Vulnerability doesn’t just show up accidentally in your relationships. It’s a value you choose to prioritize intentionally. It’s something you build and nourish. So it’s a skill set that requires deliberate steps. Vulnerability is about being open, unguarded, exposed, and unarmed. It is challenging to be vulnerable when living with unhealed trauma. The emotional wounds that haven’t fully healed interfere with vulnerability and make it difficult. For this reason, being intentional with it is crucial. It also takes courage to be vulnerable in the face of adversity and internalized fear. This is for you if you value intimate close connections but struggle with trust and the fear of rejection. This is an invitation to find the courage to be vulnerable.
There’s a good chance that when you hear the word intimacy, you’d probably think about physical and sexual intimacy. I think most people would. But intimacy isn’t limited to these two types. It is also emotional, intellectual, and spiritual. In a world where we’re most “connected” in various ways, we’re the most alone because the tools of our connection lack true intimacy. Nothing highlights this more than the aloneness and isolation you can feel during the holidays. Today we’re delving into artificial intimacy: What it means, its impact, and how you can shift from it into more authentic intimacy as you move through this upcoming holiday season.
Undoubtedly, unresolved emotional conflicts and unhealed trauma wounds impact your relationship with yourself and others. This effect can have many faces and show up in various ways. One of the most common ways it can show up is when you keep having the same fight over and over. This pattern can happen in any type of relationship involving intimacy. Intimacy in relationships is about having closeness, feeling supported and cared for, and being emotionally connected. You can have intimacy with romantic partners, friends, and family. When you look at intimacy and closeness beyond the sexual undertones of it, you can start to see how it’s a cornerstone of any healthy relationship, regardless of its type. Today, we’re highlighting why you might find yourself stuck in having the same argument, conflict, or fight, especially with your intimate partner(s). And what you can do about it. You can also generalize this information to other types of relationships in your life.
In, Abandon Your Fear, Not Yourself, we delved into how to celebrate yourself by practicing showing up in your life from a place of freedom, joy, and self-confidence rather than fear. So you can be yourself anytime, anywhere, with anyone. We also covered why being what you think other people need you to be, is a trauma response. Today we’re delving into a type of fear that might show up for you in relationships: Fear of rejection and/or abandonment. Why is this important? Because this fear is part of your attachment style, which affects how you feel about yourself, your pattern of reactions, and your relationships. If your attachment style centers on fear, then there’s a good chance you’re letting fear make choices for you.
The pain of betrayal can lead to trauma. Then, you can inherit this trauma from one generation to the next as it is weaved into the tales you’re told. If you take a moment to reflect, you’ll notice the stories about trust and betrayal given to you by your parents, family, caregivers, elders, and community. Storytelling is one of the ways intergenerational trauma is passed down. To protect you from pain, the people that came before you say, “I’m hurting from betrayal, so you should watch out too.” The core message is: defend yourself, watch out, and be on guard. It’s about protection, not connection. If you’re struggling with trust in your relationships, including your friendships, this might be one of the factors influencing you. Read on to understand the anatomy of trust, so you can re-examine the stories you were told and rewrite them. Then, be able to cultivate long-lasting, trusting, and reciprocal friendships.
Compassion is both an outcome of and a tool for healing. Today, I watched a video of a woman creating a secret underground tunnel that’s liveable in the wilderness with three fundamental tools. It was a reminder of how creative and resilient you can be when you have the right tools. And what amazing things you can bring to life when you learn how to use them. Witnessing her was a seemingly simple but crucial reminder amidst the continued state of the world, in which the United States Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, amongst other painful news. My first reaction to the overturning, and to quote the Michigan Legislative Black Caucus, “This is some bullshit.” This devastating decision, to me and for people like me, is yet another way the world can lack compassion. You can quickly get stuck in grief, defeat, and hopelessness when faced with this. Getting stuck prevents you from seeing the opportunity for rebuilding that comes after that. I could’ve gotten stuck in the limited resources the woman had in that video. I had to dig deep into my self-compassion to pull myself out of these reactions. I also connected with my community (the people who would get the depth of this). Compassionate connection with yourself and others allows you to find your sense of renewal and generate hope, dignity, and freedom. You become a better change-maker when you don’t deny your anger and sadness about what’s happened. You pay attention to it AND focus on personal renewal and healing as tools for rebuilding (at the same time). This compassion inspires you to be resilient to your circumstances and work towards the change you want. This week, consider compassion for yourself and others as a tool for connection, renewal, change, and oneness.