Vulnerability – Good or Bad???

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.

Kate Frank
Kate Frankhttp://kate@authorityredefined.com
Kate Frank rediscovered her gift for writing at the age of 52. Since then she has been a published author in 5 books, dozens of nationally distributed magazines and has three websites where she regularly contributes content. However, most of her time is spent writing for others. Ghostwriting books for Authority Level clients is the culmination of everything she has learned through the years. In the last 5 years, Kate has ghostwritten books for more than 12 published and delighted authors. She has also written more than 1,000 articles published in some of the most prestigious online magazines in the world. However, they were mostly published in the names of her clients. Ms. Frank is a complete nerd about the art and science of making a nonfiction book profitable. Her services include ghostwriting, of course. What makes her a different sort of writer is the research she has done to develop a program called the RICH Author Method. Download a free introduction to the concept HERE. Her second passion is a belief in human imperfection. Self-acceptance requires we embrace our differences. It is also the cornerstone of compassion for others. As a contributor to the best-selling book “Make it a Great Day”, her chapter is Manual for Misfits. This chapter represents her deeply held belief it is in the places where we don’t fit in we find our greatest gifts. Kate invites the reader to reach out to her via email: Kate@AuthorityRedefined.com. She welcomes your comments. Also, visit her passion blog: Passion for Imperfection to learn more about the joys and gifts of not being average.

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  1. Thank you for this, Kate, but honestly, no need for apologies. I think the unprecedented circumstances this virus has triggered can create a myriad of emotions which shifts more than might under a usual situation. Keep writing your beautiful messages.💖

  2. Kate — Yours was some writing that I needed right now: “Give yourself the grace to be comfortable with whatever shows up for you.” The one action / emotion I try to maintain is the ability to sit back and just acknowledge what’s going on, that it’s likely to shift tomorrow; that I needn’t see the rough spots of today as a pattern. I’m not always successful at that – more so as of late – and as a fellow 69 year old, you may appreciate that I occasionally have to give myself a V-8 slap in the forehead. Thank you for a beautifully expressed thought.

  3. Kate often the stories come through us and almost write the story without us. Being a writer is the freedom to be happy, inspired or even sad and dark. I write the stories that I hold within me and I share them boldly and without doubt. I love your open honesty. Imagine the possibilities then unless them. As you boldly say We Each Have Our Own Truth

  4. Kate, I can relate to this more than you could know. I seem to flipflop by the day…indeed, the hour. There have been recent mornings when I don’t want to get out of bed and confront the latest horrors. So I appreciate your candor here and look forward to reading more from you. Welcome to this wonderful community.

    • Thanks for the compliments Sherry. I never would have dreamed I would enjoy writing within a community of other writers. But the people here are so nice, genuine and valuable. I am heartened to be a part of the group.

  5. Kate, don’t kid or underestimate yourself about your article as it is great! What you wrote is so vital and relevant. In your last article, you wrote what you felt which is what writers do. Just because an irritated stir crazy unwell feeling grouch (Joel Elveson) panned it means nothing. Please take care and stay well.

  6. Thank you for your honesty, Kate, as I feel like I’ve been in many different places including today one of feeling like Elated Scrooge on Christmas Day in a space of utter liberation and glee-another transformation-probably seen by some as absurd because my mother (who was difficult with me from birth forward-and that’s putting it lightly)died two days ago. Most people might assume I’d be in the midst of deep grieflove for they had or have an amazing relationship with their own mother (or a woman who loved them like a healthy mother). Because I had a very different experience-in stark contrast to “loving mother” and I distanced myself from my entire family of origin, today I am feeling a profound peacefulness and liberation from deep inside of myself. It doesn’t seem to matter that this is the first day of Stay Home Stay Safe for Buncombe County, NC or that a dear friend let me know yesterday there was a case of the virus in her neighborhood here in Black Mountain, NC where I live. That part of me that’s been meditating and being mindful seems to have expanded and reached into all the nooks and crannies of my soul and being-at least for these last few hours since I leapt out of bed like I was a child on Christmas morning.

    Taking the lid off seems the only way as all of us visit all kinds of places inside our psyches. I guess I had so much practice since birth with terror that I finally feel at this moment like I have some sort of inner surfboard of clarity, calm, soul-connection to the expanded spiritual being inside of me that I’m living the sacred joy of precious life. I likely will cry many times later today with gratitude for this precious life. Thank you for being so open and real. What an extraordinary opportunity to connect heart to heart and shed limiting beliefs that have not ever served our souls.

  7. Quite a vulnerable tale, Kate. Thank you for sharing. My article this Sunday will coincidentally state my thoughts on how best to cope with these unprecedented times. It’s difficult for all of us and understanding that it (A) wasn’t of our making and (B) okay to be conflicted with our emotions, is all part of getting through this.

  8. Kate, what a beautiful and vulnerable piece. Please be compassionate with yourself, we’re all muddling our way through this thing. I think it’s incredibly brave to give us the gift of seeing your humanity. It’s natural for your rose-lenses to wax and wane during a time like this. I think it’s powerful that you bring awareness to how differently you feel from one day to the next and allow us to see what’s real. That gives us permission to be who we are in this ever-shifting tide of uncertainty too.

  9. Kate I have gotten the same feeling after writing something. Our family and friends know us as optimists, (I’m one too…) but we fear we will come off to others as too mighty… a person who never has down or wavering moments. That would be inhuman.
    Thank you for this. For being vulnerable and beautiful!

    • Brene Brown is leading us into recognizing the power we yield when we are willing to be vulnerable. I have viewed (and recommended) this video many times. It’s almost a standard when I begin working with my author clients who don’t want to tell their truth…yet they want a successful book.

  10. Wonderful writing Kate, thank you for sharing so vulnerably.

    The freedom that comes from being ok with the ups and downs, which indeed are moment to moment and not even day to day, really jumps out from your article.

    A sharp reminder that our human experience is thought-created by us. Thank you.

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