The courage to be vulnerable

I used to be one of those judgmental people –ok, well maybe I still am sometimes, but I’m working on it. However, I used to be particularly judgmental towards those who were vocal about their emotional struggles. I always thought people who posted on Facebook about their anxiety, depression, or other emotional difficulties were just looking for attention. And yet, physical issues were totally ok to me, because other people’s struggles make others feel not alone, and their accomplishments give others motivation. What I didn’t realize was the same unity and connection can be found in the sharing of emotional vulnerability.

For some reason I projected my own insecurities on those around me. I thought since I would be too embarrassed to share my stories, others had to be as well; otherwise their struggles obviously weren’t as bad as mine and all they sought was a great big pity party. It kinda bites that I wasted all those years judging instead of reaching out. I could’ve had a support system very early on, but instead I decided that any choices different from mine were wrong.

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I know it’s 20 minutes, but WATCH IT. It’s soooo good. And it changed my life. My dad showed me this video, and I realized I was one of those people who created shame out of vulnerability. Not just my own shame, but the shaming of others too. I never openly shamed anyone, but I felt shame for those who chose to be vulnerable. After experiencing Brene Brown’s talk, I realized we all are vulnerable. The question is, do we embrace the vulnerability, or do we fight it and ultimately lose, just as Brown did, and just as I did. I learned choosing vulnerabilty instead of being forced into it could create joy instead of shame.

Courage is to share the whole story of your heart. Courage is vulnerability.

I have a lot of stories to share, and it’s time to share them. I saw this video years ago, and ever since then I have practiced vulnerability with those close to me. Now I am ready to be courageous.

Friends and family who choose to be vulnerable, I no longer judge you, I emulate you! You had something figured out that few people realize. Being courageously vulnerable is the key to belonging, to connection, to overcoming, to joy. And sharing your stories can uplift and encourage others. Not everyone has to share their life on social media to be vulnerable. Some are content with being vulnerable with those they are close to –family and friends. But as I have practiced quiet vulnerability, I have discovered a desire to be a voice of courage to more than my close circle of loved ones. Just as Brown did, I want to spread the message of vulnerability and courage, and the best way I know how is by example.

And that is what this blog is all about.

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