How to Be Vulnerable and Courageous at the Same Time

Vulnerability feels like you’ve been cracked open, with your fragility for everyone to see. A weight on your chest is making it hard to breathe and your muscles feel as if they’ve worked hard, but all they’ve done is sleep.

There is a heightened sensitivity that is palpable at your fingertips and your skin gets dry and thin. It’s like you’ve become cellophane: see-through and showing all the flaws.

It’s like airing your dirty laundry for the entire world to see and there’s nothing you can do about it but hide as best as you can and wait for the emotional tsunami to pass.

It’s in those moments where the word “courageous” would be the furthest to describe how we feel.

Yet we can choose to be so.

Not because we have to force anything, or hide our vulnerability or put on a smile – since that’s perceived as better (especially by ourselves). We can choose to be vulnerable and show up. We can choose to continue despite the heavy-weight on our shoulders. We can choose to accept the fragility instead of making it wrong and wanting for it to go away.

When you can hold your vulnerability; that raw sense of being ripped open to the core for no apparent reason, and still get out of bed, meet others and show up, that’s when you are being courageous.

Courageousness isn’t about doing mighty stuff that is scary, like jumping out of planes or fighting tigers. It’s about deciding to get in the car anyway to meet that friend when you’d rather hide your teary eyes. It’s about sharing how you feel with your mum and just allowing yourself to be listened to. It’s about choosing to actively find joy alongside the sadness.

You can choose to focus on the magic – and feel fragile. You can choose to focus on what makes you feel grateful – and feel tender. You can choose to focus on treating your body extra well – and feel its heaviness.

Being a victim of your emotions or allowing them to simply be part of your existence and move forward in the direction of your dreams anyway is what makes the difference between feeling stuck and feeling empowered.

self-compassion

We can allow ourselves to be super sensitive, trembling and anxiety-ridden and still choose to take care of ourselves. That is being courageous because in that self-compassion you will find your natural strength back. That strength that is always there beneath that at times seemingly scraped, barren surface.

When you know that, the way you momentarily feel isn’t such a disaster (Oh my God I’m depressed, I’m worth shit and I can’t do anything because I feel horrible! Let’s eat chocolate and stay in bed – and then feel horrible about that).

You can just observe the tide that’s passing by. Allowing it in your presence and allowing it to flow past. It’s part of life – especially if you are a highly sensitive person – and the easier we are about these passing tides, the easier they pass.

You can still feel joy, exhilaration, happiness and trust beneath all of this because that is who you truly are: it’s your solid base. By knowing that, you can courageously move forward and trust that you will return to your natural state of wellbeing once the feelings have done its thing: when they’ll have been felt by you. There’s nothing wrong with feeling all the feels. Only when we make it wrong we fight a useless battle against ourselves which we’ll lose every time.

Choose to drop the rope. Stop the tug of war. Let it go. Sit down, meditate if you will, grab a cup of tea and do what comes naturally. Step by step you will come back up if you let yourself follow your natural flow.

You know best; make sure you listen to yourself and your needs and then cater to them. Your strength is in your vulnerability and choosing to care for yourself instead of to self-abandon is truly courageous.

Love & courage,

Sophie

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