Last week, I had the pleasure of attending an event hosted by ABOW (A Band of Women) in San Francisco. Christine Bronstein and Leila Radan arranged for me to do a book reading at the very famous Book Passage in Corte Madera.
Before I present at any event, I like to connect with the attendees and hear a few stories to give me a sense of the different personalities and expectations within the audience. As usual, this ABOW audience was full of interesting and brilliant women. Some are dedicated to their families, others to their business, and many are facing difficult hardships.
The message of The Women’s Code peels layers away one by one. When I am in front of a group, I first see a nod here and there in the audience. In a short while, I see many heads nodding in agreement or understanding. Then, spontaneous audible response or uncomfortable laughter comes from the crowd as I dive deeper into the core of my message.
But, it’s at the very end of an event when I get to realize the impact of The Women’s Code. During the book signing, I get to have one-on-one interaction with each woman as she steps up to my signing desk. I often see her tears because something she heard touched a part of her that needs more nurturing. As an example, I met a woman who is a business go-getter and at first, she seemed very confident. But then, with tears welling up in her eyes, she confided to me that, like me, she had made a bad judgment. She lent a lot of money to someone. She was subsequently betrayed and didn’t get her money back. After hearing my story of a former employee who betrayed me and ultimately cost me my business, this woman gave herself permission to feel just how deep her hurt was still sitting at her core. Another woman told me she is going through trial separation from her husband. When I was signing her book, tears streamed down her face and she was too emotional to even speak. She touched my heart without words. She was so vulnerable and completely overcome by dealing with an intense pain deep inside.
We each have roles that we play very well. It could be your business persona, or your excellent mothering skills that leaves others envious of your close relationship to your children. Or, you may be the person that everyone wants to hang out with because you know how to throw a great party. Conversely, we each have areas of our lives where we feel we are failures, and we suppress our pain because we are afraid of being considered weak.
I find the holiday season can often cause emotions to be more pronounced than usual. So, let’s take this time to connect with those parts of ourselves that need nurturing instead of trying to hide our vulnerabilities. When we try to hide what we are feeling from others, those betrayals and disappointments and our feelings of being alone can chip away at our confidence. You can read more of my advice on dealing with disappointments here.
I’d like to share with you something that is rather hard for me to admit. During the holidays, I recognize how lonely my journey has been. I miss the companionship and the love of a man, and I recognize that I want to find that closeness again. And when I reflect on the failed relationships I’ve been through and how those choices affected my life, I see my shortcomings. It feels painful. The mistakes and failures of our past, whether they are perceived or real, can affect our confidence and our ability to move forward and take another risk.
When I think about the women I met at the ABOW event, I realize our vulnerabilities are precisely what make a person irresistible. Your ability to allow the feelings of despair take over for a little while makes you special; it makes you real. I like you for your idiosyncrasies, not for your perfection. Perfection is boring.
I’d like to encourage you to allow the feelings that are inside you. Acknowledge those fears and hurts and accept that they are part of you now, and know that they will not be with you forever. Let’s not push our vulnerabilities further down inside. Instead, let’s gently push through them. Here you can read more about how your emotions affect all areas of your life, and find tips for living at peace with your feelings.
I assure you with confidence that you are going to be more than okay. You are going to be GREAT! From this (whatever this is for you), comes growth and something much, much better than what you had before.
Let me know how this message resonates with you. Sending you much love.