If you’re uncomfortable with truth, this post may not be for you.
If you’re uncomfortable with emotions, this post may not be for you.
If you’re here for a “Facebook worthy post” with a false sense of ‘yay my life is peaches and cream!” – this post is definitely not for you.
If you’re still here, I want to ask you:
What does ‘being vulnerable’ feel like for you?
I asked myself this question after witnessing a beautiful soul talk about her struggle with vulnerability. I’m referring to Brené Brown, author and researcher, and total kick-ass warrior against shame. After watching Brown bare her truth on stage, I couldn’t help but shed a few (okay, a lot of) tears and embrace her struggle as my own.
If you haven’t seen her TED talks or read any of her books, I’ll summarize for you. In her deeply insightful book, Daring Greatly, Brown writes:
“Vulnerability is not knowing victory or defeat, it’s understanding the necessity of both; it’s engaging. It’s being all in. We must dare to show up and let ourselves be seen. This is vulnerability. This is daring greatly.”
She often reiterates the point that courage starts with showing up and letting ourselves be seen.
Again and again she says,
Vulnerability is courage. The courage to be seen.
So let me ask again, what does being vulnerable feel like for you? Does it scare you? Do you associate it with weakness? Would you consider ‘being vulnerable’ courageous?
What happens when you allow yourself to be seen? When you let your guard down? When you say the truth of a situation and how it makes you feel? When you make a pitch to your boss? When you introduce a boyfriend to your family? When you have a tough conversation with a family member? When you share a lifelong dream with a friend? Do you immediately regret it? Do you crawl up in a ball and cry?
Tell me, what are your vulnerabilities?
I’ll start with a few of mine. Here are some painfully vulnerable moments from the past few years of my life that have stuck with me and to this day make me feel uncomfortable.
-Telling my partner that I’m unhappy
-Admitting that I need professional help
-Saying ‘I love you’ to a man who I know doesn’t love me in return
-Quitting school to have a baby at age 19
-Flying out of the country for the first time, alone
-Telling a loved one that her expectations of me are ruining our relationship
-Sending my book of poetry to a stranger
-Calling said stranger on the phone and admitting that I am completely terrified of watching this book come to life
-Hearing this stranger say that he’s all in — that he believes in me
-Having a dream so huge that it makes me cry when I talk about it
-Wearing a swim suit
-Explaining to my son why mommy is sad some days
-Talking about God
-Overdosing on prescription medication and waking up
-Talking to God about why she woke me up
-Beginning college for the second time and immediately panicking
-Sharing my story in a therapy group after being hospitalized for major depression
-Writing a book and wondering if the one person I desperately want to read it even will
-Letting go of one dream to pursue another
-Forgiving myself for So. Many. Things.
-Losing best friends after telling them I was pregnant
-Surrendering to Love
-Calling my grandma for the first time after my grandpa went to be with God
-Opening up to strangers and accepting them as soulmates (yes, I believe that many people nourish our souls!)
-Looking in the mirror and accepting that this is what I look like
That this is who I am.
Phew! I am going to have a vulnerability hangover after this post! But YOU GUYS!!! WE MUST START FACING OUR TRUTHS. WE MUST START SHOWING UP IN LIFE! I don’t know about you, but being vulnerable feels really awful at first, but there is good news. If we can just start to lean into that uncomfortable exposure, it is possible to enjoy a freer, healthier, more purposeful life. Living with intention allows us to embrace each precious moment that waits for us right here, right now.
I encourage you to think about your vulnerable self. What are your vulnerabilities? Can you name a few? Why not try writing them down and sharing them with a trusted loved one? What if you started the conversation today? If you find it too difficult to voice your vulnerabilities, think about what is preventing you from having the courage to be vulnerable and show up?
Before you begin exploring your vulnerabilities, please remember that you are enough. You are worthy of love and belonging. Do not let others, or yourself, tell you any differently. What you think about yourself may not be the truth. We all have our ‘shit’ that we’d rather not face. This doesn’t change the fact that You are enough. You are enough. You are enough.
Being vulnerable is not weakness. It is courage. It is courage.
It is courage.
Have the courage to face yourself in a naked, honest way.
Enter the arena that is your life. It may feel scary, it will be painful at times, and that’s okay.
Your soul thanks you.
Sending light and so much love to you all.
Let’s be courageous together.
I love you!
**Infinite thanks to Brené Brown for starting the conversation on vulnerability and shame. You can never know how many lives you are saving right now. You are a beautiful, brave warrior. You inspire us to enter the arena ever day of our lives.