“In a World Often Scary, Why Being Vulnerable is Essential”

 

images

In my first article “The Trojan Horse Opportunity, Change, and Transition Offer Us”, I wrote about challenges offering surprising gifts and invitations for increasing happiness and satisfaction in yourself and your life. In the second article “Learning to Trust Yourself and Life Again; Balancing Inner and Outer Authority”, I wrote about how balancing the authority you give others with learning to call on your own (inner) authority, increases your satisfaction and integrity in life. And here is my new article “In a World Often Scary, Why Being Vulnerable is Essential”:

Whether you subscribe to “leaning in”, “leaning out”, or “love will heal all”, contemporary relationship is emerging as more than a role or a status. Contemporary relationship is a a powerful means for transforming conflict, a petri dish for self-discovery and healing, and an essential dynamic for pivoting the out-dated power over of position, privilege, and possessions into contemporary power with our challenges, courage, and creativity. Contemporary relationship embraces the power of our mind as well as the power of our heart and soul, scientific research showing our health and sense of well-being is in part a reflection of the health of our relationship with ourselves and with others.

Relationships take a lot of wear and tear in a world which can hold everything as up for sale. When we pick up our courage for honoring the sacredness, the nobility of ourselves and an other, our relationships begin to offer us what we all long for…..to be safely seen as imperfect as we all are. Our relationships offer us opportunity after opportunity for healing family patterns which create pain, for tending to our self-love and care, and for developing trust and faith in ourselves and with another. Honoring your relationships requires your courage for allowing the vulnerability (From Latin meaning “wound”) essential for transforming the scary into compassion (From Latin meaning “to suffer with”) with yourself and an other.

Choosing compassion when a relationship challenges your inner security is not overlooking the need for change in the relationship. Responding with compassion to emotions which scare you is courageously choosing to honor your relationships as powerful vehicles for tending to the fears and insecurities we all carry. Choosing compassion is not for wussies; compassion requires courage, honestly examining your feelings, and not blaming another for not being the way you want them to be. Choosing compassion is essential for living life less through fear and more through trust of the wisdom of heart to lead.

Extending to “the other” what you usually demand of them, begins healing wounds of the past, making room for the destiny of the future. Choosing to extend your compassion, your curiosity, your courage to when another triggers you, allows you to pivot fears into learning and allows the vulnerability necessary for true intimacy. When you choose to communicate more for understanding and less for making certain you are heard, you choose connection with vs power over another. Powerful powerful steps for the peace and joy we all long for and I believe, we were born able to create.

Coming next week is my fourth and final article in this series on the art and science of life contemporary. I am excited to share with you how learning to discern, decipher, and delight in the abundant guidance and support life offers us each day, provides support and guidance in a world demanding more than simply the facts of our physical senses. Sensory intelligence is essential for meeting a world awash in fact and figure information, yet challenging us to create solutions to what our minds believe is impossible. Great stuff!

“Learning to Trust Yourself and Life Again: Balancing Inner and Outer Authority”

Balance

In last week’s article “The Trojan Horse Opportunity of Change, Challenge, and Transition”, I wrote about updating beliefs, habits, and choices for staying contemporary in your life and world. One of the updates I touched on was balancing the power you give authority outside yourself with the authority you allow your own self when crafting your happiness and life. Learning to trust yourself and life is crucial in creating happiness and satisfaction in life.

You’ve been taught to defer power to authority outside yourself-parents, teachers, experts, ministers, etc-and to adhere to common answers vs your own answers, as to what is right and what is wrong. You are taught to defer to the (mostly) masculine norms Western civilization is constructed upon, women feeling this imbalance most personally, and the potential of all people impacted. So it is any wonder you may not truly know yourself, trust what you feel, or have faith in life as on your side?

In time, your soul will initiate a process for evaluating your life, often through a crisis (from the Latin word meaning “to decide/decisive point) in your health, relationships, or happiness. This evaluation brings to light the balance between the facts of your outer authority and the truths of your inner authority. We are taught to fear change, challenge, and transition, yet the process of claiming more integrity and soul in your life only enhances the integrity of your relationships, happiness, and fulfillment in life.

In life contemporary, we make everything important except learning about ourselves. In response, life will often trigger events in life as opportunities for learning about more about yourself:

1. You live life by “shoulds, need to, have to’s” in your roles, your relationships, and your choices…..building resentment you blame others for, when you could be learning to respond with compassion for yourself and learn more about your feelings!

2. Your intimate relationships begin to experience escalating conflict, conflict based on expectations of what the other “owes” you….treating your relationships like commodities when you could be learning to trust sharing your imperfect self with another imperfect self!

3. Your body lets you know it is unhappy and demands your attention in ways painful or scary….. so you feel betrayed by your body when you could be learning how to discern and decipher it’s wisdom!

4. You realize you are spending your days simply trying to get through to the end of the day, day after day……indulging in drama or distractions when you could be committing to support, wisdom, and guidance on the skills, ways, and delight of self-discovery!

Contemporary life includes few traditions of mentorship or apprenticeship, yet our need for the care and guidance of wise community is more than ever. Power (from Latin meaning “be able”), secular or spiritual, historically passed through a conscious community tending to the awakening and learning of power. With the dismantling of traditions and the diminishing of institutional authority, we are being called to claim more inner authority yet challenged by not knowing how to do so, alone with only our facts.

 

“Women’s Evolving Relationship With Men”

Articles such as “The End of Men” and “Are Fathers Necessary” while provocative, trivialize and distort the seismic evolutionary changes between women and men. Yes, the relationships between women and men are being buffeted by strong evolutionary winds, whether the relationship is of love, work, or family. And while the facts of expanding choices, opportunities, and social mores may be held as cause, the truth is evolution is transforming power through the relationships of women and men.

The evolving power of relationship requires women embrace a form of power distinct from the current power paradigm, not simple assume it’s helm. The evolution of power requires the courage of women to take up their healing, to wield their power as women, and to commit as women to honoring all as sacred. Women’s compassion and love, our gift of vision, and our sacred inspiration and wisdom are critical for leading not only our life, but our world.

On my computer is a note where I have written the reminder “understand all through compassion or to mis-undertand these times”. Compassion is choosing to respond with the heart and soul of ourselves to another….essential when our initial impulse is to react at another. And while my emotions may dance me around and my mind may lead to me judgment, committing to compassion reminds me we are soul companions in the journey of life. And, choosing compassion requires the courage of our heart and soul.

So what does compassion have to do with the changes in women’s relationships with men? The relationships of women and men are changing from power of men over women to women’s independence expanding her choices in life. These evolutionary changes challenge not only the relationships of women and men, they also challenge women in how and what our newly empowered self serves. With power, will women dismiss men as we were once dismissed and denigrated or will we choose to heal and transform power? Without compassion as a guiding value, the distortions created from power without consideration for all of life will simply repeat itself.

So how do you begin to become aware of your power as woman in your relationships with men?

* Become aware of where you either diminish or elevate yourself in your relationships with men. Is your inner talk about men, yourself, and other women pivotal in your life inspiring?

* Become aware of your beliefs about women and men in relationship. Are these truths you want to continue fueling with your life or hand-me-downs in need of updating or discarding?

* Become aware of where you expect men to either rescue you or place them in the driver’s seat for your happiness. Are you willing to empower your own happiness, mproving the happiness with the men in your life?

* Become aware of where self-care is calling; self-care is essential for not only our body but our heart and soul as well. Where we lack self-care is often where we demand another cares, demands not constructive to happy and healthy relationships.

The invitation inherent in any crisis or challenge is the opportunity to improve what is. The invitation in the crisis in the relationships of women with men, of the masculine with the feminine, is to improve what is. A Cherokee wisdom says it well: “A woman, I go into the darkness to heal my wounding and as woman, I emerge from the darkness only then able to heal man”. As women, as the grace of god, healing our past is our sacred call to transform our future, serve our sacred destiny as women. My prayer is as women, we truly embrace healing into our power as women, for the benefit of all living.