Vulnerability: A Gift to Be Embraced

“And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud
was more painful than the risk to let it blossom.”
~Anais Nin

As I worked on writing my first memoir, I realized I was beginning a process to open myself to being vulnerable once again.

It certainly wasn’t the first time I’d felt vulnerable. I especially felt that way after my Dachshund, Frankie became paralyzed, eventually needing a wheelchair for mobility. I recalled how I lived in fear that others would judge me for putting her in a wheelchair perceiving it as mean or cruel. And now here I was sharing my life experience with her in this book I was writing.

As I wrote my story, I found myself crying at times as I let the words spill across the page. I also found myself worrying once again what others may think of me when they read my book. Would they disagree? Would they be mad? What would they think?

Each day I’d show up to do the work— and continue the writing. Each day that I did, I felt a small piece of myself heal. I also felt myself beginning to bloom in unimaginable ways. I started to believe in myself. I started to feel more comfortable in my own skin. I felt like I was a flower beginning to slowly open my petals to possibilities.

I was beginning to feel a warm inner embracing around my heart of finally accepting who I am.

barb techel w FrazierAfter about a year of writing, my memoir was finally done. I had done it! It was now time for the editing stage and fine tuning to begin.  I was rejoicing in the fact I had let myself be open to the page and let my feelings wash over many chapters. I was well on my way to releasing my story to the world.

Then something happened that stopped me in my tracks. Someone I loved dearly and core to my story- Frankie passed away. I couldn’t even think about pushing my book out into the world. I needed time to grieve.

Something that became very clear to me through this process was that I once again felt vulnerable. It never truly leaves us, but comes in waves at different times in our lives.  I was feeling sensitive because of the deep pain and grief I was feeling for my loss. All I wanted to do was swim in the sadness.

Confidence seemed to have also left me for a time being because everything I had planned in regards to when I thought my story would be published was now unknown. Now I didn’t know when my book would find its place in the world. As I moved through the days and weeks, I began to realize I would indeed fulfill my dream of finishing my book. I still didn’t know when, but the confidence I had gained in writing my memoir, gave me a knowing and to not only trust in myself, but also that unseen, that I would eventually publish it. I believed in my own process and knew I wouldn’t let myself down.

Though the unknown felt vulnerable, I called on my faith to carry me through.

That day finally came. It was all Divine timing. My book was now edited, the book cover design done, and layout complete. As I sat holding my finished book in my hand I marveled at the accomplishment. I never felt more ready.

Or so I thought.

Once again I faced the feeling I thought I could escape. The feeling of putting yourself out into the world baring your struggles, your feelings, and your heart, made vulnerability come to the surface yet again. As I asked for endorsements and reviews, I knew I’d have to send my book to each perspective reviewer. Oh, how my fingers trembled as I hit the send button. And then I waited.

I sat in the discomfort of feeling this thing called vulnerable that seemed to be at every turn on my path—sometimes for a fleeting moment, but at other times it lingered for days. Then one day I recalled my favorite Anais Nin quote.

“And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud
was more painful than the risk to let it blossom.”

The place I was before, afraid to step out of my comfort zone, was actually more painful than the risk I was taking in sharing my story, and opening myself up to others.

The best part of being vulnerable is that I realize no matter what anyone else may think or say about my book, I know I did the work. I know I put every bit of my soul into my writing. I know in my heart of hearts I want to inspire others— I want to continue to make a difference.

This is where vulnerability is an amazing beautiful gift. For if we welcome it with open arms, it will take us not only to a new place of healing for ourselves, but quite possibly help someone else to do just the same.

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About Barbara Techel

Barbara is active as an author, advocate for disabled animals, educator, SoulCollage® Facilitator, and founder of Joyful Paws, LLC and National Walk ‘N Roll Dog Day. She truly enjoys encouraging others to pause often, listen deeply, and capture what it is that matters most to live a meaningful life.

2 Responses to Vulnerability: A Gift to Be Embraced

  1. Lynda says:

    This is so beautiful and I know well her struggles with vulnerabilities, but I also know her strengths and talents in seeing her way in her truth and in her world–
    and I couldn’t be prouder for you see, I am her Mom.
    Thanks for sharing her story.

    • Rita Graving says:

      What a lovely sentiment and thank you for commenting. Barb’s written a beautiful blog. It takes a lot of strength to share one’s vulnerabilities – and we are grateful to Barb for sharing it with us. ~Rita Graving

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