .

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