Part 3 of 3: Do you hesitate to pick up the phone and ask for help? How honestly do you answer the question, “How are you?” in times of heartache?
Knowing how readily we show up for others in their times of need, why do we tend to disconnect from the support and love available to us when we’re struggling?
At the heart of the matter it’s easier to see worth and value in others than it is in ourselves. Of course THEY deserve our time, energy and attention, and we understand that the last thing someone ELSE needs is isolation or disconnection from life and love when they’re hurting.
But we argue that the same rules don’t apply to us, and I think it’s mostly because of our fear-based defenses against vulnerability and the power of our shame.
When we are hurt we feel more vulnerable than ever, and our defenses mislead us by telling us we need to take cover: hide, retreat, and contract from life. Fear-based thinking insists that the last thing we’d want to do when we’re aching is reach out and risk further pain/disappointment/rejection.
Our shame colludes with these defenses, amplifying anxiety about our worthiness and lovability. In a world where being happy or carefree is attributed more value than other states of being, it’s easy to feel like our desirability is less when we are having a hard time.
But none of this is true. When we are our most vulnerable is simultaneously when we are our most capable of powerful and meaningful connection. This heart to heart joining with others is the most poignant remedy for pain, because it reinvigorates hopefulness and expedites healing.
Just as you feel honored when someone allows you into their tender spots and vulnerable stories, your people savor the same privileged opportunity in yours; so let’s engage in more supportive reciprocity. Let’s celebrate walls coming down and unwrap the gifts of love and transformation hidden like secret treasures in life’s struggles.