Seduction & Vulnerability
In the last post, "Remember Your Stories", I promised that I would share a very vulnerable story of my own with my newsletter subscribers.
I did so.
But in the process of writing it, the story felt too powerful not to pass along on a wider scale. There are some people who need to hear this. You might be one.
I'm really nervous about sharing this.
As I mentioned in that post (which you'll want to read first if you haven't had a chance yet), we like one another (and ourselves) to stay the same few labels. We feel uncertain and threatened when a different story emerges.
The story I'm about to share - a very important, yet forgotten story - contrasts with the stories I usually tell. The stories that I usually tell are ones that are safer, nurturing, family-friendly. Stories that reaffirm my labels as mom, wife, nice girl next door.
I am those things ... but I am also so much more.
My fear? That those who find this story below disagreeable or uninteresting or even appalling will stop listening to the other stories to which they connected before.
If you feel anxious by who I am, it will be difficult for you to continue to read stories about creative expression, or life's observations, or mindful awareness. In the back of your mind, I fear, will always be the story below - the story, (again, I fear) that you will find unacceptable.
And I fear that people will stop listening to me because of it.
I fear that I will be judged for this story. I fear that friends I have now will become more leery of hanging around, that online acquaintances will *tsk* and click "unfollow", that everything I've created until this point will now be colored (and again, judged) by this new information. (yeah, my fear gremlin is a chatty little bitch.)
But damn it, I'm alive. I have stories to share. I contain multitudes, as Walt Whitman poetically affirmed. Those stories will offend or turn away some, but hiding them is no longer an option.
I will not go to my deathbed with stories untold and un-lived.
Once Upon a Time ...
there was me, and college, and an entire world of possibilities in front of me. I studied Psychology and Sociology and Human Sexuality and boys and girls and the messy depths of social relationships.
I was completely unsure of myself but longing to play to find out.
During that play, I discovered something :
I was really good at being attractive (energetically), seductive, and flirtatious.
(That is SO hard to admit to myself, and even more so to publicly share. It sounds so egotistical! But / And it is a truth I'm struggling to speak.)
Have you ever watched the movies where someone discovers a power they have, but are completely unable to control it ... and end up causing chaos and destruction because of it?
I'm not sure how many others I hurt in the process of playing with this power, but I know that I nearly destroyed myself.
I was still of the mindset that I needed others to like me, and that I needed to do anything and everything possible to ensure that happened. Be kind, be funny, be self-deprecating, and if they want something, never, ever
I'll leave it to your imagination to ponder what the consequences were of a misunderstood and uncontrolled power of seduction and flirtation + a deep need to please and inability to say "no".
But those are not the stories I'm here to tell right now.
As the years passed, I began to associate being attractive (physically, energetically, and otherwise) with bringing drama and trauma. The highs were worth the lows ... until they weren't.
As luck would have it, I found a protective wall: marriage.
And then I found another protective wall: motherhood.
I became safely cocooned in my world where seduction, flirtation, and people-pleasing weren't things with which I needed to be concerned. I had an intimate group of people who loved me no matter what, and I, them in return.
For almost 2 decades, I could live free from the drama and pains that had accompanied me all throughout those younger years.
Bring out the swelling, orchestral music and roll the credits ... this could be the happy ending right there.
Except it isn't.
Because life stories don't end. They can be forgotten and fade, but they don't end.
And stories that still have lessons for us to learn have a way of oozing back into our lives and making their presence known. You FEEL it inside.
It is like a soft song that you can barely hear but can't quite figure out where it is coming from. The noise of everyday life can drown it out, but every now and then, when you can hear the music, you feel compelled to move closer and hear more.
This story has a lot more to tell me, and I'm just now willing to listen again.
First, let me say:
I share this only because I know I'm not alone.
I know there is someone else out there reading this who has this same story living inside (with a different plot, of course). A story (or 2 or 20), untold.
I share this so we all remember. I share to lead by example -
life doesn't end when you share your vulnerable stories. In fact, it may just begin again.
So what is the tale now? Where does our heroine find herself in the midst of her adventures?
Still married. Still with 2 children. And still holding, deep within her, a powerful seductive + flirtatious nature that she is longing to explore....and that is beginning to burn brighter and brighter within.
Those safer stories will still continue. I'm still a mom, wife, neighbor, friend, creative ... but I am also a siren, a seductress, a flirtatious playmate, a sensual connoisseur.
(God, even as I burn with excitement, I still tremble with fear asserting that.)
This means that more of my stories that I share - online, in person, through social media and BeingBreath - will be infused with this energy.
- I will be defining (and re-defining) "seduction" and "flirtation", using literature and research that has emerged over the past couple of decades and tales that are centuries old. I will do so to become more grounded in who I am, ...but also to ensure that others are clear on who I am as well.Such definitions are vital in ensuring that the drama and trauma that ensued so long ago will not occur again.
I am in control of my power this time around.
- I will be exploring how to reinvigorate daily life with the delicious powers of flirtation, sensuality, and seduction. I will be bringing you along for the journey - sharing the ups, downs, and wilderness of such ways of living.
- I will be sharing with you how all of these seemingly contradictory stories - my renewed super powers and motherhood, for example, co-exist in mundane life. What does it mean to go to Target with my kids, for example, and still feel sensual? (I don't know the answer yet, but I'll report back to you when I do.)
I am not going to stop sharing the stories that you are used to hearing from me. I'm just adding in some new ones.
- I will be sharing with you how I revitalize all of my stories to feel less shaken by the judgments of others, more confident in living in my own authenticity, how freaking terrifying it is, and / yet all of the beautiful consequences of doing so.
I share to give you encouragement and inspiration to do the same.
Whatever your stories may be, it is time to remember them. It is time to empower yourself to be you, fully, beautifully, you.
With love, shaking hands, and a burning heart,
p.s. If you have any reactions to this, I would love to hear them. Leave a comment below, or email me at Lisa@BeingBreath.com.