Staying Small

I have been thinking a lot recently about the reasons many of have for ‘staying small’.  By this I mean, why do we choose to be ‘satisfied’ with remaining curled up, like a bud of a flower, and never really opening ourselves up in a way that reveals to others who we are, underneath the outer layers that we have created in our attempt to feel safe. I am guessing that for most of us, over the years we have created a story that includes things like, “I should be satisfied with what I have”, or “I don’t really deserve more” or “What would people think or say if they really knew…?”

I try to imagine being that flower bud.  What does it feel like?  Is it living with a sense of fear or security?  Does it believe that because it is all folded into itself that it is not at risk for some sort of disaster because it is less exposed to the elements?  Does it feel kind of claustrophobic or distressed by it’s constricted posture and limited view of the world?

And what about the flower that has bloomed?  What’s the upside and downside to that?  Is the sense of freedom that it must have from no longer being constrained by being a bud exhilarating or scary?  Does the warmth of the sun on it’s petals counter the chill of the wind on a blustery day?

Each of us has the opportunity to choose, for our own unique reasons, how seen we want to be.  There are a few daily practices that I have, and one of them is designed to encourage me to be my most authentic self as I interact with others throughout the day.  I have made it a habit to read the following quote by Brene Brown in an effort to do just that.  Hope this is useful to you as well.

Daring Greatly is not about winning or losing.  It’s about courage. In a world where scarcity and shame dominate and feeling afraid has become second nature, vulnerability is subversive. Uncomfortable. It’s even a little dangerous at times.  And, without question, putting ourselves out there means there’s a far greater risk of feeling hurt. But as I look back on my own life, and what daring greatly has meant to me, I can honestly say that nothing is as uncomfortable, dangerous, and hurtful as believing that I’m standing on the outside of my life looking in and wondering what it would be like if I had the courage to show up and let myself be seen.

 

 

 

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