Shatter The Facade: 5 Brave Acts To Rekindle Vulnerability.
This will hurt. You have been taught the wrong message for so long that a lie has become the truth.
You were told that vulnerability is distasteful. You have been warned to hold it together, pull up your bootstraps, suck it up, and grow up. You have become ashamed by your acculturated definition of weakness so profoundly that, even on a cellular level, you experience an inexplicable burning in your cheeks when faced with the exposition of your emotions.
As the steely coldness of an emotionless life threatens your tender shreds of humanity, you are forced to look away from within. Your subconscious has found an error in your mental operating system and has complied with your desire to decimate your fallibility.
Your smooth muscle tissue has been replaced with hardware. Shiny objects distract your attention and you are easily lured by like vibrations of inanimate objects and soulless things. The external delights you hold dear are tools of trickery that have manipulated you into thinking that the love of material things is love eternal. You have become rewired for a new kind of existence.
You have forgotten the roots that hold you to Mother Earth. Your umbilical cord has become battery operated and your heart has collapsed on itself. You are nothing more than a composite of who you once were, but it all looks the same to you, because the mask you wear is an exact replica of the face you have come to know.
You weren’t meant for this kind of distant life of thick skin and averted gazes.
You were never meant to hide your tears of joy at the sound of a baby’s fully present cry. Perhaps you cry because you once were that tender baby, but you cannot remember what it is like to feel so honestly, so openhearted. Your long-term memory was dumped long ago to customize you to your new robotic surroundings of cold, hard life.
Deep down inside you crave intimacy yet you fear you are not wanted, your supple soul unworthy. You long to be soft, beautiful and complex. You wish so ardently to be held, caressed and told that everything will be okay. Hold on to that shred of truth. You are still human and there is time to rekindle your vulnerability.
The first order of business: Dismantle the façade.
“Someday, somewhere – anywhere, unfailingly you’ll find yourself and that, and only that can be the happiest or bittersweet hour of your life.” ~ Pablo Neruda
It is impossible to find balance while wearing a façade. We all hide ourselves away in some fashion so as to protect our precious souls from the onslaught of the whip-fast whirlwind of the world. It’s a bloody circus sometimes, but right now, you are on the tightrope walk of your everyday life and you need to be as close to the ground as possible.
You don’t even realize the heaviness you carry in your personal baggage unclaimed. The slack of the rope softens with every fragile, wobbly step you make with your world’s ills crushing your shoulders and taunting you in the ear.
Old loves, memories of grander times, secret fantasies, losses, and deep-seeded fears threaten your balance, putting you in danger of falling to your death. You grip the rope with your cramping toes. You have stopped breathing. You can no longer be hidden behind the artifice of costuming. Your skin is itching under it all.
Sweating bullets, you think you have made it a millimeter closer to the other side. You have again successfully fooled them all by making it look easy. But inside, you still scream.
Then, the crowd turns on you. Cheers become hatefully fickle jeers.
Invisible faces of spectators weigh you down with their indignant attitudes toward your image of perfection. You fall gracelessly to the unforgiving ground without a safety net to the death of who you thought you should be.
For a moment there is nothing but blackness.
You are in the weightless void clawing at the shrapnel of your façade floating in deathly silence all around you. In your futile attempt to fuse bullshit back together, you are distracted by a distant infinite, warming light. It is the imperfect you in its truest most perfect form.
Take a deep breath, resurrect your soul, and reclaim your missing time.
“Every Moment of light and dark is a miracle.” ~ Walt Whitman
A façade begins as an uncomfortable, weighty, highly toxic skin that suffocates authenticity from inside the soul of its wearer. At first, you may feel dirty wearing it and using its cunning power. The fake smile to your boss gets you fifty extra cents in your paycheck. Feigning interest in your best friend’s love life makes you a reliable friend.
You don’t feel right asking for your needs to be met and so you attempt to be all things to all people. The authentic you becomes no more than a meme that can shift and changed to suit any situation. You are ungrounded.
The vacancy in your eyes is too much for your tenderhearted loved ones to bear. They too become lost in a sea of your apathy, struggling to stay afloat in a world without guarantees. Milestones become commonplace, birthdays are routine and sometimes resented until the celebratory gift of life becomes an obligatory noose around your neck.
Worst of all, your family and friends think it is their fault and blame themselves.
You mean well, but sometimes your heart is just too tired to be fully present all the time.
It just is too much to invest all of yourself only to possibly lose it all in the next moment. Perhaps you are not receiving what you are giving, and inequities have hardened you. Whatever the reason, you have enjoyed long enough the delightful reprieve of your fake face hiding away the most tender and lovable version of yourself.
Once you have fallen off the tightrope of perfectionism, you can never go back. Falsehood and dissociation become detectable by a distinct smell of your unique expression’s decay and putridity.
Do not let another minute pass with your life hanging in the balance. Do not wish away the beautiful gift of time you have been given. Take these tips with love and care. Resolve to reawaken your cold and tired heart and find strength in vulnerability.
“Vulnerability is not about fear, grief and disappointment. It is the birthplace of everything we are hungry for.” ~ Brene Brown
1. Let the waters flow: Slowly disrobe your thick skin and connect to the endless collective soul. Look at it without time and recall the past neglected selves you have locked away. With the power of your tears, call forth your whole self. Mourn your unfulfilled past. Share in another’s sorrow. Cry tears of joy at the beauty of the morning.
Have an adventurous emotional exploration to find the key to unlock your river of uncried tears. Rinse away the grime of neglect. Repeat if desired.
2. Say what you need to say: Honesty, the height of vulnerability, asks you to walk hand in hand with it. Take the time to unplug your mind from the trapping belief that it is more important to be polite than honest. Share your feelings threadbare with all who cross your path with love, diplomacy, tact, and positive intention.
Exercise your right to free expression by conveying your appreciation for those along your path that are unsung heroes. Become a superhero of encouragement and a warrior of unabashed truth. The beautiful gift in return will be your bearing witness to other brave love creatives inspired by you. You may even begin a new tribe of the miraculously imperfect, amazingly soul-bonded mystical beings of honest intention.
3. Sequester Yourself: There is no better relationship than the one you share with the experience of being you. Get to know yourself again and again and again. Dabble in the subject of you. Revel in your quirks. Accept everything you hate about yourself. Make love to yourself through daringly cathartic acts of intimacy. Be unapologetic about your bodily functions. Scribble your unfettered thoughts in your journal, indulge a healthy fantasy, spend an evening in sacred silence.
Solitude is your greatest weapon against burnout and it is up to you to be strong enough to hit the big red button of “saying no” to outside stimuli and proclaiming yes to the garden of your mind.
4. Die: Yes, die. Die today, die tomorrow. Die every single day. Dying is not a punitive act dealt from an angry god or a twist of fate, it is a rite of passage. Die to your old habits and hindrances. Die to your fear of not being enough. Die because it is what we do best and it is the root thread that bonds all sentient beings.
It is the darkly silent teacher of appreciation. It is the quiet respite from unbearably long and painful battles. End the battle with the captor of your soul and bleed out your worries and fear. Slough off the dead skin of your painful past and dance with your unhampered exposed soul in the heavens of the present moment. Die to your confinement. Remove the iron mask and create a new world. Die today, dance tomorrow.
5. Play: Transport your withered old adult self back to the days of invincibility, flying, and superhero costumes. Let your inner child take the reins and careen you over the cliff into a world of inexplicable wonder. Open your heart to seeing beyond cultural divides, race, socio-economic divisive political bullshit and wish for a pony. Ride the pony to your reclaimed innocence.
Playing is an essential part of creative growth and healing. This is an extremely critical step for the orphans of play who were robbed of an excitingly magical childhood. Now that you can fully appreciate it, become that sweet little trouble-making tenderhearted wild-child that will keep you (and everyone else) on your toes.
While the re-discovery of vulnerability is not for the faint of heart, it is the greatest pardon that could ever be bestowed upon the lifeless sentence of going through the motions without a chance of parole. Trust yourself, commune with your inner voice in order to break out of your unsatisfied self. Excite the world with the beauty of a vulnerable heart.
“Look back and smile on perils past.” ~ Sir Walter Scott
Anjana Love Dixon is a Spiritual Thought Leader, Interfaith Minister, Psychologist, and holds a doctorate in divinity. In 2012 Anjana launched The Anjana Network, the home base of her wisdom writings. It is from this place that she delivers deeply personal reflections of her journey to wholeness, inspires change, and provokes thought. Through sharing influential insights through interviews, articles, and her unique connection to the world, Anjana has become an internationally renowned wisdom writer and cited spiritual thought leader with contributions to major online publications including Rebelle Society, Elephant Journal, Match.com, and HuffPost Live. Anjana is a member of The Beautiful Writer’s Group with Danielle LaPorte and Linda Sivertsen and is currently preparing for the launch of her second book, Start in The Dark: Soul Work for Opening the Heart and Creating a (Real) Life.