I will start this article with a quote from the woman who made vulnerability a popular topic. In her email newsletter this week she ended it with these words:
This pandemic experience is a massive experiment in collective vulnerability. We can be our worst selves when we’re afraid, or our very best, bravest selves. In the context of fear and vulnerability, there is often very little in between because when we are uncertain and afraid our default is self-protection. We don’t have to be scary when we’re scared. Let’s choose awkward, brave, and kind. And let’s choose each other.
Yesterday I wrote an article about finding our rose-colored glasses. Today, I almost feel ashamed of my perspective.
Today, I have had a hard time accomplishing anything.
- I got out of bed slowly and not very deliberately. This is unusual for me. I typically wake up annoyingly cheerful. I knew something was different.
- I found multiple excuses for vegging out in my recliner and delaying the work I had to do. One excuse after the next, I moved slowly to get anything done. While I stick with my habit of eating healthy foods and sometimes am too proud of my food choices, I seemed to be permanently hungry. What is this all about???
- I found a reminder on my telephone (interrupting my Words with Friends games) about a course I had intended to take. While I was late, I still got to the course and was absolutely delighted with what I was learning…
- And then, my internet connection seemed to freeze. I tried everything to reboot the online course to no avail. When I couldn’t log in for my WWF games while I waited, I knew something was seriously wrong.
- I responded to this dilemma by taking my phone to bed with me, where I tried to get some rest. My head was heavy with allergy symptoms and it seemed too heavy to hold upright and continue with anything productive.
- After a failed nap and a shower, I found Dr. Phil on the TV. While there was not much I felt applied to my situation, I recognize each and every one of us is struggling to be ourselves and cope with the realities of life today.
Why Am I Sharing This Story?
First, I feel a bit guilty for the article I wrote yesterday. Dennis J. Pitcocco welcomed me into the BizCatalyst 360° community by sharing my article about “Rose Colored Glasses.” I was welcomed generously by my new community. I am quite grateful.
What I wasn’t ready for was a sharp change in direction today. I wasn’t ready for my cheerful attitude to turn to gloom. I wasn’t ready to hear the echoes of what some people said in their comments to haunt me today.
- Some people told me it wasn’t so easy for them. I responded with my belief it was always a choice.
- Some people praised me for my perspective. I had no idea my perspective would shift so sharply today.
- Some of these amazing people may have been put off by my determination to stay busy and productive, in spite of the distractions. I was not attached to their opinion and felt sure in my position.
I Was Wrong
While my perspective was spot on, my assurance of accuracy was way out of line. Each of us wakes up to a new world every day in normal times. These days, when we have almost no control over what is happening, the very idea we can control our emotions is pretty much preposterous.
My book ghostwriting is on hold right now. I am working with a woman with an extremely powerful story of her life. She has experienced tragedy since before she was born. She has endured one horror after the other. She is now in her 60’s and we are both crones looking back on our lives.
My training today was for memoirs and I learned a lot. Largely the trainer helped us to understand the difference between our story and our Truth. Attending the training will be extremely valuable to my work with my new author client. It has also opened my eyes to my own “story” about an eternal optimistic approach to life.
I think my day has been perfect, although it has NOT been perfectly productive. As I move through these emotions, I want you to know the stages of emotional upheaval you are feeling are perfect too. Give yourself the grace to be comfortable with whatever shows up for you.
Connecting Intentionally – Yet Unconditionally
Reach out to those you care about, but don’t be attached to their response. For me, I have made multiple attempts to converse with my daughter who works at Kroger. I know she is working long hours, being abused by stressed customers and collapsing at home at the end of the day. I wish I could make it easier on her. It’s part of being her mom.
However, I know if she was home sick, she wouldn’t tell me. She knows I would be in my car and in her apartment within an hour to care for her. Since I am 69, I am approaching the “danger zone” for this disease. She would not tell me.
Tonight, I will begin trying to call other people I love and care about. I have sent cards for no real reason. I have sent a card to my Aunt who is in recovery after breaking her hip. She is 92 years old, strong but vulnerable. All the work I intended to do today was shoved off course by one thing or another. Yet I trust it is all good.
We Each Have Our Own Truth
As I learned in my training today, we all want to make an impact on the lives of others. But I think too many of us are like me. We want to look good while we attempt to make a difference. I don’t know about you, but I don’t have a cape or even a shirt with a big “S” on the front.
I hope you (and I) will recognize the dark places we go when things are uncertain can lead us to the greatest part of our lives. Call me on it when I start sounding confident. It’s all a show. None of us are as confident as we want to be.