Archives for November 2015

11.09.15

Courage+Bravery+Vulnerability

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The other night as I was tucked beneath my warm sheets, listening to my husband breathe heavily into a deep sleep, I laid in bed tossing and turning. My brain was spinning and pondering how vulnerability and bravery has become  a part of who I am today. How it has shaped the way I feel my life, and taught me to be honest with my feelings and fears. I thought about how I want to encourage my children to be free to speak their truths, to be real and honest with people, and to practice courageous vulnerability…I asked myself these three questions:

What will my daughter and my future children know about bravery and vulnerability as they grow older? How will emotions or lack of shape their lives? Does my life reflect truth and vulnerability? As I circled around these questions I decided to write my daughter a letter. A letter to remind her and I to feel life from the inside out and that feelings are always meant to be worn on our sleeves, not tucked away hidden beneath the sheets.

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My dear Beatrice,

Today I will tell you a story of bravery and courageous vulnerability. As I share a piece of my heart, I want you to know that I promise to practice letting you feel heard and seen everyday we’re together. It will be hard sometimes, and some days I will shove things away instead of showing my real self. On those days I will remind myself that people from all walks of life crave authenticity, a listening ear, and for someone to listen to their truths.  You see, I want to listen to the good, the bad, and happy parts of your life. I have found it is worth it to show the truth of who you really are. To be known and  be heard. To feel free of expectations, and free of what others will think. This very act of vulnerability produces bravery. Bravery that will one day help the lives of so many people waiting to be heard and known.

Once, I was was afraid of telling my truths. I was afraid to be who I really am, and I was afraid to dig deep into the painful areas of my life for fear of shame. I knew deep inside if I could just share my truths with someone I could experience freedom, freedom from the memories that haunted me everyday, but I didn’t know how to get there. Until one day,  I decided enough was enough. Through the storm and the emotions, I would stand up to fear. I would be brave and I would be vulnerable. I would talk to someone, share my pain, and I would dig deep. Was this is a short process? No, it was long, it was grueling, and it was exhausting. At times I wanted to give up, be done with it all, and let it all settle back down into the ground. But I pushed through.

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Because the minute I realized I have a voice and people want to hear it, freedom was released inside every bone of my body. I remembered that I was never unworthy of perfect love, I was not alone, and I was not crazy for feeling strong emotions. Finding my voice changed the way I viewed myself. I found myself. I realized the God I serve is SO much more gentle than I could ever have imagined, and that He is fighting for my heart to be freed, and refreshed, he is cheering me on to actually feel emotions, to feel life, to feel the goodness he created in each one of us. I have learned that to be known and heard, seen and felt through another’s eyes is second to none.

You see even the deepest pains of one’s life can be used to break down the walls of perfection, hardness, and shame. My failures and pains of the past used to remind me that I was ashamed and deeply rooted in fear. But now as I look back, I see that I have been given an opportunity to be courageous, to stand in the face of fear with complete abandonment, free from perfection, and wholeheartedly accepting vulnerability as my new best friend. I have chosen a path some may never want to walk down, but I believe it’s worth it my child. It’s worth it to be honest and real with people; it’s worth it to cry when sadness is real to you. It’s worth it to let someone in, to let them see the raw and the real moments of your life. It’s worth it to be seen and heard rather than silenced and deaf.

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When you’re angry, I want to listen. When you’re sad, I want to feel your sadness. When you’re excited, I want to feel your excitement. When you’re grieving. I want to be with you. You were never meant to be put on the back burner, to be “shhh’d” and told what you can and cannot do. You were not meant to be nagged on, perfected, and told you aren’t strong enough to do this or that. You weren’t meant to need people’s approval to feel good about yourself. You don’t need my approval, because God already approves of you. He already sees you; He marked you with His perfect love and His freedom to be YOU!

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You my child are a gift. A gift that only requires encouragement, a listening ear, and hands free of control, manipulation, and approval. You are meant to wear your heart on your sleeve, to be heard, to be known, and to be courageous in the face of fear. As we walk this road of vulnerability together, may we practice gentleness, kindness, and compassion for those around us. May the freedom to be heard and seen energize this future generation to cultivate the art of courageous vulnerability. And may we take time out of our day to give a hug, a kiss, a word of affirmation, and always speak our truths out loud. You may be little, but you are brave, you are courageous, and you are the gift that keeps on giving. So today and everyday my child, I will practice vulnerability by encouraging you to feel all of your emotions. My wild and joyful child!

Love, Momma