How To Share Your Most Vulnerable Parts And Why It Can Be Extremely Healing
Right now, I'm in a season of chasing freedom from numbers which is super interesting, because I've been here before. The circumstance just looked a bit different last time. For years, I chased freedom from every number that had to do with body image; scale, pant size, calories, macros, weighing food, weights in the gym, how long I was exercising for... That's why I am a health coach - to help other women find freedom in their bodies. But now, to see that I am chasing freedom from numbers again is a bit confronting. And while the circumstance is completely different, because I have been here before, I feel equipped and ready to tackle this obstacle that I'm feeling bound by.
If you follow me, you might know that I hit on vulnerability pretty frequently. A few nights ago, I was doing a story on my Instagram where I was recapping my weekend and sharing that I'd had yet ANOTHER meltdown in the middle of this fertility journey. It happened as I was laying in bed talking with my husband. I don't love to have breakdowns in bed, but sometimes you just can't help it - it was a lot to go to sleep with for both of us. It's heavy and hard; a season we've both never had to navigate. In the midst of the discussion, the tears and hyperventilating (lol...but not really), one thing I learned was that I was needing to tell Derick what I actually desired...what's going on, what's in the way, what do I specifically need? He needed me to tell him that as much as I needed to unload.
A little while ago, I learned something in a marriage counseling session: you can get real and have truly courageous conversations when you're able to express either a) your desire or b) your deepest fear. A lot of times in conflict or fights, unmet expectations come from the lack of communication and one thing I've realized is that I have a hard time explaining what I need or what I desire really clearly. So I tend to just expect what I want without having said it out loud. To me, expressing what I want feels really selfish...I know I'm not the only person out there who feels this way. I'm learning that it's really not selfish to say what you desire and it actually creates a much healthier lifestyle for yourself with your relationships, career, and other areas of your life.
When we share our most vulnerable parts and get to that bottom layer where we can identify and then voice what our biggest fears truly are or what desires are really on our hearts, we can experience extreme healing because we're 1. better able to understand ourselves, and 2. better able to understand each other.
When you really understand what you want, you're able to look at it a bit more objectively. You can create some distance between you and that thing. And you might realize it's okay to have that desire, that God actually put this straight in you and it is GOOD. Or you might be able to see that this thing is indeed toxic, but now you are aware of it, you can figure out how to navigate through it and dig a bit deeper. All of this has an impact on who we are on the surface too and how we interact with others.
That night in bed, I was able to get super vulnerable. I looked at Derick and said "I have got to be set free from numbers, I can't handle it anymore. It has my heart so bound up that I can't enjoy life" - it was really hard to say and it came through a lot of tears. The thing is, I keep finding myself feeling behind when I see people the same age as Derick and I who already have children, while we don't. I have a birthday coming up where I'll be 27 and my expectation was that by this age I'd 100% be pregnant and probably even be having a baby by now. And I'm not even growing a baby yet. So this birthday doesn't feel so exciting anymore because it's not what I had in mind for my life. And then I find myself in this rabbit hole thinking about the whole next generation...like, we want to be young grandparents, and if we aren't young parents, then chances are we won't be young grandparents either. I think about how many months we've already been trying and then I think about how many more months it's going to take. It's constant. It's exhausting.
And then when you get into the nitty-gritty fertility stuff, it's constantly about numbers too. Tracking my cycle, days since my cycle started, when I am ovulating, hormone levels...there are a lot of numbers involved. And what I realized that night was all day long I was being consumed by these things and I wanted freedom from it. And that is what I desire. To enjoy life and to live in the blessings that we have right now. I want freedom from numbers. I don't want to miss what I do have in this season because I'm so bound by these numbers.
Vulnerability really is powerful when you can get to the depths of what you desire and you're not afraid to reveal what's in the way and what's consuming you...When you are conscious about it and you voice it, the way you live will change. Now that Derick knows these things, he can check in with me and support me and vice versa. It's a beautiful exchange when you are raw and open with people...when you're not afraid to be seen. And look at me go...not only have I shared my vulnerability with Derick, but it's on the internet now!...The freedom has already started. Since that conversation with Derick, I immediately felt a sense of freedom from those numbers. It feels easier to navigate.
Don't be afraid to express what you desire, because from that you can have extreme healing. It can be such a release from something that's been causing you a lot more pain in your life than you ever realized. The past few months, I've been dealing with a ton of anxiety and stress and super bizarre health issues...it's just been a really interesting journey and me being able to release the numbers is actually going to be a release of so many other things, spiritually, mentally and physically.
ACTION: Ask Yourself These Questions
I challenge you to ask yourself this and maybe even write it down and get journaling: What is your biggest fear? What do you desire the most in your life? Think about these two things from all aspects of your life; work, family, your body...and then reflect...so much of what happens in our day-to-day is based on these two things! If the answers don't come easily to you, maybe try asking God to reveal what's on your heart.
If you want to take it a step further, write out why you desire this thing so much. A couple of months back, one of my clients challenged me to write down why I was desiring a baby so bad and it was really cool...I was actually feeling a bit guilty for wanting a baby so dang much, but when I was able to write all the reasons why I desired a baby, I realized it is so good to desire a baby as much as I do right now. It was God. He literally put this desire inside me. And now I feel that it is OK and I don't have to feel guilty for it anymore...and that was so freeing. You may realize that it's so OK to have the desire that you do, OR you might realize that the desire is actually toxic. Either way, this will allow you to work through why you desire that thing and how to navigate through it so you can become free from the desire if it's not serving you.
There are so many people out there going through their own seasons that are hard and painful, or maybe even elating. Sometimes when you're on top of the mountain and life is unwittingly good, it can be really hard to know how to handle that too. Wherever you're at, I hope you can relate to my words and my open heart so that you can get clear on what you truly desire without fear getting in the way.
A Few Things Helping Me Through This Season
Recently, I've been swapping out a whole lot of toxic products I've been using my whole life that I really didn't' know how toxic they were until I became more educated on living a cleaner lifestyle. One of the most recent things that I have swapped is going from lighting candles to make the house smell good to using essential oil diffusers to not only make it smell good, but because the oils that I can diffuse have a whole bunch of health benefits too. There are a lot of things in candles that when you burn them release toxins into the air and they can even disrupt your hormones and health overall - especially important for me while I'm trying to conceive a baby...because healthy hormones = better chances of conceiving!
We have a few diffusers all over the house - I want to have one in every room eventually. It's part of my morning routine and my routine for when I get home from work and also when we go to bed. A couple of my favorites: I like to diffuse lavender next to our heads in the bedroom - sometimes I mix it with cedarwood. In the mornings, I love to diffuse something in the kitchen that's refreshing and energizing - a citrus blend or a blend called Purification that has a whole mix. I also love Stress Away which has a vanilla scent which is so cozy and homey to me. All of the oils I use are Young Living. I am obsessed. It's something that's become such a big part of my life which is why I'm sharing more and more about it. You can check out my oil account if you're interested in oils too @trulyoils or start your oil journey with a StarterKit!
The other thing I am LOVING is the Bible Recap Podcast. I started it in September. I'm about 1/4-1/3 of the way through. I just wanted to dive into the bible chronologically so that I can zoom out and have the whole big picture eventually. I'm using this podcast to navigate my way through - it tells you what to read each day and after you finish reading, you listen to a little commentary on what you just read to better understand it and get more insights from someone who has done more study on the Word than you. It's really cool for my adventure through the Word, allowing me to sharpen the tool that we're given in our lives to fight the good fight. If you feel ready to tackle the bible as a whole, check it out!
If you liked this post, check out episode 82 of my podcast - The Chasing Freedom Show. You can find it on Spotify, iTunes, or SoundCloud. If you love the episode, screenshot and share it with me on social media @trainertanner #chasingfreedom.
P.S. Did you know that I have a FREE business coaching Facebook group for women who are wanting to start or build up their businesses? I do a live coaching here every Thursday at 12.30pm EST on live video. Join now if you want to be coached for free, to post and share with the other amazing women and to be held accountable. I just love this little group because I genuinely love and feel called to build up leaders in this world.