Posts Tagged 'vulnerability'

Perceptions….

I am currently halfway through writing a book about my internet dating adventures, thanks to the ‘spark’ from a lovely friend. This is throwing up all sorts of issues as you can imagine and the growing ‘tongue in cheek’ belief that I may never be asked out again.

The issues are interesting, because I am protecting the identity of all the characters, but where do you draw the line on how much you divulge? I have opted to keep it real and all is in there, including the unattractive aspects about myself and my moments of shame. It is apparently funny, and written with a light hand on the tiller according to those who have been privy to excerpts. It is not an unburdening of my soul, but a snapshot of what life can be like in internet dating land for women of a certain age. A publisher asked what demographic I was aiming it at and I replied ‘Are you kidding me on?’ I may need to brush up on my promotional skills.

I shared this current activity with my Mum and Dad on a recent visit and my Mum’s face lit up as she said ‘I do hope you are including the perfect cock story in your book?’ My Dad nearly choked on his lunch.

Writing this book takes me into the heart of ‘vulnerability land’ and that can became a sticking point. I have learned over the years to write and get out of the way of myself, because time and again I would write and be ‘reading’ it at the same time. That doesn’t work I found, as judgement comes in and my insistent critical inner voice is very loud indeed. So I write without thinking and just let the words fall onto the page.

This book is about me with real life events, so I have been facing fear as I sit at my laptop each day. Fear of judgement, not being enough, not being worthy and basically writing a load of stories that no-one would feel inclined to read. Hello fear.

The last thing I want to do is have it come across like a modern day advert, or some social media posts that we are all subjected to. You know the ones: beautifully attired people fresh from a full nights sleep, just off trekking in the Himalayas, while feasting on pancakes made from fresh goat’s milk, collected as the dew still nestles on the mountain sides and the children are in hand made crocheted hats…..you get my drift. This had to be real for me to do it. So here’s the reason I am quiet and daily beating down fear. If this ‘fear bashing’ translates into my appetite being subdued then I am ahead of the game. Now where did I put my crocheted hat?

Stripped bare and the hidden wonders of vulnerability…

I had a front, a finely honed and solidly established persona that I showed the world. It carried me through some of the toughest times in my life and, glancing back, I knew of no other way to be.

My family and closest friends were used to my stock answer of ‘I am fine’ to any enquiry about how I was. Fine? I was far from it.

Recently I truly ‘let go’ and life as I knew it tumbled into dust. The loving friends who sheltered me, whilst a new path emerged, have bestowed gifts far beyond the day to day care and nurture they freely gave. A protective net extended to include some of their family and closest friends and the loving strands woven within wrap us all in safety.

In opening their home and their hearts, they have given me the gift of vulnerability. I had nowhere to run nor hide, so ‘I am fine’ would not wash. I didn’t go around weeping and wailing, instead a bare honesty emerged. Almost blinking in the daylight, I discovered that it is OK to receive and to reach out for help.

I was safely caught.

Pottering around cleaning my new nest this morning, it occurred to me that the gift of vulnerability has stopped the spiral of guilt, shame and pain that I have carried with me for years.

Now that is a good weight to lose.


Jane Sturgeon

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