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May 06, 2013
In my conversations and writing recently, I have felt a strong push to be vulnerable.
This nudge or rather knowing of what I needed to do was further highlighted when I had the privilege to hear Dr. Brene Brown speak at the Catalyst conference recently.
She is a researcher who studies vulnerability and how our ability to be vulnerable, or lack there of, greatly affects our life.
You might be thinking, “Well, Cleere, isn’t that just an automatic thing everyone must do when we are talking with another person? We are being vulnerable then, right?”.
Or maybe you really know me, and you are thinking, “But you cry like twice a day over sweet commercials or when someone wins a knockout round on “The Voice”…you have NO issue being vulnerable!”
And to that I would say: Emotionally responding to someone else’s situation or circumstances is not where I lack vulnerability, but rather I struggle with letting other people completely in.
Dr. Brown said something utterly profound that really got me thinking: “Vulnerability is not weakness. That is a myth. Vulnerability is our most accurate measure of courage.”
The truth is, in our society, vulnerability is not seen as a form of strength. Actually letting others see what is really going on in our lives would be far too dangerous.
It would be uncomfortable.
It could jeopardize our “perfect person” charicature that we were trying desperately to maintain.
It would make us ….real. Real people with real feelings and real hearts who perform real acts of bravery and experience real failure.
Something that Dr. Brown said that really challenged me was that she always said she would start really entering this “arena of vulnerability” when she was bulletproof and perfect.
And THEN, she was gonna kick some you know what.
Immediately, I identified with that.
I guess it comes down to, I am willing to have the spotlight on me when I officially feel like there is nothing that could be exposed.
I will enter an arena and be open to failure when I am fully confident that failure is simply not a possibility.
I will allow myself to be afraid when my life is at a point where fear isn’t present.
In other words, I will enter the arena….NEVER.
And the weird part of all of this is, we usually admire most those that are willing to enter the arena and NOT have it all together.
We appreciate, identify, relate and celebrate those who are okay with showing their imperfections.
Vulnerability is beautiful.
It is also scary and usually uncomfortable.
But I am finding more and more that it is absolutely necessary to living a full and happy life.
Being vulnerable allows others to pray for us about things we actually need, allows us to have conversations that aren’t fake or contrived, allows us to live without constantly protecting ourselves from true exposure and most importantly, it reminds us that when we are weak, our Father is strong.
I would argue that those who are afraid to be vulnerable are actually the weak ones.
It takes courage to enter the arena.
I pray that you give yourself permission to be vulnerable with someone today.
I pray that you allow yourself to live openly without putting caution tape around certain parts of your life and that you are reminded being bulletproof never changes lives.
It is putting ourselves in a position to get shot and trusting God with the outcome and judgement- THAT changes lives.
I challenge you to remove the yellow tape from your life and allow others, as well as yourself, to be okay with exposing your struggles, weaknesses and failures.
It is okay to be afraid to be vulnerable, but do it anyway.
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