Tuesday, December 11, 2012

lean into the discomfort

brene brown reminds me that we social workers say, lean into the discomfort. 

what that's always meant for me was leaning into other people's discomfort. i can do that all the live long day. but lean into my discomfort. that's a whole other story. it takes being okay with not being okay. i've discovered that i'm okay with not being okay. but i don't want other people to know that, especially those closest to me. i don't want to lean into that discomfort or lean on others because that's vulnerable and scary. 

i was reminded this weekend that a trait common in my family is avoidance. conflict, guilt and shame all signal alarms inside screaming "avoid, avoid, avoid". so you can just imagine the sound of conflicts being resolved in my family,


 oh right, they aren't being resolved. i see this trait like a neon sign in some members of my family. i see the hurt that avoidance has caused my family and the ways it has affected me. and i think, oh right, I too, avoid conflict at times. i don't want my action or inaction to hurt other people the way i've been hurt. knowing this, i've been trying so hard not to run from conflict. the thing is, resolving conflict requires vulnerability which is scary. 

for me, vulnerability is wrapped in fear and sometimes all i can do is repeat an inner script until it's all okay. "don't put up your walls. don't put up your walls. don't put up your walls." it's similar to my inner-script when i'm faced with my other fear, throwing up. "don't throw up. don't throw up. don't throw up." and most of the time, in both cases, they work. it's not comfortable. it's not easy and i hope that someday it becomes second nature someday  but until then, there's always the inner script.