Someone said this to me yesterday and I immediately related. They were describing how it feels when you put yourself out there and then begin to review everything you said, did, could have done differently, better. You share from an authentic place and then feel so open and vulnerable. Doing this often creates a kind of almost backlash. Resulting in a feeling of too much feeling which leaves one depleted and sagging.
However, as I thought about this all day yesterday I realized that the hangover part was not from being vulnerable...it was from being self obsessed. Let me explain.
When I share something with someone, some deep, intimate part of myself, I believe that is the work of the Divine in me. Something God created is being shared with another person on this planet who is also similarly God created. Two souls communing. How could that ever lead to a hangover? Seems like whatever Divinity there might exist in this world would want us to share and really only share on this level and that would never cause the backlash of a hangover feeling.
So as this unwound in my head all day, I realized that perhaps where the hangover part comes from is the ego’s immediate need to cover over the soft spot that is just shared. I share something intimate and honest about myself and then my ego feels bare, exposed and so immediately causes the self involved talk to begin. Analyzing, discriminating and dissecting everything I just shared as well as my perception about how what I shared was received by whatever audience it landed upon.
This seems like the kind of behavior that results in a hangover. Not the true communion of one soulful being to another.
So I began to think about the vulnerability hangover as more of a egoic hangover. My ego rushing in to save me from ever really touching or being touched by another person. Facade building to the extremes to protect this fragile identity of self I have worked so hard to create.
Everything I have ever read or studied about spiritual growth requires that I deal with my ego. I have to get around it if I am ever to really experience any kind of spiritual principles operating in my life. My ego will always block the work because living by spiritual principles is violative of everything the ego wants: to save face at all costs.
Vulnerability could only cause a hangover if my ego is throwing me under the bus and causing me to share and get real with people who are really not all that interested in knowing who I am. I mean we have all done it right? Shared on a deep level with someone who is not really on that level and has no intention of getting to that level. Our intimate share is not well received because we have just allowed our egos to throw us out there into an arena that is not supportive of true intimacy so it falls flat and we conclude that our being intimate was the problem when it was really more our choice of audience that was at issue.
I am still banging this idea around so I am going to stop here with the simple idea that vulnerability can never really leave one with a feeling of being hung over...because when we are truly vulnerable, it doesn’t matter who the audience is. It is just us being who we were intended to be...and sharing that with another person walking around on some level trying to do the same...and that can only lead to true communion of souls.
However, when I share “intimate” things because I want to manipulate you, control you, change your mind about something (all ego behavior)...that will always lead me to a feeling of depletion and anxiety resulting in a feeling of overwhelm and being hungover.
It has taken a really long time to understand that true vulnerability is only about what I share and how authentically I do it. Once it leaves me, it is out there for whomever to perceive and if was truly intimate, nothing anyone else says or does can change the essence of what and who I am.