“Out of your vulnerabilities will come your strength.”
Sigmund Freud

When you’re large you really don’t want to expose much of your skin. I mean…who wants to see that?  Even by losing 65 pounds, I’m still a large woman with a large woman mindset. I have been trying to wear different clothes that are more clingy, less fabric, and more exposed. I gotta tell ya – it doesn’t feel great. Nor does it feel “normal.” At least for me.

It’s hot outside this week. I had a meeting with my friend/client and knew we were going to be working all day. I put on a sleeveless sundress over a sports bra and took a deep breath. You know how much I hate the loose skin on my arms. I don’t care how often I say they are wings, they don’t help me fly to high. But, I’m pushing myself in to new things. Exploring my vulnerability.

I walked up the stairs and started to get ready to leave. I was determined to feel good in my skin and in this dress. I was doing well until my mother, God love her, asked if I was going to put on a jacket. “Aren’t you cold?” she asked in her passive/aggressive loving way.

It’s going to be in the 90’s today. So, no. I’m not cold.

“You may want to put something on,” she continued with clearer meaning, “that doesn’t really look nice.”

Gee thanks mom.

No, I’m fine. I left.

And, the entire drive to my friend’s house my mom’s voice was in my head. I’m 57 years old, damnit, she shouldn’t be living in my head anymore.

Of course, I’m already vulnerable. Her saying something before I left the house didn’t help.

I kept thinking how exposed I was as I stopped at lights along the way. What are people looking at when they glance in my direction? Oh my, did I feel naked!

The voice in my head got so bad I buckled. I stopped at Target to buy a white t-shirt to go under the dress. I know. Silly.

For as much confidence as I have started to claim, it got shaken with just one comment. Stupid! I continued to argue with myself as I purchased the shirt and got to the car. I’m never going to feel comfortable in my skin if I allow others to tell me how to feel comfortable in my skin.

This after I had an evening in a beautiful new clingy dress at a fundraiser over the weekend and receiving so many compliments of how good I looked. Why was this day any different?

I have to stop listening to the large woman in my head (or the mother commenting when I leave the house) and stepping in to a smaller woman shown on the outside. I’m no longer a size 28. I’m no longer an XXL. I do have some loose skin – alright, a bit more than “some,” but I’m not looking so bad. I have to celebrate what I have achieved so far.

Vulnerability is so hard to walk in to. Vulnerability exposes you – more than just your arms and legs in a sundress. However, if I don’t allow myself to feel vulnerable, truth and courage will never come to fruition. It’s uncomfortable. It’s messy. It’s not fun. But necessary.

I left the shirt in the bag and will be returning it on the way home.

Vulnerability is strength.

I will be strong.

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