Vulnerability is something I hate, something I'm not good at, + a skill I've never gotten quite right.
They say there is strength to be found in weakness, but trust is hard + taking risks is super tough for me. I’m reading Rising Strong + it’s helping me navigate some sticky stuff in my heart. The times that we let our walls down + end up disappointed all lay bricks in walls around our hearts. So we fight it. And it's my natural reflex. I fight being vulnerable. I fight my feelings. I fight being truly seen. I'd rather play it safe on the sidelines than get into the arena + risk disappointment.
It could be a job, a relationship, an opportunity, an idea... anything. Sometimes I eventually convince myself it’s worth the risk. I convince myself that I've done enough preparation for an interview, or I know a person well enough to trust them, or I'm going to be great at some new endeavor.
"Maybe I can be a great fit at that company."
"Maybe I can believe his words and trust those promises."
"Maybe I should try that hobby."
Maybe I should tiptoe out from this comfort zone I've built.
Have you been there? Taking the steps from the sidelines of life + into the arena? Sometimes the chances we take end up beautiful. We nail that interview. We fall in love. We build an amazing business. We fly the heights.
Sometimes they end up broken. We don't get the job. We get hurt. We learn the hard way. We crash + burn + lay another brick in the walls around our hearts, telling ourselves "I told you so."
This topic, this reality, + this truth is tough. We risk failure + heartbreak + disappointment every time we put ourselves out there. It's intimidating + scary-- especially if you face this truth in the same area repeatedly.
In her book, Brene Brown says: “what are the consequences of taking off the armor?" Well there are quite a few. When I’m complacent + in my comfort zone... I don’t risk losing control. I don’t risk being disappointed. I can protect myself. I can take care of myself. I know I've always got my back.
But where does that lead? What joy does that have potential to bring? What do I risk missing out on? Is that really a wholehearted life-- watching from the sidelines, playing it safe? What do I learn about grace and risks and life and love and myself? Where do I go from there?
I have failed before. I have broken before. I have been lost + confused before. I've been all of the above in 2019 already. But every time I have put myself back together. And when I do I put the pieces back better than before.
I'm learning to lean into vulnerability + not away from it. I don't want to maintain this mindset that I always have to win to make the chance worth taking. We can choose courage or we can choose comfort—never both. I want to be in the arena.
So when you apply + get rejected. "What can I improve? What is this directing me to next?"
When you give your heart in confidence + get hurt. "What did I learn? How can I use this to better myself?
When you try something new + it doesn't work? "What can I do differently? Is there a new approach I need to take?"
YES- sometimes it ends messy. We fail, plans go wrong, others hurt us, we hurt others, it’s all a mess— but the messy is ALWAYS meaningful IF WE CHOOSE IT. Being vulnerable is a beautiful thing, y'all. Failing births an opportunity for learning. Regret teaches us our patterns need changing. Hurting + shame lay the ground for healing + grace. Be proud of your vulnerability, lean into this season, be brave with this battle, step out from the sidelines.
"We craft love from heartbreak, compassion from shame, grace from disappointment, courage from failure." This is LIFE. You will fall... but get up + try again.