This is a word I have been struggling with lately. Everything about what I do (BodyTalk & Reiki) embraces vulnerability, opening of the heart, peeling off the layers so the true essence of who you are can shine through, yet it is something I find extremely difficult to do. The last few weeks my neck, back and shoulders have been incredibly tight, I have been putting myself under immense pressure, feeling like I need to be further along my path than I am. Pushing myself forward striving to get to where I think I should be. And then eventually my body said “no more”, it literally snapped and I felt a big click in my neck. Well that was the end of me! I thought I would be uncomfortable for a day or two and get back to normal. No such luck, five days later I am still struggling with a stiff neck and limited movement. At first I saw this little inconvenience as literally a pain in the neck hampering my momentum, limiting me, preventing me from moving forward.
So over the last few days I have had some time to think about what might be going on in my body. I don’t think it is any coincidence that my yoga classes last week before my neck decided to give way were all focused on the shoulder area and opening of the heart, which I tend to keep well guarded. I have been sifting through a lot of emotional “stuff” over the last few weeks, all of it heart “stuff”. With the processing has come a lot of awareness. For one I am terrified of opening my heart again, perhaps because it has endured so much loss in a relatively short space of time. What if it gets smashed into tiny pieces again, what if I lose someone else very dear to me?
Yesterday I did a mini BodyTalk session on myself (which is not something I usually do as I prefer to go to a fellow practitioner to get an unbiased result!) but what came up was “Fear of Vulnerability” which made complete sense. Today, to try and ease the discomfort I went for a massage (with a beautiful therapist who I am lucky enough to call my friend), while chatting to her about this fear of vulnerability she gently asked what would happen if I was vulnerable? I didn’t have to think about my answer, I said “well I might fall apart”, she said “well what would happen then?”. This time I did have to think about it! And I realised “nothing”, nothing would happen if I fell apart!! Yes maybe for a little while it might feel like I can’t cope and my little world is falling apart but then it would be okay and I would pick up the pieces and move forward. This has been a huge realisation for me today and it feels like a weight has been lifted off my shoulders which have been burdened with self inflicted pressure for the last couple of months.
So often we think we have to do everything on our own, to be fiercely independent, guarding our hearts, portraying a mask to the world that everything is “fine”, pretending to cope and not allowing ourselves to fall apart. But in reality there are going to be times when things get too much, when we put too much pressure on ourselves and we can’t cope. When this happens it is okay to let go of the facade and show your true self to the world. It’s okay to open your heart and let everything out, it’s okay to open your heart and let others in, for it is in vulnerability that we find a quiet inner strength. A strength that brings with it a knowing that you can conquer all, you can be all that you are meant to be, you can achieve your wildest dreams. As I sit and write this I have a deep sense of peace, an inner knowing that I am exactly where I am meant to be and keeping my heart so tightly guarded is actually what is limiting me. Perhaps the pain in my neck was just forcing me to be still and all awareness to seep through my being.
*First published May 2016*