Vulnerability is hard. But it is the necessary thing if a meaningful life is the goal. To be honest about what feeds you and what saves you is not always pleasant--it's hard for me to admit sometimes that what I really want is to write and use words. That what gives me really happiness is struggling with language and trying to create something with beauty and meaning--that what really gives me happiness is intimacy and communion with people who do similar work with language and form and substance, with art, because those are the relationships that speak to the heart and the soul. That I struggle sometimes with the how of connection, that while in my heart I know this is true for everyone, I sometimes let frustration get the better of me when my needs of "lighting up the brain" aren't met. That I need to set boundaries AND practice meeting everyone where they are because we're all in it together. Because to go all in on that means to admit the possibility of temporary failures. But to deny who we really are and what we really need and are fed by means feeding little hungry interior monsters with the emotional/intellectual equivalent of sadness doritos and canned poverty chef boyardee instead of the balm of gilead.
What we want are roses and poems and love and food from the garden (transformed earth and rain and sunshine): what literally and figuratively feed us.
I'm practicing wholeheartedly and consistently going all in. Always practicing.