When I first started experiencing digestive problems in college, I kept it a secret from everyone. I didn’t want anyone to know, and I didn’t want to talk about it. I was embarrassed, and I had a huge fear of being vulnerable. What would people think? How would I be perceived? What would their reaction be?
I always thought vulnerability equaled weakness, and I did not want to appear weak and fragile. Being petite and small physically, I always had this insecurity that people already saw me as fragile, so I didn’t want to give anyone validation.
I got really good at masking any issues, whether they were physical, mental, or emotional, so I would appear strong and put together.
What I’ve learned over the years is that vulnerability equals strength and courage. Opening up and exposing your true self is scary, but it’s incredibly healing and empowering.
I’m reading a book right now called Daring Greatly, by Brené Brown, and it’s all about vulnerability; what it is, what it isn’t, and how it transforms the way we live.
She states, “vulnerability is the core of all emotions and feelings. To feel is to be vulnerable. To believe vulnerability is weakness is to believe that feeling is weakness. To foreclose on our emotional life out of a fear that the costs will be too high is to walk away from the very thing that gives purpose and meaning to living.”
“Our rejection of vulnerability often stems from our associating it with dark emotions like fear, shame, grief, sadness, and disappointment – emotions that we don’t want to discuss.”
That’s exactly what I was doing.
Now I see how destructive that was. Being vulnerable can be healing. Not only for you, but for others with whom you expose yourself.
That’s why I do what I do. I’ve learned the power of sharing experiences and stories with others. While it’s not always easy or comfortable to share my story or express my thoughts online where anyone can see into my life, I know it’s necessary.
If one person is helped by something I’ve shared, then it’s all worth it.
Vulnerability is uncertainty, risk, and emotional exposure. But so is love. Love is uncertain. Love is risky. Love exposes us emotionally. It’s scary, but can you imagine your life without loving or being loved?
I recently had the pleasure of sharing my health journey with my friend and fellow health coach, Angela Privin. Angela is also a digestive health coach who specializes in IBS and SIBO.
When I’ve gone through challenging times, I’ve appreciated so much hearing from others who’ve walked a similar road before me and how they succeeded.
We’re in this together. If one of us overcomes our struggle we must share it to shine a positive light into the dark, anxious despair of being sick.
Click here to listen to our interview. If you know someone who might benefit from hearing this, please share with them. I also encourage you to listen to other success stories on Angela’s site.
I hope you’ll find a useful nugget to use in your own future success story.
Do you have a success story to share? Please share in the comments below!