“You are so busy being you that you have no idea how utterly unprecedented you are.’ John Green.
Sometimes I love the synchronicity of the universe and it seems incredibly good timing, on so many levels, to be diving into Stage 5: Target: Claiming Selfhood and exploring vulnerability and courage. Have the themes of vulnerability and courage been coming up for you lately?
The first time we were in stage 5 Target; Claiming Selfhood was as a 2 or 3 year old where we would push for independence, face our fears, explore the outside world and say NO to our carers, risking disapproval to gain a sense of self and develop our own willpower. We would then often race back in for connection with our carers wanting reassurance, validation, protection and to feel safe within our comfort zone again. If you observe a toddler there is always a conflicting desire for independence and security which creates the energy for personal growth and this conflicting desire can be reflected in our life at other stages.
On our personal journeys we need to confront our fears and push against our ‘inner parent’ for autonomy and a will of our own. We might feel restrained by self-criticism and fearful judgement to play small and keep safe. Some of the messages we received as a small child around protecting ourselves might need to be challenged in order for us to keep growing as unique individuals.
As we find our true path being vulnerable is an act of courage when we feel exposed and out of our comfort zone. Our task is to find a true sense of belonging for our authentic selves rather than trying to ‘fit in’ and defend ourselves.
‘Vulnerability is not weakness and the uncertainty, risk and emotional exposure we face every day are not optional. Our only choice is a question of engagement. Our willingness to own and engage with our vulnerability determines the depth of our courage and the clarity of our purpose; the level to which we protect ourselves from being vulnerable is a measure of our fear and disconnection.’ Brene Brown
This is a stage where we can learn to stand up for our authentic self and realise our full potential. We can stand up for who we are and what we believe in, but this can feel uncomfortable as we allow ourselves to feel vulnerable with courage, compassion and empathy.
‘Embracing our vulnerabilities is risky but not nearly as dangerous as giving up on love and belonging and joy – the experiences that make us most vulnerable.’ Brene Brown
It’s important to have lots of self-care in this phase, to reassure with quotes / affirmations, to find courageous music or symbols that can help us choose a path of vulnerability and exploration.
How can you feel safe, supported and empowered as you courageously stand your ground and stand tall as a unique individual in this world? What boundaries do you need to set? How can you courageously share what is within your heart, be vulnerable and connect with others on a deeper level? And who can you turn to for support, connection and compassion when you need it?
Resources for this blog: The Mandala Workbook by Susanne F. Fincher & Mandala Magic 2017 by Julie Gibbons