I am a strong, powerful, willful woman who has been called a “force of nature” by many. And today, if I was to a be a vase, packed into a box for shipping – I would need extra bubble wrap around me today. My skin actually hurts.
I would need the card board box to be firm and hard. I wouldn’t suggest putting me in an airplane. I would require a delivery man. I am feeling that fragile.
It’s the kind of fragile that can make mistakes. I’m the kind of fragile that can make me feel like I won’t be delivered safely. That somehow, I will fall like the vase to the ground and shatter. And it’s so much work to put me back together again. All of that awful stinky sticky glue.
It’s hard to look at someone who leads, and see their fragility. We want to believe that our teachers and leaders never cry or feel lost or fuck up. But somehow, I think that the best of us do. We might even question why we are leading. Or our life’ purpose!
Do you ever feel this way? Do you ever speak it?
I have been talking a lot the past few weeks about women, and how we love and support each other – and how we don’t.
So many of my friends are deeply involved in women’s circles, or various other female dynamics in complicated relationships.
And it seems that we are all shaking on some level. Is it the stars?
The sins we commit against each other as women is lack of support. A competitiveness that seems to have an underbelly hidden through soft words.
A lack of seeing each other with gentle eyes. We hurt. We hurt each other. We hide. We project. We become mute or duplicitous, and we fester like boiling water until one day we erupt like a geyser. Do we forget we unravel in grief?
So many of us hold deep trauma in our lives. For me, this is different than the drama some of us layer on top of our lives as a distraction from perhaps what is real trauma – or dare I say it – boredom.
Do you reach out to your friends, and ask for extra love and support when you are hurting this way? Or do you hope that they just notice and get it, and call you?
Or if you are feeling strong, do you make yourself available to your friends to wrap them up in bubble wrap when their skin hurts and their heart beats funny? Do you just offer soft kisses on the forehead?
Does letting yourself be seen in your trembling state feel too needy to you? Some of us just wait and hope that our need will be seen – and support will just show up. Some of us create anger, because any kind of attention to our pain even negative attention can fill us up in some way or another.
And some of us, walk around the house looking for bubble wrap and retreat for a few days.
Sometimes, it can be as simple as needing rest.
Loving you from here, and please send a little bubble wrap my way!
Pamela Madsen, Author of Shameless, Sexuality & Fertility Coach, Integrative Life Coach Specializing in Women’s Issues
At 43 years old, Pamela Madsen was happily married to the man she fell in love with at 17. She was the mother of two sons and had a successful career as a nationally known advocate for fertility issues. But she felt a growing sexual restlessness and yearning that wouldn’t let up. And though Pamela loved her husband and didn’t want to have an affair, she knew deep down that she needed more, much more. In Shameless, she tells the story of how she found it—and not only kept her marriage intact but made it stronger than ever.
In this fearless memoir, Pamela tells the story of her search for sexual, personal, and spiritual wholeness. She explores, in riveting detail, what she experienced at the hands of sexual healers, men who brought her untold pleasure (and became her close friends in the process).
But this is not just another sex book: Shameless is also an account of how Pamela’s journey healed her issues with food and body image and most important, helped her weave the many roles that she played—daughter, friend, partner, mother—into one fully integrated person. It is a story about a woman falling in love with herself and a call to other women to do the same.
Vulnerability picture by Seth Barns