Today I watched a TED Talk titled The Power of Vulnerability by Brené Brown. I love Brené's work around shame and vulnerability but something completely different struck me today. This part of the talk hit me like a ton of bricks:
I realized I am numb at the moment. Truly numb. Not due to shame or vulnerability but due to my fatigue and illness. I think for the time being it is my coping mechanism. I am not in a good place and haven’t been for some time. I write anytime I feel my emotions taking over but the emotions are always there, just below the surface and too painful to truly bear. That line in Brené’s talk brought to my attention the fact that although I am able to fairly regularly keep those hard feelings at bay most days…that also means I am missing out on the good emotions.
For the last few months, I have not felt joy. I guard myself very tightly and don’t let myself feel much of anything. I have been operating with a very cold exterior, not letting anyone or anything in. Now, I understand. When you numb those hard feelings, you also numb the good ones.
I’m not sure anything can change in the short term because the hard feelings are still too hard but now, I at least understand why I'm not feeling the good things either.
The last thing Brené says is this:
And the last, which I think is probably the most important,
As long as I am sick, I don’t think I will ever feel like “I’m enough” but I do hope that I can someday start being kinder and gentler with myself so that I can be kinder and gentler to those around me.