I have been taking an amazing writing course to spark my inner writer. We are approaching our last class next month and my heart feels heavy at the thought of leaving this group of brilliant writers. In the beginning, I was nervous and uncertain about how this was all going to unfold. I was hesitant. Part of this course included sharing your writings OUT LOUD. Yikes! Sharing my life stories and memoirs felt like I was putting myself out there and then realized, this is what it’s all about. Vulnerability.
Brene Brown speaks about the power of vulnerability and says “In our culture, we associate vulnerability with emotions we want to avoid such as fear, shame, and uncertainty. Yet we too often lose sight of the fact that vulnerability is also the birthplace of joy, belonging, creativity, authenticity, and love.”
When was the last time you allowed yourself to be seen and heard for who you truly are?
Rewind almost 30 years ago and a story comes to mind. I’m embarrassed by this story but it also reminds me of how powerful vulnerability is.
After leaving Taiwan at a very tender age of 12, I moved to Toronto. Puberty. No friends. New culture. Long winters. I was feeling completely out of place, an awful feeling. I started junior high school shortly after moving to Toronto and did I ever hate it. With a name like Dimple, you can only imagine the jokes and ridicules I was subjected to. I had no friends. Loneliness engulfed me and emptiness was all I felt. I clearly did not belong. My new life failed me.
Desperate times called for desperate measures. Standing outside of my music class one day I decided to bite the bullet and told myself that I was going try my hardest to make at least one friend. It took all of my courage to walk up to the one other girl who was standing by her lonesome and I said this to her: “Do you want to be friends”?
Looking back to that day outside my music class in grade 7, I’m surprised that I allowed myself to revert back to the inner 6 year old girl who was just looking for connection on the first day of grade school. I opened myself up despite the fear of rejection. Not having friends in school was a big deal. And in an instant, I created belonging for myself by allowing myself to be seen and heard.
The story does have a happy ending. To this day, that girl outside the music class and I are good friends. She always teases me about the story of how our friendship came to be but I know she wouldn’t have had it any other way. I received the gift of a lifelong friendship from one simple act of vulnerability.
Your turn. Test it out. Allow yourself to be vulnerable. Invite more of the good stuff into your life and let it all unfold. Share your life changing vulnerabilities in the comments below.
In the spirit of vulnerability, I am leaving you with a short poem I composed-it’s nothing fancy and I’m no Mary Oliver but it’s dedicated to my girlfriend who just completed her course of chemotherapy. It comes straight from my heart.
Isn’t it what all this is?
A relationship with a clear beginning
But no end
Pulling and tugging at the roots
Only to discover
The richness beneath is infinite
Growing stronger and spreading deeper
With each un-layering
Pour out your soul
In the end, nothing else matters
But the heartbeat of the thread
That binds us all
Are you seeking tools, support and inspiration to explore your vulnerabilities so that you can live a more purposeful and authentic life? Schedule an obligation-free call with me here and let’s get you on a path of living a life of engagement.