When was the last time you allowed someone to see the real you? #love #guestpost @dalecurd @curd_kim
“Millions of people have decided not to be sensitive. They have grown thick skins around themselves just to avoid being hurt by anybody. But it is at great cost. Nobody can hurt them, but nobody can make them happy either.” Osho
When was the last time you allowed someone to see the real you?
When was the last time you were so vulnerable with another that a deeper part of yourself surfaced, and surprised both of you?
I ask because many of us are not encouraged to be vulnerable at this time in life and chances are that the younger you are the less vulnerable you wish to be preferring to hide many parts of your life in the shadows and margins. True, as we age we become more conservative and protective in our views and beliefs, yet, eventually in our true golden years we embrace vulnerability because the accumulated years force us to.
One of the Merriam-Webster definitions of vulnerable, the adjective, says to be vulnerable means “susceptible to physical or emotional attack or harm” or “a person in need of special care, support or protection because of age, disability or risk”. Did you shudder or tremble reading this definition and in your mind were there thoughts hovering like, I’ll never be that weak,” or even, “Yes, this is my deepest fear.”?
Ironic is it not, that love and vulnerability then are so necessary to each other? That to descend from attraction and romance into intimacy we must always walk down as ever more naked souls?
In my marriage today, I am actively choosing to learn the art of being vulnerable, really for two reasons. Firstly because I feel I have reached the edges of the geography of my known self. I am familiar with my reactions, my triggers my fears, my patterns, and frankly, I am tired of them and they me. I long for freedom from these tight, restrictive loops, and I imagine a day when my partner suggests an idea, feeling the YES bubbling up in me automatically (not the cautious pause), and me soaring up, holding a big balloon filled with possibility.
Being vulnerable also promises the opportunity to expand. I used to think being vulnerable meant showing weakness, or pain to the other. But actually, the vulnerable part of sharing our self is the courage it takes to be The Revealer, regardless of the other’s response and without their agreement. I think being vulnerable is being willing to expand, to fly, to pursue dreams, to trust my self. To be fascinated with and captured by the chain reaction feelings of expansion.
And this is worth it to me, to take the risk and loosen the strings of resistance.
My second reason to dare into vulnerability is because I know that my most powerful tool in supporting my children is modeling. I cannot teach them vulnerability from a distance or by words alone. I must be seen by them as standing in those waters.
Recently my partner and I decided to bet on ourselves, as a couple. We have added working together to living and parenting together. It’s a lot, at times - especially given one of us is a compartmentalizer and we are both introverts. But the upside is the two of us have agreed to trust ourselves, and because our values are aligned, we can live in parallel and be going in the same direction, to the same destination. Very much like scuba diving, my buddy is on their own journey of discovery and experience but always arms-length and within my reach.
I’m betting the payoff to being vulnerable is total freedom and expansion. What do you think? Have you found your self on the road to vulnerability? We’d love to hear your story. We need all the encouragement we can get!
Dale and Kim
Title - Living Lightly
Author - Dale Curd and Kimberly Alexander
Genre - Personal Growth / Happiness / SELF-HELP / Motivational & Inspirational / BODY, MIND & SPIRIT / Mindfulness & Meditation
Publisher - Harper Collins Canada
Book Blurb –
Living Lightly is a daily devotional that offers a year’s worth of opportunities to commune, in the deepest and most beautiful sense of that word, with your self and your life. Partners and therapists, Dale and Kim Curd step through the universal doorways of life and offer us a nudge to slow down and experiences to help return us to our selves. Their personal reflections invoke gentle introspection and come from their own healing journeys and from being active therapists. Living Lightly invites you to explore how your mind works, understand and express your feelings and be reminded that you are much, much stronger than you realize. Living Lightly is a great way to start or end the day.
You’ve had an argument with your partner or someone who matters deeply to you. It was painful, and now you’re trying to figure out how—or perhaps whether—you can make it back to each other. Words have been said, and they are still bouncing and floating around you both, unable to find an escape from the room. Saying you’re sorry won’t help you find your way back to each other—at least, not yet—so remorse remains locked inside both of you—or, worse, spills out in empty capitulation.
How well do you understand the other person’s point of view? Do you know what is really upsetting them—and why so deeply? What about your viewpoint—why is it so important to you, and what are you truly defending?
The fastest, most effective way through any conflict with a loved one is to first be courageous and then be honest with yourself about what you understand. Offer what is true for you—simply, clearly and at the deepest level of truth you have been able to uncover. For example: “I’m angry, but really I’m afraid. I feel like I’m losing control, and I can’t live in chaos.”
Own what is ground zero for you, and then hold a space for your loved one—invite them with your silence to do the same. They may or may not; it’s not important whether they do. You have spoken from your heart, and in that respect you can stand in confidence without needing to be validated. Let the other person take time with their feelings and thoughts, and with your words. This is a sign of respect—it says, “I know you’re hurt and I respect your need to be with your pain right now.” They will come forward with their true heart in their own time.
Imagine that your argument, perhaps even your relationship, is a battlefield, each statement and action a campaign to be fought and won. This is how many of us live our love with others, and it is at the centre of our relationship conflicts. I’m not saying that relationships should be free of pain and conflict—quite the opposite: to have a deep connection with another person, you have to break through every wall that would sabotage your love. Contentment is found only by those who know their bond is strong because they have tested it time and time again with fire. They have a trusted way to steer into and through the eye of the storm because they hold dear the experience of being together—it is their precious reality.
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Author Biography - About Dale and Kim
Dale is a mental health professional, the host of CBC TV’s Hello Goodbye and a co-host of Life Story Project on the Oprah Winfrey Network. The creator of an acclaimed Empathetic Listening Method, Dale leads specialized workshops for law enforcement, hospitals and corporations across North America.
Kim spent twenty years in the tech startup world, helping to launch successful online companies in US banking, healthcare, organizational collaboration and international development. She has travelled extensively and considers travel one of her greatest pleasures. In 2014 she completed her training as a therapist, merging her worlds of technology and therapy, by offering clients online video counselling. Kim is a lifelong learner, always engaged in activities and ventures that expand her self-awareness, from writing, raising animals, to listening to horses and trees.
Dale and Kim founded The Child Therapy List and The Men’s List, two global, online mental wellness professional directories, to help normalize therapy and end mental health stigma. They created LivingLightlyToday.com as an online community to acknowledge and connect with readers and inspire people to share in their passion for beauty. In 2015 Dale and Kim left city life to live on a historic farm in Muskoka.
www.livinglightlytoday.com is a growing online community of souls committed to living fully, exploring new experiences, making new discoveries in our inner and outer landscapes. Dale and Kim are so excited for your images and stories, of beauty and connection. Come join the journey—we are waiting for you!
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