This is probably the most personal blog entry I will put up. To be honest, I don’t even want to post it but given the subject matter, I’d be the biggest hypocrite if I didn’t. If you are in any way familiar with the mega successful animated movie “Frozen,” the blog’s title should sound familiar. I won’t get into the plot details but Queen Elsa sings “conceal, don’t feel” during a song. She’d spent years hiding her power of unleashing snow and ice through her hands after her father instructed her to hide her gift.
Spoiler alert: she lets it go.
I first heard of Dr. Brene Brown a few years ago while channel surfing. She was speaking with Oprah about something called the “Power of Vulnerability”. I probably rolled my eyes at the time. But for some reason, I was glued to the TV. She spoke of things that were foreign to me. Vulnerability is weakness, what was this “power” she was speaking of? Nevertheless, her words struck a chord with me so I did some more digging. Several TED Talks, videos, and quotes later, I felt spiritually and mentally exhausted. She spoke of things I somehow knew but never had the courage to admit. But life went on, and so did I. A few days ago, for whatever reason, I started thinking about her again. So I re-watched a TED Talk called “The Price of Invulnerability” and was blown away.
When she said “you cannot selectively numb emotion. When we numb the dark emotion, when we numb vulnerability and fear and shame of not being good enough, we by default numb joy,” I knew she was speaking directly to me. Or people like me, at least. The statement hit me like a ton of bricks. You see, I feel deeper and more intensely than most. I always have. I can feel energy and emotions from others in ways that sometimes are so intense that I’d rather just shut everything out. I don’t want to care so much. I don’t want to sense so much. And most importantly, I don’t want to deal with my own emotions because I’m often ashamed for having them. So I block them out.
I am deathly afraid of being vulnerable. I would rather project strength rather than the true contents of my heart- which is more often than not doubt, fear, and love. I don’t want people to know that I hurt just like they do. That I want the same things just like everyone else. It’s far too “normal” and predictable. For me to admit that I want something is to also admit that I’ll be disappointed if I don’t get it. So what do I do to combat that? I spend a decent amount of time living with the expectation of disappointment rather than satisfaction. And it’s been working. Somewhat.
Professionally, I’ve done a good job of managing my expectations so that projects are completed and tasks are assigned. I am compromising and fair. Personally, things are different. I love my friends and family but I try not to love them too much (if that even makes sense) because I know that they won’t be around forever and I don’t know how I will function when they’re gone. Romantically, I fear being loved because that means that whoever loves me- the vulnerable me- will know me. And that’s just too much to handle. So I keep my distance.
The problem is that numbing my emotions is like shutting the windows in a room with no air conditioning during a hot summer’s day because it’s raining. I’ll be dry. The windowsill won’t have pesky raindrops that I’ll have to wipe up later. But I’ll be miserable.
Sometimes, I just want to dance in the rain.
Peace & Love,