I’ve been feeling extremely vulnerable lately. It started last Thursday when I got sick with bronchitis and could not to go to work; I’m still recovering. I’m not used to feeling sick or at least so sick that I can hardly move, let alone trying to do all the things I normally do on a weekly basis. It’s left me in the position of relying on others, even to the point of having someone pick up medication for me.
Beyond feeling vulnerable I feel exposed as well. The experience has made me realize how much of my life I’ve had to discuss with my family this week, things that I normally keep to myself because I’m busy being busy. They want me to stay in bed to rest. I try to explain that I have a weekly blog to get out, a talk to write for Sunday, an article to prepare for a publisher due by the end of the month, and another chapter to write for my upcoming book, From the Trailer Park to the Pulpit: How the wisdom of Grandma Esther helped shaped my life and ministry. The response I got was a blank stare with a slightly raised eyebrow and a stern finger pointed in the direction of the bedroom. For those of you who know my partner, Paul, I need say no more. We’ve gotten used to his British accent, but how he can look at me with a British accent is beyond my comprehension.
Another way I have exposed myself is by sending out a few sections of my new book to people who have agreed to read the sections and critique the direction I’m taking with the project. In doing that I’m exposing my work and leaving myself wide open to criticism, even ridicule. However, there is something else that relying on others during my convalescence and inviting critiques has done for me, and that has been the blessing this week.
Asking others for help allows them to serve us. Most people genuinely want to help and given the opportunity will jump at the chance. When we help others we find our own problems set aside for at least a moment. When we have completed our task and return to our own challenges those problems will often seem less monumental.
In allowing ourselves to be critiqued, be it our writing, a new hairstyle or the possibility of making a major life change, we open ourselves up to two benefits many of us forget might be possible: agreement and support. Often when we are starting on a project, like writing another book in my case, there may be a bit of doubt in our minds, what I call “fear of success.” It is fear of success, not fear of failure, which stops most of us from being the people we want to be and doing the things we want to do. Yes, I’ve received some hard critiques, but even those have included great support for achieving my goal of having the book published by the end of the year.
Consider opening yourself up a little more this week to people you know you can trust. Can you allow others into your life to help you with a project or support you in a change you want to make? Would you be willing to ask for someone’s opinion, not to make a decision for you, but to garner another, less biased viewpoint? We’re all One in the universal consciousness, but on this earth plane we are here to love and support one another. I invite you to give it a try.
In Spirit, Truth and Playfulness,