Before I get to today’s post—-IF YOU’RE NEW HERE— start at the beginning otherwise you’ll be like, huh? Click my #MagicOfVulnerability Challenge so you know what’s up.
—and if you’d like to share a #MagicOfVulnerability yourself, I’d love that! Tag me @Weslie_ , so I don’t miss a thing.
Here we are at day 30. FINALLLLLLY.
For 30 days straight I have shared some truths and thoughts about myself that I felt vulnerable sharing.
The whole process has felt a little like unleashing these imaginary monsters that have been living inside of mind out of my body, then placing them neatly here for you all to take however as you please.
The funny thing is that these shameful things (both little and big) in my life no longer bring me negative emotions like they used to before just 30 days ago. The sharing part of vulnerability has done this to them.
This is how vulnerability really is magic. When I came up with the hashtag, #MagicOfVulnerabitlty I thought it was cute, and somewhat accurate—I knew even before I started this that mostly all good things would come out of being vulnerable, but the “MAGIC” part has really made itself known to me. Ive experienced it. Vulnerability has the ability to shrink the scary monsters you have built up in your head…And not only does it shrink them, but it builds a bridge to your friends, and family member, and strangers alike so that if/when those scary monster start to grow back up like a pesky weed, then you now have an army of readied soldiers who understand the war you’ve previously fought, and can better help you to beat those weedy monsters back into small, after-thoughts.
This means that choosing to be vulnerable also means you’re no longer choosing to be so alone.
And the other thing about vulnerability that I didn’t know before was that what starts out as scary and nerve wracking to share, actually morphs into a self confidence and acceptance that I don’t know how to get any other way. Its like the things I was mortified for people to know about just a month a ago are now some of the most confident and proud aspects of my life today. Like, I got through that—it was hard but I’m a better me because of it.
There is something so awesome that comes when you decide to own your story completely. It’s powerful. Theres nothing to hide anymore, or gloss over, and the energy that this frees up is amazing! I also feel more self love, and have an all around feeling of acceptance over my past now.
So, Ive learned countless things about myself, but I’ve learned so much more by reading all the emails you guys have sent to me. I haven’t gotten through even half yet, but even at half way there I feel that the writers of those emails have given me an enormous gift.
The writers have let me in…They’ve trusted me wholeheartedly. They’ve let me see a sneak peek into their life, and not the instagram photo of their life….but their junk drawer part of life.
…and I’ve discovered that the junk drawers are where the actual treasures lie.
The junk drawers are filled with odds and ends. It’s the half-done projects. There are untied bows and broken pencils mixed in with hot glue guns and old receipts, with a few old chocolates and wrappers here and there. …A total shameful mess most of the time, but once you start pulling things out item by item, you’ll realize that each item is meaningful. Each items holds a story. The junk drawers in women’s lives now signify their strength to me. They signify the’ TRY’. Junk drawers are the tired moms who re-read that story over and over again with a smile on their face–even though they’re fake smiled out for the day.
Its not enjoyable all the time—but we keep showing up. That’s our junk drawer.
Through these emails I’ve learned that you truly never-NOT EVER- know what a person may be going through, so I beg of you all to error on the side of caution. Be careful with your words…
This leads me to the topic of judgment.
Judgement is the root of all things horrible—It leads to isolation, fear, anxiety, hatred, and a type of coldness that is hard to warm up. I know this is true for a fact now. A FACT, you guys.
I cannot go into the details of what exactly I’ve come to know about judgment without telling stories that are not mine to tell, but here is something I want you all of you to take away from this little experiment with vulnerability.
It is this:
There is no right way to live, and there is no wrong way to live, there is only YOUR WAY to live.
The shame and judgement that follows the should have’s and could have’s said by some of the most loving and well meaning people in our lives is tremendous! And our children pick up on us shaming the people around us. They hear our judgments of the neighbor and their crazy kids, or even the people on TV, and then they internalize it those judgements. That internalization turns into fear of being judged by the ones we love most—our moms and dads, closest friends, partners—then walls start to be built up, secrets start storing.
..and if you’re choosing to live out of love—then that probably means its right for you. If your choosing to live out of fear and shame….then thats usually not going to lead you to reaching your highest potential in this life time.
We’ve subconsciously created a culture where there is so much fear built up around what other people may think or say about us, that were not reaching our highest potential because of it.
The amount of emails I’ve received about adults being shamed by their loved ones unknowing has made me sick and grateful to learn from all at once. It has showed me the power that we have over our children even into adulthood, and our well meaning you should do this! you should do that! you cant do that! carries a must larger consequences than what we’re aware of in the moment when it’s said out of fear.
So, Ill say it again.
There is no right way to live, and no wrong way to live, there is only YOUR way to live. And if you have found what happens to work for you, then that is great! But you have to remember that your way is not everyones way. This ‘everyone’ includes your kids—your family members—which may be a hard pill to swallow for some.
—I also have to say this, and they’re not my words—they’re Glennon Doyle Melton’s words…but I heard her say this on Oprah’s ‘Super Soul Sunday,’ and it has stuck with me so strongly over the last year. I have said it countless times to women now in the project, but its this:
If you have to choose between your marriage, or your soul…choose your soul.
CHOOSE YOUR SOUL! Staying in an emotionally and/or physically abusive relationship (this includes toxic friendships and family relationships) is not choosing your soul.
I understand that not all of our stuff is ours to start….I understand that are many instances where there are true victims out there that have been put in these hard friendships without their consent. Everyone has a story of how and why they’re at where they’re at, but I want to remind you that you can always make a choice today to better your future tomorrow.
They can be little baby steps to start…steps so small you cant even see the progress in the beginning. But after a year—you”ll see the progress. Then things start picking up….It’s the snowball effect where progress starts to double up once you’ve hit that tipping point.
The last point I want to touch on is this:
The love and companionship you may be longing for—I want to remind you that it’s an arms reach away from you right this moment. Its literally right there waiting for you…all you have to do is reach out. Talk to someone, call a friend, make an appointment with a therapist–let someone, ANYONE in. ( you DO NOT have to spill your guts on the internet like me, I’m actually straight up bonkers—like Madhatter status for doing this.)
But for years I kept waiting for life to make my situation better. I wanted my kids and husband, family and friends to heal my broken parts. I learned no one can do that for you—but YOU.
It starts with you!
I had to reach out. I had to make the first move. I had to become scary vulnerable and trust that people wouldn’t hate me or judge me for my life happenings to feel better.
—-and I really do feel better.
It’s been such an amazing process–I want to thank anyone whose stuck around for the whole thing, and especially to all of the people who have written in to me either by email, or on social media. I have felt so much love throughout this journey, and it truly has made me more at ease, and happier self.
You guys are so amazing! I don’t know where this will all go from here, but it has surely ignited a desire within myself to continue to stay connected with you all. I feel like my rusty writing fingers have started to remember what its like to write each day, and the habit is starting to be formed yet again. Which means I don’t really want to stop now. Slow down, did you say?? YES! Definitely slow down….This posting every single day for 30 days straight was so much to jump into after 3 years of radio silence–so, I feel happy to slow down a bit.
But, I’d love to hear what it is you guys would like to hear from me moving forward. I’ll always stick to my type of main course—which is stuff like this. Just mostly life sharing, motherhood stuff, but I’m so out of the game that I’m truly curious to hear what else you guys think would be interesting coming from me. I would love and appreciate if you would comment some ideas!
_and thanks again for embracing me back with open arms, guys…It means more than you know!
I love you all a crazy amount.