The universe is gifting me with all sorts of related lessons about vulnerability and identity. It seems this theme of “story” has a few chapters. Sigh…. I mean yay!
Growing up, I was the award-winning, grade skipping, precocious little achiever.
Performance defined my identity. Achievements gave me worth.
I’m fortunate – I excel in many areas. Naturally, I enjoy competence and drift towards activities that highlight my strengths. I earn recognition, and this recognition makes me feel good.
But lately I’ve had the opportunity to learn how VULNERABLE I feel engaging in areas where’ I’m not skilled.
I’ve been feeling this pull towards the arts lately. A dear friend makes lovely mosaics, and she lovingly invited me to join her. I was giddy at the prospect of working with my hands to create something beautiful.
There I sat, with an assortment of beautiful beads, shells, and glass. I was stuck. I didn’t know how to paint or glue – I was afraid of making a mistake. I didn’t know how to mix the colors and forms. I painstakingly placed, moved, and fixed each piece. The little voice told me, “You don’t know what you’re doing. You’re no good at this.”
I wanted it to be stunning. I expected it to be easy. And I was uncomfortable in producing something that wasn’t wonderful, even though I applied so much effort.
But I kept at it. I didn’t hire someone else to do it for me (ha!). I eventually enjoyed the process by finding the delicate balance of ease and effort, and I completed my first mosaic.
My wise friend and teacher Ashley says, “Use the discomfort as an opportunity to be curious.” I’m grateful to be able to breathe through the discomfort and learn a little piece of truth about myself. I will practice trying things I’m not good at – embracing the vulnerability that comes with the process.
Contemplation: When do you feel vulnerable? What would embracing that vulnerability look like?