Posts Tagged 'vulnerability'

Deflector shield up….

Calvin and Hobbes by Bill Watterson

I received a letter a few weeks ago with a recall to hospital for more investigations after a routine mammogram. Having walked a path with cancer a few times I had the expectation that I could take news like this in my stride. I didn’t and was instantly swamped in fear, which frightened me more than the news. My deflector shield came up, I closed off and when prodded came out verbally swinging. I was lost to myself for a while.

Georgie guessed that something was badly amiss and within a day he got me to share the news with him. He promised that no matter what happened we would deal with it together, which we did till I got the all clear.

I thanked the hospital team for the gift of their care and attention and it has taken me a few weeks to realise that there was a greater gift nestled within my fearful reaction.

Georgie’s response taught me that love can flow in many ways and I can trust the different ways that others flow with, even if their ways are not like my forms of loving expression. That first day he took me out for a walk and a yummy meal to the place where we had our first date. Over the next few days we leant in to our banter and shared jokes and when we got the all clear he took me out for our favourite breakfast. The one we started each day with in Lisbon; the place where many magic memories were created.

Parkgate, The Wirral

As the days carried on I joined the knitting girls at a Lulu concert and during the show I glanced down the row at all their happy faces. It is many months since we have all been together and the loving light we hold for each other is still there to see.

Then the family gathered for my Mum’s 80th Birthday celebrations. As I looked around the table at her three children and their families, with shared connections, memories and love we all hold for each other. There was a special light shining out.

Happy Birthday Mum ❤

The big lesson in all this is that I no longer need a deflector shield in love. Life has blessed me with a partner who stands beside me in vulnerability and who can meet fear with thoughtful actions. I appreciate his loving ways and celebrate the differences in how we each show love. The expectations on how I was measuring his love have melted away along with my deflector shield. Ohh, the freedom and joy in that. ❤

Gifts of grace…..

A sky of milky glass as the tide arrives with a respectful hush and in silence life flows with shafts of sparkling light.

Deep gratitude felt for stillness and the graceful gift of vulnerability, as light shining through the cracks creates space for creativty and change.

“Hope is the thing with feathers, that perches in the soul, and sings the tune without the words, and never stops – at all” Emily Dickinson

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.


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