- Do you isolate yourself when life sends you into an emotional funk?
- Do you hide your emotions for fear of being judged?
- Are you afraid to ask for emotional support?
- Are you too embarrassed or ashamed to admit your mistakes?
It's hard to emerge from a funk in isolation. Isolation is the breeding ground for negativity, self-loathing, and apathy. It's the place where we give up. It's in isolation where we resort to vices that desensitize us from our emotions and dull our motivation to change our mindset, make different choices, or dare to change our self-destructive habits.
But here's the thing: When I'm in a funk, I feel highly contagious. The last thing I wanna do is ruin someone else's day just because my life sucks. It's not their fault that I'm a broken human being in desperate need of love and repair. Also I'm always embarrassed about whatever mess I've gotten myself into - again! Because it's totally my fault for constantly repeating the same patterns in life and love that hurl me back into those deep funks with the predictability of a boomerang. Not to mention, I admittedly love the perception that I've got my shit together. God forbid people know I'm imperfect and sometimes experience emotional collapse. The kind of collapse that makes me wanna to disappear into the ether. Oh, and because of that ego-driven desire for illusory strength, the odds of me actually reaching out and asking for help is damn near improbable. So, into isolation I go!
But after confining myself in my apartment and doing obeisance to the holy trinity (red wine, popcorn, and dark chocolate) enough times to finally admit their impotence, I became a firm believer in not stuffing, hiding, or faking my emotions. I became pro-vulnerability; even if it meant feeling like a pitifully weak failure at life. But, despite my conclusion that vulnerability is imperative to genuine happiness and real relationships, it still freaked me out. So I cheated. Yes, my foray into vulnerability ironically began in isolation. While hunkered down in my post-divorce hovel on the Lower East Side of NYC, I started divulging my deepest, darkest fears and emotions via blogging. I didn't even use my real name. I used my nickname "Keex". Anonymous vulnerability. Anyway, I would purge stuff into the interwebs that I still felt too embarrassed and ashamed to even tell my therapist. Divorce filled me with emotions too raw and tortuous to contain. I felt like my life depended on my ability to speak my truth, be heard, and feel supported. And when I finally dared to speak (write) my truth, I discovered a whole new world; the world of being human. Part of a species that thrives and survives through interdependence. So the more this "Keex" character found her voice, the more I found mine. I came out of the closet and let my self be seen. And vulnerability has shown me that I'm never alone - even in my deepest and darkest of funks. My tribe loves me.
What prevents you from letting your true self be seen? What emotional truths would be revealed if you let yourself be vulnerable? What would be the ideal outcome if you dared to be vulnerable?