I am very good at putting up a wall, acting like everything is okay and not needing anything.
I am very good at making excuses about things that I want or need because it’s easier to do that than to be vulnerable about a situation.
I am very good at negative self talk. Talking my self out of things that I want because I don’t think that I’m worthy.
All of these things have hindered me from being who I truly want to be, and opportunities have passed me by because I was too insecure, self-conscious, or afraid. This is not to say that those who know me and care for me, don’t know the real me, or that I’m not reaching success, but it does mean that I have let insecurity, self-consciousness, and fear rule me internally. It has been an internal battle that I have been fighting for too long and I am ready to win the war. Why? Because I know I won’t be the only one in the fighting.
It all started with two friends of mine. One said,
“You work SO hard…and do SO much…you are impressive, you have such a strong presence, and such poise….I don’t know all of your stories, so I don’t know all that makes you you, but I want you to know that despite all that you can be weak, you can cry, you can need stuff…I know you don’t like to let people see that but you feeling that way DOES NOT diminish the truth of the other stuff. It augments it. Your vulnerability is gorgeous. We are here and think the world of you.”
OMG. At first as I was reading what she was writing, I could feel my spirit getting defensive. I could feel myself building up a wall. I haven’t let people see this side of me, and she was calling me out on my stuff. But then after reading it again, all she was saying to me was, ‘Fatima, ALL of you is beautiful. You are enough, and I will love you the same.’ As simple as this was, It was like an aha moment for me. As much as I give in my friendships and relationships, I need to learn to take when I need it. Not only is transparency freeing, but it can take any relationship or friendship to a deeper level. I am so open to allowing people to be vulnerable with me, but me being vulnerable with them was off limits. So, I challenged myself to be transparent, in the words of Brene Brown, ’emotionally expose’ myself with two other women who I have been developing friendships with. I was so nervous to show a different side of me, but in the end I felt like my honesty was appreciated and respected. It was like a weight lifted off my shoulders and I no longer had to hide behind the veil of insecurity with excuses. I could just be me.
Transparency is a faith walk for me. I no longer want to operate in fear. It’s crippling. I am enough. I am worthy of all that I want, need, and desire…and I don’t have to fight my battles alone!! I know that I have God on my side, and I have a beautiful circle of people who love me just the way that I am. I don’t want to just show the good pieces of me, but to be fully transparent, honest, and vulnerable with those who care about me. To me, it’s a scary notion, but I am already seeing how vulnerability has been a blessing.