16 months ago, I arrived back in Australia from living in Canada for one year and separating from the person I thought I would be spending my life with. I was broken, depressed, vulnerable and totally unsure how my life would turn around after what I’d been through. It was unexpected and not something I would have consciously chosen at the time.
Now, as 2014 is coming to a close and as I reflect back, I can definitely say that these last 16 months have been some of the most profound, nurturing, empowering and self-fulfilling in my life. For those of you who have experienced a separation, divorce or break-up that impacted almost every area of your life, this post is for you.
You would think that after what I went through, my desire to open myself up and connect with people would be something I’d prefer to steer away from. That may be true for a lot of other people but I made a decision that I wasn’t going to allow my past to dictate my future. I have worked hard at it this year and even though bits and pieces sneak in when I least expect them to, for the most part, my past is where I’ve left it – behind me.
With all the lessons I have learnt over this past year, there is one that stands out and continues to teach me more as I move forward into 2015. One of the challenges I’ve faced in my life, as a result of being bullied a lot growing up, left me feeling like I needed to protect myself and guard myself from pain, hurt and discomfort. As a result, I pushed people away and also tried so hard to change others in the hope that I could avoid feeling any of the confronting situations I might find myself in. The universe or nature has a way of making sure everything is balanced and my life was no exception. I was scared to drop my guard and be vulnerable and allow myself to experience hurt. Unfortunately and fortunately, I experienced everything I was desperately seeking to run from.
The pain of doing whatever I could, to run from what I perceived could hurt me was enough for me to say to myself – “It’s enough Greg! You need to make some changes.” And that’s exactly what I did and am continuing to do. The more I opened up and allowed myself to be more vulnerable, the bigger the opportunities that started coming into my life. I met someone who I love, who constantly and continuously encourages me, challenges me and inspires me to grow into more of who I am. I stepped out of hiding within my own business to give people a chance to connect with me, work with me and see what I can do to be of service to them. I even took a giant leap in my career towards to securing my financial future as well as the future of my vision and mission within my business and I started the journey of speaking and teaching which is something I love doing more than anything.
I am still a work in progress and there is still more soul searching to do but I am grateful for what I’ve done this year and where I am today. Last year, the idea of this all happening for me was a foreign concept but I couldn’t let all of that stop me from what I know I’m meant to do with my life and that’s to help people transform their challenges into opportunities, open their hearts and minds, empower themselves to be bigger and greater than they ever thought possible and to be inspired from within to go and share their magnificence with as many people as possible.
I’ve learnt that being vulnerable doesn’t mean I’m weak or that I’m necessarily going to be hurt by other people. That’s what I used to think. What I now know is that being vulnerable takes courage and strength because it means I’m putting myself out there, letting people in and even inviting challenge, pain and conflict to be a part of how I live my life.
What does being vulnerable mean to you and why might you be stopping yourself from allowing yourself to play there?