Finding Self Worth- Embracing Vulnerability

Discussion in 'Family of Origin' started by New Leaf, Nov 21, 2015.

  1. New Leaf

    New Leaf Well-Known Member

    I am blessed to have found this site. To be able to open up and share so much with folks who have gone through similar journeys is a wonderful thing. It can also be painful. When I began here four months ago, I was amazed at the many different stories and felt so much tenderness and encouragement given by others and to others. I was also astounded at the relationships that were formed and could see the strong bond here between folks. It is such a connection. To be able to connect with people at this level is....breath taking, and breath giving.

    I had a moment yesterday that sent me spiraling. I was feeling so many feelings and the first feeling I went to was shame. I was ashamed and embarrassed that something I had written had caused a negative ripple in this pond of serenity that CD has become for me. When I thought more on it, I said to myself "Is it shame you are feeling Leafy? Or is it vulnerable?" I put myself, my thoughts out there without fear and expressed how I felt. Then I decided what I was feeling was vulnerable. So I went to my university (Google) and typed in that word. Up popped this Brene Brown Ted Talk- here is the link-

    I would not have known of Brene Brown if it had not been for my newfound sister warrior Cedar. Thank you Cedar. Here is a shortened version of that talk.

    After listening, I began to realize that the battle that was going on inside of me as an artist/poet, had to do with my issues with FOO, my struggle to find myself through occurrences in my life that had driven me to suffer low self esteem. In that struggle, I had covered up something that Brene reveals as intrinsic to our base of everything real and good and joyful, our basis of courage: our vulnerability.

    I wanted to share this with you folks, because of all the courage I see in you, sharing your stories and sharing your very real feelings about your FOO, your anger, pain, suffering, relationships, body image, haircuts, dreams, and hopes for the future. I wanted to thank you for being so courageously, vulnerably YOU.

    I am sure, with all of the collective wisdom and knowledge here, you have all discussed this, if so, it is a good review, if not, it is, I think, an awesome key to open up new ways of thinking and being.

    I thank you my dear friends and sisters for allowing me to join in on your deep discussions, but most of all, for accepting me, (with all of my quirkiness, faults and silly songs), for being me. After all, who else can we truly be, but ourselves?

    We are all worthy, dear friends.

    Brene found that people who had the greatest self-worth embraced their vulnerability.

    This is what I have seen here, people expressing themselves and being the ultimate representation of vulnerable.

    What courage you all have.

    Thank you so very, very much,


  2. New Leaf

    New Leaf Well-Known Member

    Ahhh, of course Cedar, I see through the Similar Titles, you posted the 20 minute version in late August.
    I missed that! Well, here it is again. Rinse, repeat!

    Thank you
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  3. New Leaf

    New Leaf Well-Known Member

    There is another Ted Talk that was very wonderful and helped.

  4. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    You are soooooooooooooooooooo worth having here. We love you. Everyone, because of the nature of this board, can post something another may not agree with. So what? Most of your posts are stellar ;)
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  5. New Leaf

    New Leaf Well-Known Member

    Awww shucks Serenity, you make my heart smile. I love you gals,too.
    I consider myself truly blessed to be amongst the most intelligent, resilient, charming, funny, kind, thoughtful souls I have ever encountered.
    Thank you so very much
  6. Scent of Cedar *

    Scent of Cedar * Well-Known Member

    Was it something I wrote, Leafy?

    If so, please know I would never hurt you intentionally. We are all in this together, and each of us matters, and each of us is growing because there is trust. Each of us is staking out territory of the heart. We risk here and we receive feedback.

    And we are cherished and we cherish one another and observe our growth and the growth happening for the others.

    You are here with us, Leafy.

    Real boats rock, and that is okay. That is how we know this is real, and that it matters and that our processes are on target and on track.

    This is true, Leafy.

    But if I've hurt you, I did not intend that you be hurt. If it wasn't me?


    What I came on to post to you about Leafy is that these feelings mean you are in process. This is the gift of this site Leafy, and of FOO Chronicles in particular. As we tell one another when we are coming through with our troubled kids, we have been where you are, Leafy.

    You know that old movie, Love Story? Where Ali McGraw says: "Love means never having to say you are sorry"?

    It's like that.

    You are in process, and that is a raw, vulnerable, confusing place to be but on some level, probably many levels Leafy, you are where you are, right here in the place where we are vulnerable and we've elected to give up our roles and we aren't yet comfortable with real, by choice.

    I am very happy for you, Leafy. I am sorry for the discomfort of this time, but you will come through safely here, and you will have reclaimed that vulnerable part of self for yourself.

    It will be worth it, Leafy.

    You are doing so well.

  7. Scent of Cedar *

    Scent of Cedar * Well-Known Member

    We don't really have collective wisdom, Leafy. Hearts in our throats, we all are flying by the seats of our pants.


    (I wrote that to describe us somewhere else but I like it so much I am putting it in here now, for you and for me and for all of us.

    Not a review, Leafy. More like a celebration, as each of us comes real as you are doing by your own choice. No one can take that from you ever again, Leafy. If it has not happened yet, soon now you will find yourself breathing a little deeper, a little easier.


    I am very happy for you.

    The path will get steeper, now. But we will all be here and somehow, we will pull one another through.


    This is where and how it begins. With that first sharing of vulnerability, we learn to cherish that part of us that we risked being real (instead of role) to expose. It is hard work, and requires trust and commitment and hope and belief. We are meant to be whole, Leafy.

    That is what we all are doing here, working away as hard as we know.

    There is nothing you need to do and really, there is nothing any of us can do but believe we are meant to heal, and to stay open to it.

    It is always good to be healed in our thinking and Brene does that for me. I tend to rewind into self destructive thinking. I celebrate with you that you found value there, too. Each of us will hear something different, and all of us shares what she knows and together, we are all coming through healthy and whole.

    And Maya and Anne Lamott and Charles Williams and Eckhart Tolle and there is one other one too that I cannot think of right now. Patricia Evans, maybe.

    The Dune Series by Frank Herbert and The Jesus Incident by Frank Herbert.

    Here is imagery that comforts me.

    I am at the beginning of an ancient, savagely dark forest. Before I know it, my feet have taken me too far in to turn back and I don't know where I am and I am very afraid. In the distance, I see the faintest glimmer of light in this dark and moonless place. I move toward it.

    That light is all of us, Leafy.

    Holding the light, for you.

  8. New Leaf

    New Leaf Well-Known Member

    You know what Cedar? Hawaiian culture. Elders will always say before speaking, or in prayer, "If my words have offended anybody, in any way, please forgive me"
    They will start off saying this, knowing the possibility exists.
    Likewise if I have ever offended anyone here, please forgive me.
    Oh no,no,no Cedar it was not you. There was an unfortunate misunderstanding In SA, on my part, and I was saddened by it. I wrote of it and was corrected to PM the moderator, if I had questions. (which I didn't know of- I didn't know the conversation thingee was PM or even what PM was???) I am techno challenged.
    I was expressing my feelings, it was early in the morning I was sick, and just kind of clicking away my heart thoughts. I have to be more careful......with my heart thoughts.
    It is true, real boats rock. You know Cedar, I love that saying.

    Thank you Cedar. I have grown up with so much self doubt and questioned everything about my self while at the same time, expressing through art and poetry. I have not shared too much of what I do, it is because I did not feel pride in my work. I could only see the mistakes. I kept seeing myself and my work through those eyes, you know? Funny, I have a lump in my throat writing of it. Attilla would chastise me, why don't you paint and write? I told her because I would have to go to my deepest feeling place to work my art, and I wasn't willing to go there.
    Oh Cedar, I have buried so much of myself. I don't want to do that anymore.
    That is where my post came from, and look where it got me, into trouble. But then I said, you know, "There is misunderstanding and conflict Leafy, just try to come clean."
    I believe too, that this is a forum. If we have to go doing this pm-ing, when will it stop? Aren't forums supposed to be open? I understand the fear and reality of clickishness and all of that, but... oh geez I am going to get into trouble again. :censored2:Sigh. I don't like the word "clicks", we have a few people at work, who talk about clicks. I tell them , you know, people come together because of their similarities and personalities, for all sorts of reasons. Clicks. Hmmm. A part of life. Embrace others differences. Doesn't mean everyone will like us. People have a right not to like us, what we say, or do, or write.
    So funny you mention. I had the thickest eyebrows in the 7th grade when that movie came out, and long straight brown hair. I felt like the most awkward, ugly duckling. People started telling me I looked like Ali McGraw, and I saw myself as, well, maybe pretty. Isn't that sad? I couldn't really see that, until someone else pointed it out. I think this is why I relate so well with kids, I know how it feels to be uncertain, and feel so many feelings, intensely. It is almost a feeling overload. FOHD (Feeling Overload Hyperactivity Disorder)
    Yup, you pegged it. However, I have developed quite a quirky personality in spite of my issues. You know Cedar, I am out there in the world, doing what I do, volunteering, coaching, working. In this, I realize that I am much like Copa. I have taken to a "bed" of over activity. I have buried myself in a cocoon of giving too much. Does that make sense? I have done so much for other people, and have been taken advantage of, because of this. I have been literally stomped on.
    My new motto is, "Just because you can, doesn't mean you should." I have to look at what I am doing, and really reflect on it. Not to be self serving, but self-giving, and self forgiving.
    I am happy, too, Cedar. You have no idea. I have learned so very much from you, Copa,Feeling, Kalahou, Serenity, Insane, Sea, and everyone here that is sharing their stories. I have learned that there are so many others out in the world who are facing similar situations with courage and bravery.
    I also see much sadness, and negative feelings.
    I was so thrilled to view Frankls piece, and thought sharing it with others on SA would be a good thing. I didn't come over to FOO, for awhile, I wasn't at a place to venture here. Won't other desperate parents benefit from some positivity? It is all so tiresome, the dealing with d c's with substance abuse, mentally challenged, homeless. I have been posting and replying to folks on PE and SA for awhile. The one huge theme I see most in SA, is how can one enjoy their lives knowing what is happening to their d cs? I thought it was a good thing to share there, the Frankl video, a way to cope, to not only have hope, but to envision what the hope looks like. I still feel it was good to post it there. People need tools to deal with this disaster. More tools than just detachment. Detachment becomes a hole that needs to be filled. Well, that is what I have learned.

    I am so blessed to have found Brenes talk. To understand that our vulnerability is something to embrace. It is a marvelous thing.

    Thank you so much Cedar, for all of your help, guidance and deep care.

    We are all doing well, aren't we?


  9. Scent of Cedar *

    Scent of Cedar * Well-Known Member

    So...sometimes, when I am able to think it, I realize that we are in miracles-in-process. The thing with miracles is that we cannot see them as miracles when they are happening to us.

    That is why we have faith. We have faith, and we have our intentions, and that is all we do have. For me, that is where the phrase, "At the touch of Eternity, we will know." resonates.

    With purpose, and meaning and intent and that idea of miracle-in-process whether we are able ever to understand the losses and the hurts and how it all fits together or not. Disney used to show a commercial: There we are, right in the center of a yellow-pistiled flower. BOOM the camera pans to a whole field of them.

    It's like that, I think.


    And then, we get it that the pistil are the sexual organs of the flower; and we get it that the flower is living an entirely different life than, in our wildest dreams, we could have suspected.

    And that is just one flower.

    No wonder we cannot make the meaning of things make sense.

    So, we take it on faith and celebrate our miracles-in-process, even when they make us so sad.

    Some days, I do that. Other days? I am really mad.


    And that is part of our miracle too, to claim our anger and our joy and our inability to understand that we are intrinsic parts of something wonderful that we do not understand, not the tiniest bit.



    So, we conclude we are human, and that is a great day to be in.


    I am sorry you felt badly about whatever happened on the other thread, Leafy. We all are so raw and so vulnerable, here.

    Everything we have tried, and we are losing our children, and we are frantic with the loss of it, and in such pain.

    Whatever it was that happened, the person will not have meant to hurt you. We are all so vulnerable here, Leafy.

    That is part of the miracle-in-place, too.

    That this site exists, at all.

  10. New Leaf

    New Leaf Well-Known Member

    It is good to be here on CD, I am truly thankful for those who make this site possible.

    Did you know Cedar, that seeds out planted in the soil fare better, than sheltered on the windowsill, in a pot, seeds to seedlings?

    It is because the seeds in the ground have to survive all sorts of stuff, in order to thrive. The stuff makes them stronger. Strong little seedlings, that is us.

    The wind blows,
    the rains come,
    the sun shines.

    This is life.

    I do understand that there are misunderstandings. Especially in typed word. Interpretation and perception, coupled with events of the day and just plain rawness, what a mix, yes?

    So, that whole sequence, eventually brought me to search vulnerability, and boom, there was the lesson I needed to learn.
    Surprise of all surprises, wise Cedar posted it earlier and I missed it.

    Sometimes the stuff that happens, leads to better stuff.

    Embrace the mat (thanks SWOT)

    Your mind Cedar, it is incredible, the places you go, and take us to.

    Miracle in place

    Thank you B


  11. Scent of Cedar *

    Scent of Cedar * Well-Known Member


    That is a huge piece of why we do this so private work in public. (That, and that the site is anonymous.)


    Part of it is to help others coming through their own processes, but also to erase the shame in who we are, or in who we were taught we were or could be, by standing publicly in our place that we are. Here is a story I tell all the time. So, a young Buddhist monk is dumped by a woman for another man. In his shame, the monk throws himself into the community cesspool. There is a pole there in the center of the cesspool. He clings to it so he will not drown. His intention is not to do himself in, but to face shame, to externalize the pain of shame. He stays defiantly in the cesspool night and day and night. The other monks call to him to come out, to take food, to smell the sweet rain. No. He grits his teeth and hangs on to the pole and stays in the externalized humiliation of shame. One night, the moon rises, full and round and white and in its light, a lotus blooms.

    The monk climbs out.


    Back to us and what we are all working very hard to accomplish.

    It has something to do with flexibility and rigidity, and with artifacts of the role rigidity in our Families of Origin. I think this. I don't know whether it is true or not. Serenity posted an article for us once about the differences between functional and dysfunctional families having to do with role rigidity in dysfunctional ones. For those raised in families where stringent role rigidity was the rule, we will leap, performing automatically from the roles assigned to us by our abusers. This protects the Child within from core vulnerability. Protects her from the abandonment issues the abusive family system blackmails its members with to guarantee compliance with the primary abuser's needs, whatever they are ~ usually, I think, some form of power-over. It also pops us into role, not real. This (I think) is how we evolved, or were twisted into, a stance of external, rather than internal, locus of control. I think this. I don't know whether it is true.

    I do know it has been harmful to us in our lifetimes that we are externally, and not internally, aligned.

    It has been to me, anyway.

    Okay. So, Genghis Khan was said to hawk and spit into the mouths of his Generals, to display his dominance. The chosen General believed himself to have been singled out and blessed, to be able to display his loyalty to the Khan in this way.

    That is the kind of thing I mean.

    That is the grandiosity of the tyrant. For the General, whose reward system is so messed up, serving the Khan's smallest wish is all that matters.

    That is external locus of control.

    So, the General, after a hard day of grovelling to the Khan, goes home and spits on everyone else.

    That is a dysfunctional family system.

    Says me, and no one else, ever.


    But I feel badly too when I don't get any stars, or when someone seems to be thinking like, "For heaven's sake. Is she going there again?!?" Know what I do, then? I think: "Let me win. If I cannot win, let me be brave."

    And most times, I don't win darn it, and I am not brave, either.


    Because what I really want is to be all perfect and never wrong and always funny and kind and etc. But instead, I am coming real.


  12. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    There is your star ;)

    I honestly never thought to care about poster ratings.
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  13. Scent of Cedar *

    Scent of Cedar * Well-Known Member

    Thank you, Serenity.


    I think ratings are an excellent way to assess our situations, when we are coming from a place of external locus of control. I am less into them, now that I am healthier. (Which I am. That's my story, and I'm sticking to it.) It's like fading into and out of an addiction, now.

    Not my proudest moment, you guys.

  14. New Leaf

    New Leaf Well-Known Member

    I have to admit, I like them too :notworthy:, there, I said it.
    I like giving them as well. :thumbsup:
  15. Scent of Cedar *

    Scent of Cedar * Well-Known Member

    I read the beginning of the SA thread, Leafy.

    When you quoted the words that left you feeling shamed, you enclosed in quotes: "Those of us in SA...."

    The mod's actual words were: "Most of us in the SA forum...."

    I don't know where the post went from there, because I didn't finish it. I found the moderator's response to have been kind, informative, inclusive, and complimentary. She did not mean to hurt you, Leafy.

  16. New Leaf

    New Leaf Well-Known Member

    Thank you Cedar, it is true. I am overly sensitive and need to fix that. I am working on it and hope to be better.
    Thank you
  17. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Join the crowd. That is one thing I'm not sure I can change about myself.
  18. New Leaf

    New Leaf Well-Known Member

    Deep breaths and goofy mistakes, and for me,
    lot's more thinking, before I post. Lessons, all lessons.
    It is okay to make mistakes, nobody is perfect.
    Plus, sensitivity begets creativity.
    Thanks Serenity, it helps to be understood.
  19. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Sensitivity is a negative trait?

    Think again. It's "a" trait - like all others, it can be positive or negative.
    Celebrate the positive side. And then... we can learn to be careful with the negative side. But the two sides go together.

    Just like...
    Strong-willed (bull-headed)
    determined (stubborn)
  20. New Leaf

    New Leaf Well-Known Member

    Thanks Insane. Perhaps a better term is hypersensitivity? I only hit this low note when I am not feeling well, or it is a full moon, stress does not help. Ok lack of sleep......
    Usually I can apply the old water off a ducks back, or take a moment to rethink.

    You are right- yin and yang of it.
    Thanks Insane!