Friday, 12 February 2010

The lion's strength lies in its vulnerability

Do you find that you have patterns of behaviour that repeat themselves over and over until you are sick of them, they are so familiar? Every time you think that you have got to grips with a particular pattern something happens and before you know it you are back in the same old trap? I am imagining you nodding your head. If you talk about it do you find that people become all censorious about it or perhaps overly understanding? Neither help because in the end we have to make peace with ourselves, accept ourselves for who we are. Or if we cannot, then it is time to go down the path of change which can be tough and rewarding all at the same time.

We are always at choice. When something happens, we can either respond to it or ignore it. What we decide to do to some extent depends on our values and what is important to us. At school I was not popular and one of the main reasons for this was because I always supported the underdogs, those that were bullied or picked on because one of my core values is social justice and equality. This has stayed with me so that often at great cost to myself, I find that I am speaking out about injustices that I notice.

This goes counter to another tendency that we all have to some extent and that is the desire to belong, to be part of something bigger than ourselves. This is so important to some people's identities that they will defend and protect it to the point where they will turn on the person who has brought into question some of their practices rather than remain curious to new ideas, and by so doing grow and learn. Change can be painful and not everyone is ready to embrace it.

One of my favourite patterns when I feel vulnerable and raw is to withdraw so that no one can see my pain and then when I am strong again, I bound back and rejoin the throng. I have decided to challenge that way of being this time and share my observations and pain whilst it is still very real so do remember that when you read this post and if you decide to comment.


  1. Good on you Kate! It's always hard to break out of our patterns, particularly the ones that protect us, but my feeling is that every time we step outside of our comfort zone and make ourselves vulnerable, the universe sends us what we need and helps us to become stronger. Keep on eating thiose frogs, regardless of what time of day it is :-)

  2. Thanks Cathy. I love the idea of eating frogs at the start of the day and then there is nothing worse that can befall you. What a marvellous idea. I wonder who thought that up..?

  3. Good for you Kate. I have a tendency to withdraw when I'm down. Next time I may be more open about it. Sending (((HUGS))) x

  4. Thanks Sandy really appreciate the supportive message and for the hugs I needed those. Did you know we need 12 hugs a day to be living in flow?

    The funny thing is that when it's really bad, it often feels to me that everybody is on the other side of the fence taking the opposite point of view to mine. This time I realised that actually lots of people have no clue what it is I'm talking about and others who do know, are taking a range of positions on the matter or are not bothered either way. Then another day with its particular challenges and fun moments comes along and one's perspective changes again.

  5. I do exactly the same thing, withdraw and retreat when I am struggling. It doesn't do me any favours either. I batter with that instinct too and although I haven't found a way of conquering it on the 'outside', being honest about my feelings on my blog help me to challenge that reflex to hide and bury feelings deep.

    Good for you Kate. And I hope you feel better soon x

  6. Thanks Josie. I have found that talking about it helps and rather than responding in kind and going on the defensive, I just try to remain open and willing to explain my thought processes/ intention. I wanted to say I read your 11 Feb post but I think the previous post and comments had been removed. Thought you were very brave. I received some nasty anon comments on my last blog over a period of weeks and it had such an impact on me that In deleted the whole blog.

  7. So glad to read that we need 12 hugs a day (minimum) to live in the flow ... must be why I LOVE hugging people (and getting them back, of course!).

    Awwww Kate, thank you so much for opening your heart with your readers - I, too, tend to withdraw when hurt but accept that sometimes its better to keep going and grow through the pain. I am so sorry to hear that you had to delete your whole blog because of a few spiteful comments and trust that your weekend away as a family did you the world of good *hugs*

    Thank you also for reminding me that sometimes you need to step off the path to break those boundaries ... I'd better go bouncing off a few paths (or mogul-ing - loved watching that in the Winter Olympics yesterday!!!) and shake myself up ready for a super-whizzy Spring 2010,

    Much love to you, as always x x

  8. Closing the blog was a year ago and it was because I never knew when the next comment was going to come and began to live in fear of logging on to my email account. So yes you can be stalked in cyberspace.

    Love the idea of mogulling Callie though I usually avoid mogul runs when skiing! Can't wait to write my next post but will have to wait until tonight as need to catch a few peeps in the office first.

    Keep up with the giving and receiving of hugs you special lady,


  9. Another thought provoking post, Kate. I too withdraw when I feel hurt, or misunderstood, or unhappy. I wonder if it's an instinctive thing? I am constantly challenging myself to change patterns of behaviour, and it's something I'm working on. But I'm a work in progress, so it doesn't always happen!

  10. Wow you were up late my lovely or should I say MarathonMum. I don't know if it is instinctive but I know that when A and I row and I give as good as it gets then it only makes things worse so that's one reason. More recently when I am observing others reactions to me, I guess I realise that what can seem like an attack and unpleasant to me, is just defensive behaviour on their part perhaps because they feel hurt by what I have said. Slinging mud back at them won't help so withdrawing until I am calm enough to respond more objectively seems to work better. Thanks for your comments especially the compliment. K xx