This month, my intention was set toward sobriety. I was able to reset, gain awareness and accomplish a sense of empowerment that I never could have imagined. I do feel amazing, but I want to continue the year with the intention of moderate, mindful drinking. This experiment allowed me to dabble in a place of vulnerability that Had always scared me. Being that open has always been a sign of weakness, risk, or uncertainty for me. Allowing others to see what I consider my short-comings is scary and it makes me feel powerless. This month I realized by allowing myself to be vulnerable- I am also allowing myself to be courageous, empowered and STRONG.
I invite you to show a little vulnerability in these last few days in February. I challenge you to take a risk and show others how strong you are.
Start by Asking yourself this question “Vulnerability is _______”.
When I ask myself this question, I answer it many different ways…
- singing karaoke
- running a half
- saying goodbye to loved ones
- racing in a triathlon
- standing in front of a faculty of 60 teachers and presenting professional development
- apologizing for making a mistake
- admitting I was wrong
- confessing that I have an anxiety disorder
- becoming a vegan
- admitting that food was the enemy
- asking for forgiveness
- talking to a stranger
- letting someone get to know you
- falling in love
When I look at my list of ‘vulnerability’, I don’t see weakness. I see courage,
I see a risk taker
and I see strength .
I see a list of accomplishments.
If this weren’t my list, I would admire this person for their bravery.
Now, ask yourself “How does vulnerability make you feel?”
- like butterflies
- like a rollercoaster
- I can’t breathe
- sweaty palms, shaking cheeks, jaw clenched
- jumping off the high dive
- all in
- where fear and courage meet
Every one of these emotions is what truly makes me run and hide from vulnerability. and brings all the emotions of anxiety OUT in the open. But when I am witnessing true vulnerability from someone else, I am in awe. When I watch students perform, present information, or overcome obstacles I am brought to tears because it is in their bravery that they were able to accomplish something so awesome. When I watch my 2 boys jump into the pool, run on the soccer field or go in for a touch down, I am overcome with emotions. Their courage allowed themselves to achieve greatness.
Finally, ask yourself “What is worth doing even if you FAIL?”
- alcohol experiment
- I wasn’t completely successful, but the coping skills I have learned have been completely worth it
- running and training for a half marathon
- My hips hurt, my knees hurt, my arches hurt, BUT crossing that finish line was so worth it
- My job
- Every single day I am vulnerable, but every single day I know what I am doing is important
- Being a mom
- My two boys don’t have a perfect mom, but my world is so amazing because of them
- Being a wife/partner
- We don’t always get it right, but I get to do life with my best friend.
I don’t completely look forward to my vulnerabilities that are in my future, but I will embrace them as a sign of my strength and not my weakness. I look forward to the challenges, the risks and the uncertainties that they will bring. I am grateful for the tools I have learned already this year.
Embrace your vulnerabilities, see them as your strength.
(This reflection was sparked from Rene Brown’s book, Daring Greatly)