Vulnerability and Soothing Blend

May 11, 2019-

I just finished watching a TED Talk on “Shame”. This came about four hours after someone, with whom I was working as a volunteer, mildly upbraided me for not working at a paying job.  (This person is not working at a paying job, either.)

I am ever willing to stand outside and be vulnerable to criticism, knowing that a) I can’t live with myself, if I am not open and b) The critic is usually seeing, in  me, those things he or she dislikes about self.   That doesn’t mean the criticism never stings- and there are two people who I have banned from my life, in perpetuity, for barrages of that I consider unwarranted attacks. It does mean that those whom I trust, and who do not have hidden agendas, are to speak freely.

The presenter of the above-mentioned video spoke of shame as nearly always a prime impediment to a person being the true self.  Shame is imposed from within, though not always sans influence or instigation from someone else.  When I was younger, it was fairly easy, even for well-meaning people, to wreck my self-confidence and set in motion even false shame.

Since the days when my late wife was in my primary care, I have learned that there are unscrupulous people who will take to questioning even the most basic decisions a person can make- usually with a view towards financial benefit or other forms of power and control over the person they are questioning.  I have learned that there are those who will attack someone who is defending victims of crimes, almost always as a means of gaslighting or obfuscation.  Both of the people I mentioned above are gaslighters, and they came close to doing a good job of making me feel shamed.

There was just one difference, from the days of my youth:  Time, and hard lessons, have taught me the difference between acknowledging wrongdoing and buying into the script of a narcissist or tyrant.   So now, in an intervening period between jobs, I am not ashamed of not presently earning an income, outside of what I have already set aside for myself.  That situation will change- on my terms, not those of the retired critic.

I am not afraid to be vulnerable, or to experience life’s aches and pains.  The physical variety of these is relieved by what is called Soothing Blend (an oil-based ointment).  The spiritual variety is relieved by prayer, meditation and positive action.

4 thoughts on “Vulnerability and Soothing Blend

  1. It’s called “projecting,” and I’ve found it annoying. I’ve isolated myself away from pleasing people. Unfortunately for me, I have a friendly personality, and I’m naturally polite. I attract the lonely and desperate like flies. And they make my life Hell. Middle class, college-aged males are my kryptonite. They always have to but in and demand to be seen as authorities. I often held male jobs where they just tried to marry/impregnate the females out of the way. You just have to know what you attract, what kind of people they area and you can go from there. We can only control ourselves. Some people are toxic to us and are fine to everyone else.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Then, there are those who are toxic to everyone. Yes, I agree with you, totally, about the arrogance of those with just a little bit of knowledge. A Baccalaureate and $ 5 will get anyone a cup of joe at Starbucks.


  2. Being self aware is a “vaccination” to protect you from the critics with agendas. Glad to know you are getting out and volunteering – work (paid or not) is good for the body and soul.

    Liked by 1 person

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