Vulnerability vs. Complaining?

Just last Thursday I wrote this about 'trying'.  And then this weekend happened.

And that whole idea went in the rubbish bin.
"I have missed out on a lot of freedom because of my fear of rejection.  We may call it "people pleasing," but it is entirely self-serving because it is really all about keeping myself comfortable. Boiled down, it could be more accurately called, "me pleasing".  (Emily Freeman, Grace for the Good Girl Chapter 8)
And I was going to write a little bitty blog post about not having blogging 'mojo' right now, so I'd be taking a break.  But that isn't true. That'd be me fearing what ya'll would think about what I am writing here today.

So this is what is happening...

* *
I've been reading and hearing a lot recently about being vulnerable.  About taking off masks.

I haven't finished Emily Freeman's Grace for the Good Girl: Letting go of the Try-Hard Life yet, and for some reason, I'm not attacking it {even though I LOVE it}.  Probably because I feel like I could have written it.  Seriously. I've highlighted about half of what I've read already.  And I'm guessing that means there is going to be something very revealing for me, possibly life changing, that I'm going to read.  And that makes me just a bit nervous.

And then there was this video by Brene Brown that a very good friend shared with me.

Got me right at the core. It's about 20 minutes long, but definitely worth a watch; and you can be quite sure the next book I read {which I hear is also life changing} will be her Daring Greatly

* *

So I keep finding distractions from finishing Grace for the Good Girl.  And honestly, right now?  It's easy.  Stay tuned for just a sec.

This is where I raise the question:  When does showing your vulnerability and taking off the masks of being a good girl or being 'fine' just change into plain 'ole complaining and whining?  

My husband is out of town.  Both of my kids are sick.  One of them, at least yesterday, was the puking kind.  We don't have a car here so if I had to figure out how to go to the doctor {which since I'm pretty sure they both just have a good 'ole cold/flu combo I won't} it would probably have to be by taxi, because I haven't really made any friends close enough here that I feel like I could call to drive us.  Maybe they could watch one of the kids while I took the other to the doctor.  BUT the kids are sick-and all of my friends have kids, so I can't really ask them to watch my sick kids and risk getting their kids sick.  And then when one is puking?  The other is in the bathroom and needs my help.

And I just wish my mom, or my mother- or father-in-law or brother and sister-in-law where here to help "relieve" me.

And wah, wah, wah....I think you get the idea.   And I could go on, and on, and on. Trust me on that one.

 * *

So I guess I need to keep reading these books.   Maybe at some point they will tell me how to be vulnerable without complaining?

* *

Or how to just let myself be vulnerable without feeling like I'm a doofus.

Because I live in Scotland.  And my husband just has to travel now and then {not be away for months, years or a lifetime}.  And about 350 days a year {my son DOES go to school...sicknesses come in the house} I have two of the healthiest, cutest, smartest kids in the world. 

Why the heck should I even get to be vulnerable {not 'fine'}?  Why do I get to complain?  I shouldn't be allowed.

* *

Okay, so I'm thinking the definitions of vulnerable vs. complaining are fundamentally different.  But when I think of putting myself out there?  It isn't the positive stuff I'm afraid of putting out there; I feel pretty comfortable with doing that.

It's the deep down feelings...the sadness, the frustrations, the anxiety, the feelings of inadequacy...that's what makes me vulnerable.  And that's when I come to the question of where being vulnerable ends and complaining begins.


And now I've decided its okay to not be devouring Emily's book, because I'm joining in over at Wild & Precious for an online book club of sorts, and this week the link up is about chapters 9 & 10, and I'm on chapter 11.  Perfect timing. 
And on Thursday, I'll be joining over at Royal Daughter Designs for Desire to Inspire.  Although I'm not sure how inspiring this post  is.  But, its not a 'fluff' post, that's for sure. 


Danica Bridges-Martin said...

Good post! I can completely relate! You hit on things that have been on my mind too, they'll probably end up in a post sooner or later. :) Danica

Kristine Foley said...

I can't help but feel this way a lot too. Man who wants to read about my "complaining" ? I don't want people to leave my blog getting the impression I'm a Debbie Downer, but what I've come to find out for me personally is that life isn't about rainbows and unicorns all the time, and that sharing the bad is just as important as sharing the good sometimes. Everyone goes thru similar trials, so you never who your {real} story will touch. I know you might not feel it, but you are truly a super mom! Doing it all alone with no break takes one strong mama. Sorry to hear the kids are sick! I hope they feel better sooner than later and that you have a great day.

Kristine from The Foley Fam {unedited} Blog

Lindsey Kubly said...

Such good, heartfelt thoughts here. I feel the same way. If I'm honest about momhood, do people think I don't like it? Because I do, but it is hard. I don't want to be a complainer, but I do need honest community support. I haven't started Ch. 11 yet, but I'm really, really looking forward to where this book goes. The first 10 chapters were rough.

Bernadette Veenstra said...

I have not read this book yet, though it has been on my Christmas list since I heard Emily at a conference this fall.
That being said, I think there is a balance that needs to be found between vulnerability and complaining. And I think, between vulnerability and discretion. And really, only you can find the balance for you. You have to find where you are comfortable. Does sharing your vulnerability point others to God, and point you to God? Or is just left out there in the stratosphere? That is what I think about.

Nasreen Fynewever said...

This post is honest and encouraging, thanks for pointing the way.

Amanda said...

I think being honest and vulnerable is a good thing. But it's a delicate balance of being "real" but also being encouraging and uplifting. Truth be told, this is a balance with which I struggle frequently...

Thanks for sharing!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...