Vulnerability… It’s hard

I met a handsome young man yesterday… but that’s not what I want to write about. Mostly, because there’s nothing to write about.

Instead, I want to focus on what happened today.

See, I ran into him in the supermarket. And I had to say “hi”, because that’s what one does…

And then I made a fool of myself, because that’s is what “One” does…

Oh yeah, there was “stuff” to work with afterwards…

This is, more or less, how I worked with it

First, I cringed for 10 minutes. You know, the usual “ARGH! Why, why does the Universe do this things to me? WHY??? Why must I act like a fool?! ARGH!!! I don’t want to remember this encounter ever again in my life!”.

After I was done cringing, I was more or less ready to “get centred”, an expression which here means “getting calmed”. And then I began asking questions.

“What is useful here?”

To which I probably replied “NOTHING, it all sucks!”. (I may have repeated these steps a few times)

Then it emerged:

“you see, the thing is… I clearly like him more than he likes me”

Oh.

Wait…

“OK, so this is what we’re thinking… I’m acknowledging my thoughts here…
Am I ready to acknowledge my feelings?”

NO!

“Say, is it possible we’re feeling hurt?”

*reluctant face*

Eventually I had to launch into a full “Allowing my feelings” exercise. Which looked like this:

“You know what? It hurts when you like someone more than they like you. And I’m allowed to feel hurt. I’m allowed to not like this.

I’m allowed to want for everyone to like me a lot, instantly.

And I do think it’s extremely unfair that I have to go through life looking like *this*, when there are women who are much prettier and who are liked a lot more… I am allowed to think it’s unfair.

And you know what else? I’m not likely to get any prettier as time goes by, so, yeah, this whole “men like me less” thing? It’s probably going to be a common occurrence from now on.

And that hurts. And I’m allowed to feel hurt. It sucks.

And it’s ok. It’s ok to like someone more than they like you. It’s normal, it happens. It hurts, it’s painful… but it’s ok.”

And then I discovered something important about myself:

I don’t even want to consider, for a split second, even so much as going on a date with someone who looks at me that way.

It’s not a “bad” way. It’s just a “meh” kinda way.

I’m just establishing boundaries of what feels important to me right now.

And now I’m going to write it down in the book of “Important Stuff About Mary”. (Havi calls this the “Book of You”.)

This is about You (or in this case, Me)

What’s important here is not what “Mr Handsome Young Man” thought or didn’t think. That’s irrelevant.

What matters is how I am reacting to whatever it is he said or did.

“Working with your stuff” means you “bring it all back to you”: it’s about what’s going on for you, in your heart and mind. The outside world kinda disappears while you’re in this process.

You know how self-help people talk about “vulnerability”?

Well… this is what it looks like.

Liking someone more than they like you leaves you very vulnerable. And it can be hard, painful, scary…

That’s why we do it little by little. Only as much as we can stand and no more.

And then we give ourselves all the points for doing this work. Because it’s hard.

Bonus!

I’m giving kudos to my “sensitivity”, for picking up on signals my mind cannot understand.

And kudos to myself, for learning how to respect my sensitivity so I can actually take it seriously and learn from what it has to say (even if I don’t like what it’s telling me). Remember how it used to be?
We’ve come a long way…

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