5:15 Monday Morning, let the dog out
5:20 Monday Morning, let the dog in
5:21 Monday Morning realize that the dog has been sprayed by a skunk and has been running around the house, making the house; kids and everything else smell horrible.
Then I realized, I have to go to work. And now I smell somewhat skunk-like also.
Not the way to start the workweek.
So, I went to work. That’s what had to be done. And, yes, I smelled a bit.
I had to make a decision, ignore my smell or acknowledge it and embrace it. I could not change the situation and realized, dogs get sprayed by skunks and I had to deal with it. So, I decided to tell my clients what happened when they came in and something happened during therapy that day that I want to share.
Dr. Brene Brown says the following:
“Authenticity is a daily practice. Choosing authenticity means cultivating the courage to be emotionally honest, to set boundaries, and to allow ourselves to be vulnerable; exercising the compassion that comes from knowing that we are all made of strength and struggle and connected to each other through a loving and resilient human spirit; nurturing the connection and sense of belonging that can only happen when we let go of what we are suppose to be and embrace who we are.
Authenticity demands wholehearted living and loving-even when it’s hard, even when we’re wrestling with shame and fear of not being enough, and especially when the joy is so intense that we’re afraid to let ourselves feel it.
Mindfully practicing authenticity during our most soul searching struggling is how we invite grace, joy and gratitude in our lives.”
I was able to see that by being vulnerable the connections with my clients grew. They were able to open up even more about their struggles.
Then I began to think about relationships in general. Relationships require us to be vulnerable. By being vulnerable, we allow those in our lives to know us on a deeper level. Being vulnerable means that we have to lean into discomfort, sharing what we don’t want to share despite being embarrassed or ashamed. It means trusting those of us that love us to know the good, the bad and the ugly and in return they are able to share their good, bad and ugly stuff. Both end up loving and caring for each other more because they know the other in a more personal, more human level. This is what deep relationships are founded on. This is what keeps them real and honest.
However, being venerable can be scary. What if you are rejected and ridiculed? What if it doesn’t work out the way we want it to? Then you are even more vulnerable. But, part of being in a relationship–friendships, marriages, families–means that you might be hurt or those around you might not react to what you are telling them the way you want them to.
So, what do you do? Realize what you like about you. Embrace who you are. Develop a strong sense that this is who I am, I like me, I hope you like me to, but I am going to be me and this is who I am. Once you believe in you, wanting to be completely honest about who and what you are becomes easier. You take the chance and through these chances, you develop deeper connections with others.
Take a chance to let those that love you, love all of you.
I realized that by smelling like a skunk and acknowledging it, I was not rejected, embarrassed, but instead I was embraced and given considerable empathy. It changed relationships that day. I took a chance.
And a little ps- tomato juice DOES NOT work. Vinegar and four baths later are the way to go, but I am not expert on skunk spray.