Being Real, Authentic, Connected Within, and Vulnerable
Is Worth It!
Here’s Why . . .
In my last “Wilderness Fusion” class, my eyes were opened to something vital. I have been blogging about connection with others, and connection to self, and now I want to share what I experienced that helped me see WHY this connection is vitally important.
The Hot Seat
In our last class there was one seat, lined up with the others in the circle. That was the “hot seat.” As each student took their turn in the hot seat, our teachers helped them to identify their main addiction. The teachers also helped the person over come the addiction in front of the class by helping the person touch/feel the place within them that the addiction was keeping them from. When each student touched that place within, the transformation was almost unbelievable. I will describe that transformation below, but first . . .
I’m not saying the teachers helped us forever overcome our main addiction, but the teachers helped each student consciously feel into the place we were addicted to avoiding, and the rest of the students witnessed the visible shift.
For me, as I stated in a previous blog, my main addiction was disconnecting. I disconnected so I wouldn’t feel my negative emotions. Of course, the side effect was that I didn’t feel my positive emotions either. That ability to disconnect was a defense mechanism I developed as a protection through my life. I thought it was pretty cool, actually, how I could simply not feel anything if I didn’t want to. Now, after a lifetime of practice, what had started as a defense mechanism had become an addiction and was getting in my way.
The teachers helped me feel into the place of connection within. When I dropped into self connection, the place I feel emotions, I felt love for myself and compassion for myself, even though there was some emotional pain too. The teachers could feel it. They could see the change in me. They helped me identify it; to mark that spot so I would have a landmark there, to help me to reach it again so I could strive for greater connectedness.
The way I found that place was to think about something I felt a connection to. I thought about river rocks. I don’t know why but I feel very connected to them. As I thought about my connection to the smooth dark rocks I felt myself relax and an inner peace and loving kindness toward myself flowed through my core. I have since identified other things that help me feel that connected feeling, like painting my emotions, or spinning wool, or heart to heart talks with my children.
Living my day to day life from connectedness feels harder in the short run because I am forced to face and deal with the things causing me pain, but in the long run I know my life will be more full, and happy. I will have to grow and made necessary changes for the better — instead of avoiding the issues that cause me pain.
Even better . . . (here is the “below” I mentioned earlier)
What happened NEXT is what REALLY helped me see the value of staying connected, real, and authentic.
As each student sat there, with the class witnessing, each student was guided to connect with the spot the addiction was keeping them from, I could see my classmates literally and visually change! Each student became more solid! More real! And also more vulnerable. Each student stepped into their vulnerability, with all of us witnessing.
I realized that when my classmates were in their addictions, which kept them from their inner place of connection, focus, wholeness, reality, I could not feel a connection with them, because they were not really “there”. When they sunk into that place of inner connection, however, I could connect with them. They felt solid. They felt real. I could find them as they occupied their honest wholeness. When disconnected they seemed to be only partly there; like an image, a facade, a shell, an interface with the world, which made them difficult to connect with.
Watching the transformations, being able to see the contrast before and after, I realized that no one can connect with ME when I am disconnected within! That witnessing showed me WHY it is so important to do my own work, so that other people CAN connect with me. I had thought there was something wrong with me, and that if they could really see me, they wouldn’t want to connect with me, so I projected an image so I could remain safe, hiding my imperfection. Now, after seeing my classmates transform into solid tangible, imperfect people who can be reached, I see that others couldn’t connect with me because I was refusing to actually show up.
I want to feel a part of the world, connected to the people I care about, and I can only do this by being accessible to others, by showing up in a real and honest way, by having the courage to be connected to my whole self, to the real me, to the authentic me, and showing up for others . . . even in my imperfection and vulnerability!
Wilderness Fusion healing classes with Karl Direske: wildernessfusion.com
Brene Brown’s book “Daring Greatly”