I'm smack in the middle of the incredible, life-affirming program, Exceptional Woman, and as I teach these precious women, I am a student as well... as always in life. Everything and everyone are our teachers - if we use all engagements, no matter how difficult they may feel, as opportunities from which to learn. Aren't "teachers" there to help and support us? Then if we saw all people and situations as teachers for us, it would overlap, even transcend any judgments or discomforts we might ordinarily experience. I love that. You are my teacher. Thank you.
One amazing subject (of MANY) we explored in the Exceptional Woman Program was the question of vulnerability ... are we ever emotionally vulnerable. I realize that this can be a very volatile subject; but emotional vulnerability essentially means that we can be hurt by others' words. Certainly, we have been taught to feel hurt when someone says something we consider mean or negative. ["You're so unloving." "You're a bad mother." "You're overweight."] And we're even told that we're insensitive and uncaring if we don't feel hurt under certain, prescribed circumstances. Why is it then that you can say the exact same thing to two people and each one will feel completely different about the comment? As we looked at the women's answers to the question: What's the worst thing someone could say about you? each had their own places of "hurt" in themselves. What became clear was that each judged themselves for different reasons and had built up sensitivities in those areas for all kinds of reasons ... having nothing to do with what the other person was calling them. It had all to do with what each believed (judged) about herself.
Why that matters is because if we hold in ourselves the key to the door of self-love and self-acceptance, believing only wonderful things about ourselves (which doesn't mean we're not wanting to hear and learn more about ourselves), and we create an expansive openness to wanting to know more about ourselves, ready to unearth those heretofore places we've kept hidden, we can't lose... and we won't be vulnerable. Others will only be the sweet voice of opinion. We'll be free! Who wouldn't want that?!
Go! Open yourselves! Be free!