100 posts… A reflection on vulnerability and courage
My last post was my 100th post on this blog. When I saw the little notification in my wordpress app informing me that I’d written 100 posts, I started to think about the past 3 1/2 years of my life since creating From the Latin Coeur. Publishing on my blog feels so normal to me now; it’s really become part of who I am. I’m constantly pushing myself to be more vulnerable, more empathetic, more of an advocate.
In January 2016 I was terrified to publish my first posts. Opening myself up and exposing my mental illnesses was new and scary. Starting this blog was an act of faith in a concept that was brand new to me. This project was born out of the desperation of a traumatized and mentally ill new mom who watched her old self fade and needed to find who she was now.
“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.” –The Courage to be Vulnerable, my first ever post on From the Latin Coeur
I did not know at the time that my reflection on the past lended insight into the future. I have found so much more support by being vulnerable. I’ve connected more with other humans than ever before in my life. Being vulnerable has never let me down. Sure it’s hard, and sometimes it doesn’t go as planned. But even if no one cares to listen, being vulnerable is always a release. I could be vulnerable with a black hole and it would do me more good than all the fake pleasantries in the world.
And the truth is, even when it’s hard and it hurts, I love being vulnerable.
Redefining courage has not only changed how I view myself, but it also has changed how I interact with others. Whenever someone is vulnerable with me, I commend them on their courage. I find my respect for those who share their hearts has grown. I do not do this consciously, rather it has come as I changed my values. When I began to value vulnerability and the true meaning of courage, it was like a dark glass was lifted from my view and I could see everyone around me clearly. I saw people who struggle, who love and lose, who feel joy so exquisitely they simply must shout it from the rooftops. I see people who are desperately lonely, who have lost themselves as I once did. I see people who want to do and say the right thing, but don’t know what that is. I see people just trying to figure out how to be human. And I care about them. I care about every single person who I take the time to understand. And I want to be in the trenches with them, just so they know they’re not alone.
Caring for people is a beautiful thing that has changed my heart. And that is a gift vulnerability has given me.
I’m not perfect of course. I still put my guard up. I still pass unfair judgements on others. Sometimes I hide behind that dark glass thinking if I can’t see their vulnerability and they can’t see mine, it must not exist. But it does exist. And I am constantly fighting to bring myself out again and be courageous.
So here’s to the 100 posts that got me here, and here’s to the next 100 that will take me even further.