Empowerment: The Willingness to Feel Tender

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Late last evening I sat in anguish as I contemplated the way I was feeling. I had the most severe aversion to the feeling of being vulnerable and I couldn’t stop judging myself for resisting the growing pains that stem from vulnerability. After sitting for a while I knew it was a glorious opportunity to accept IT ALL. To remember that being in my power entails being willing to feel vulnerable.(what a paradox this is)

I went to a circling group last night and I volunteered to be the main one ‘circled’. Circling is a practice where a group of humans focus on exploring one particular being’s naked essence. (for an hour and a half!) There is a direct focus on the somatic sensations and direct feelings/thoughts that are occurring within the one being circled. It is basically an articulated process of what is happening within each moment of one’s psyche.

Within the entire circle my ego kept going back to the belief that I was doing something ‘wrong’, over and over, and over, again- a pattern that I struggle immensely with on a daily basis. During the circle I kept thinking, “ I SUCK AT BEING VULNERABLE!” I wanted to run, hide(not play seek), and never see any of these beautiful beings again. I DID NOT want to get to this level of intimacy( into- me-I-see), my greatest fear in the world.

I felt so tender and raw from the process, that I felt like I wouldn’t even be able to tell someone that I teach/ write/ and blog about emotional nakedness. The wounded sad little girl within me kept saying ‘Who are you to write about radical vulnerability? All you want to do is sprint your ass home and curl underneath the covers right now.”

I realized that even though I was feeling severe self-doubt, inadequacy, un-acceptance and meekness- I could still wrap it ALLLLL up in the cozy fluffy warm arms of self-acceptance. I was willing to accept that when I feel vulnerable, I want to hide-and that is totally okay. I was willing to reconstruct what it meant to me to be strong in that particular moment.

I realize what makes me the best vulnerability teacher is my radical willingness to be vulnerable in the first place. Embracing vulnerability doesn’t mean that we are supposed to feel like a power-house, bad-ass, wonder-human- it entails taking a leap of courage to feel like a weak timid mouse on purpose. Being vulnerable is cultivating the strength to feel tender in order to to uncover and accept the patterns that are standing in the way of our intrinsic sovereignty.

In my most recent podcast episode my sister Christina Kaplan graciously states, “Power is cultivated when we deconstruct and strip ourselves down to that feeling- to then move from vulnerability to courage into power.” She then goes on to say, “When we get vulnerable we reveal what is underneath the layers of our own skin. It allows us to break the barriers of the conforms of our armor.”(check out the podcast!)

Last night I felt powerful enough to volunteer to get the shit interrogated out of my naked essence.(I was about to jump out of my skin as I raised my hand to volunteer BTW) I felt like a bare-ass naked child shivering in the frigid cold. Because I was strong enough to feel weak, I was able to erupt through another barrier of armor that has blocked me from the awareness of love’s presence and genuine intimacy. I stripped off another layer which has allowed me to get that much more close to my soul essence.

Stripping off layers of armor is not fun. It aint supposed to feel pretty. For me personally-Vulnerability does NOT feel like me on my A-game. It does NOT feel expansive (in the moment). It DOES feel fucking messy. It DOES feel like I suck in the moment. It DOES feel like fire ants crawling all over my skin. Vulnerability feels like a shoe thats way too small that is trying to be worn in, a shoe that I want to throw at the wall or at somebody else.

I can promise you one thing about the way that vulnerability feels- this is that THERE IS NO ‘RIGHT’ WAY TO FEEL VULNERABLE! What ever authentic expression that is being revealed is EXACTLY what we are supposed to be feeling in order to heal in that moment!

There is no competition in who can be more confident in their vulnerabilities. There is no ‘ I am the master at being vulnerable’ award.(What a great trophy that would be for the ego to rock) No matter how many times I teach or embrace the gift of vulnerability, it doesn’t make feeling vulnerable any easier.

These tender patterns are being brought the surface because they haven’t been felt and accepted yet. They are going to feel just as yucky as they did years ago when I suppressed them, no matter how empowered I might have felt 10 minutes beforehand.

I will admit with my entire homo-sapien heart and soul, that the acceptance process does get easier although. This is the intention- not for the dark swamp to feel luxurious and glamorous, but for the miracle of self acceptance to flood my being ASAP. To remember that these naked emotions are impermanent and will pass more quickly as I feel and accept. This is the alchemy of acceptance- darkness being transformed into light.

Becoming empowered isn’t about how strong we feel but how willing we are to heal. If we have radical devotion to keep going there, to keep going to the mucky swamps of our deepest insecurities- then we are fully in our power. We are doing everything in our heart and will to explore the Truth of our soul essence.

I will end this post with another quote from Christina: “Empowerment is the courage to be vulnerable.” Last night I was feeling weak as a mofo. The greatest fear in my own personal little universe stung me on the ass- but I was willing to witness it head on. No matter how much my shadow wanted to convince me that I was doing everything ‘wrong’, I knew with all of my naked essence that I was doing everything ‘right’. I knew that there could’t have been anything more right or aligned then giving myself permission to feel weak, so that I could uncover the next mysterious layer that I need to see.

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About Mallory

I’m Mallory Bales. I’m a miracle-minded life coach, spiritual teacher, speaker, and podcast host. I’m committed to helping women tap into their unlimited potential by surrendering to a higher power.

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