Emotional Exposure

Emotional exposure is terrifying.

I can’t be the only one that does everything in my power to attempt to control it?

To refine, diminish, and play small in order to avoid potential pain

In order to regulate vulnerability?

Something wonderful comes into my life and I shrug my shoulders at it in mock ‘mehness’, not allowing myself to feel too much joy or excitement.

Instead, I feel fear.

I feel fear that there is something in front of me that I actually care about.

There is something that I care about that I could fail at.

So, I pretend it doesn’t matter as much as it does in order to limit and offset any future pain or disappointment.

Really, it’s the brain’s fault.

It works overtime to protect us and it does this by magnifying any risk and talking us out of discomfort and away from the ledge of the unknown…

of those things we could fail at, the situations that could hurt us.

Maybe by giving up that illusion of control, for that is all that it really is, and just practicing gratitude for the moment, as Colin says in his video above, we will give ourselves permission to fully lean in and enjoy?

Versus that other idea of “rehearsing for the potential tragedy”, or waiting for the other shoe to drop…

this is great now, BUT

I anticipate a lot of buts.

But what if I’m abandoned?

But what if I’m found lacking?

But what if I’m used and forgotten?

But what if this doesn’t work out?

But what if this fails?

But what if no one likes this?

But what if no one reads this?

But what if…

But what if…

In these “but what ifs” I lose sight of the joy, I give up my ability to enjoy right now, I step away from the ledge of possibility and back into the limiting comfort zones I’ve outgrown.

In my anticipation of the other shoe dropping, I die a thousand deaths.

“Cowards die many times before their deaths.” (Julius Caesar)

We die a little bit every time we run from something difficult, new, or challenging, something that stretches us in a new way that isn’t quite comfortable.

“The valiant never taste of death but once.” (Julius Caesar)

When we are brave, the only death we face is the physical one.

We are not killing our souls little by little every time we run from discomfort and vulnerability,

every time we deny ourselves joy in the anticipation of it not lasting,

and every time we attempt to anticipate the but.

In many ways, friend, I’ve been a coward.

I’ve tried to predict and avoid pain by not allowing myself to become excited,

by backing away from the ledge.

Always,

Your Trusted Friend ♥️

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