Musings: I Want to Be an Emotional Role Model

I’m sure you have never put ’emotional’ before ‘role model’ before.

If you have, then I’d say count yourself as one of the aware ones. When it comes to talking about emotions and vulnerability, I still feel like I have to preface this topic for those who stop by here to read my musings. I need you to know, if you think (re: judge) that talking about this stuff is a little weird, cooky, odd, or over the top [insert any adjective you’d like here] I get it, but I also know that I didn’t grow or learn by NOT talking about this stuff. I’ve learned SO MUCH by taking the time to talk about these things and really develop my skill at addressing and confronting my emotions and truly being vulnerable.

If this stuff is too mushy (or whatever), then I totally get just closing this window right now. If you read along, thank you.

By now, you know I have no issue with talking about most things on the blog or in real life. I openly talk about going to therapy and probably share her techniques with friends more than they are ready to hear or apply to themselves. It is within those hour-long sessions that some of the most personally profound revelations have come about. Things that no friend, family, partner, or co-worker has ever brought out in me. Thank goodness people are professionally taught how to do this and help people, such as myself, find and become the best versions of themselves.

That all being said, sometimes there are hard moments during our sessions. Screw that! There are always hard moments in each session. Like the time she flat out told me, “If it’s as easy as pushing a button to block someone, then do it. You aren’t giving them power, you are giving yourself the power.” And other times I hear things I don’t like or want to agree with, even if they do make perfect sense. Like the time she told me, “I get that you like to blog and are okay with being open about things, but it seems like right now that isn’t the best for you.” And then there are times where she asks me questions where, even after a few minutes of thinking, I don’t have an answer. A couple sessions ago she asked me the most profound question that stuck with me, “Do you have a woman in your life who is your emotional role model?”

I’ve been on a very awesome path lately, but this question solidified how and who I want to be, from here on out. There isn’t someone within my family or group of friends whom I could reference. Please don’t get me wrong, plenty in this grouping are strong, intelligent, and brave women. But, when I think of an emotional role model, none of them embody what I image this role to be. Plenty of these women have been vulnerable to me at different times, but none that I look too or emulate because of their vulnerability and emotional way of living. I appreciate the special moments when I have heart-to-hearts with friends and family, but living a vulnerable life isn’t something that is widely accepted or practiced. The one woman who I immediately thought of, is Brené Brown. Maybe because she is a famous author, but the way she story-tells how she embodies and practices vulnerability is clear and seems achievable.

I have been practicing the art of vulnerability and it is hard. Really hard. I’ve noticed it makes people feel uncomfortable. It makes me uncomfortable. I’ve also, unsuccessfully tried to encourage friends to think about things in a more vulnerable way. I am not forcing anything upon anyone, but I do try to provide a different perspective on how to think about things. Again, it makes it a little awkward at times. Or I just let it go after a while because they either don’t get what I’m saying or don’t want to take on a different perspective. Which is okay too. I just want to share all this knowledge that I’m learning, because it is powerful, but more importantly, so helpful.

I want to be an emotional role model.

I have a lot of work to do so, but I want my Lovebugs to see it in me. I want my family to see it in me. I want my friends to see it in me. I want people to know that I will always be vulnerable to them, no matter how hard or uncomfortable it makes anyone feel. I have always craved authenticity and I think the only way to truly offer that is if I embrace my vulnerability. I may get hurt, upset, or mad — but I’d rather feel those emotions than feel like I didn’t try or I missed an opportunity to try. Learning to fall into your emotions is hard. Learning to admit your truest, most raw emotions is hard. Learning how to understand your emotions is hard. All of it is hard. But at the root of this process, is you. The you that you will see clearly and live more freely if you stay true to that version.

I feel kinda soap-boxy writing this, which is the farthest thing from what I want to be. But if I could tell each and everyone I love how amazing it is to really embrace each and ugly emotion and peel back the layers of your hidden vulnerability. I would. I wouldn’t say it was going to be easy. But I would say the reward is a happier life.

I am living it. The fact that I am owning up to everything I was ever feeling and processing it, is showing. I can’t tell you the number of convos I’ve had recently, where people (close to me and acquaintances) have randomly pointed out how different AND happier I seem to be. Some have even gone as far as saying I look lighter, not by means of weight, but by means of how I carry myself and the aurora I must be giving off. I love hearing this. It also makes me wonder how I was walking around before. I don’t want to be like that. I won’t be like it. But it is the perfect reminder of what I allowed in my life and how I was not honoring myself, my vulnerability. I would have never learned my lesson if I didn’t go through what I went through. By no means will I be perfect in this way of living. But I’m hoping to cultivate a lifestyle where through the uncomfortable and hard moments, I come out stronger, smarter, and wholly authentic. I know I will falter. I accept that. I cannot beat myself up when I do. Again, just another of life’s lessons that I will use to be the emotional role model I so want to be. I want people to know that when I speak to them, I’m speaking my vulnerability to them without hesitation.

As I was editing this post, I came across this article on FB. On the rare occasion a good article is shared, I feel empowered to share it with you. This is about how a daughter was taught to freely embrace and trust her boundaries in life. I hope you make the connection between this article and being an emotional role model. I think this mother was spot on and I admired how she chose to raise her child. This isn’t about gender at all, I think all parents should be this aware of and for their children. I know my parents relayed this message to me, but I also know I never took them up on their offer. This mother is an emotional role model. I admire her and am taking notes.

I don’t find excellence in being the best, but in DOING my best.

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