I hope this post finds you feeling amazing on this Sunday morning! In the middle of what we used to call winter, it’s been generally warm and mild for us in Charlotte. And we have seen our fair share of rain. Through the rain and clouds, I’ve been thinking about the light that is in each of us. And how critical it is for each of us to connect with this light, and let it shine through. So today I wanted to talk about vulnerability.
I believe for many of us, a hurdle or blocker to truly shining can be vulnerability. As we grow up, society tends to teach us that we need a ‘tough outer shell’. Especially as boys, like in baseball, no crying allowed. We need to protect ourselves from the harsh realities of life. Don’t let too much of your true self, your best parts shine through. Hide those parts of yourself as protection, self preservation. Otherwise, life may trample, or at least gently stomp, on those pieces of us we treasure the most.
If you look at life with an honest lens, truly living is getting trampled on occasionally. Who among us hasn’t been dumped, lost jobs, or lost out on opportunities. And for many of us, those are the surface punches. How about the gut punches of loss, illness or grave financial struggle? Unless we lock ourselves in our homes, apply a protective coating of bubble wrap, trying our best to hide from harm, we will encounter life’s challenges on an almost daily basis.
And if you observe for a moment, who is it you might admire most? It’s the amazing singer, the actor, the writer and poet. The individuals who go through life like we do each day. Opening their eyes just like we do, put pants on one leg at a time, with the same struggles of love and loss. But what drives their talent. What drives our desire to listen to their songs, read their poems and watch their movies - vulnerability. The courage, the fearlessness to show all sides of themselves, and tell their stories no matter the outcome.
What separates us from those we admire most - in reality nothing. Again, we breath the same air, walk the same human experiences. But the magic sauce is the courage, staring down the fear. And yes, for many people it’s the battle of the fear against the feeling like one might explode if they don’t share their stories.
For me, this courage has been a challenging hurdle. Over time I developed one heck of a chip on my shoulder, and one thick protective coating. I really have nothing to complain about and am blessed to have had the childhood I experienced. But I was always the shortest kid in class, always the smallest. I was frighteningly shy as a small child - the kind of kid that latched onto their mother’s leg in any new situation. I had to wear prescription shoes - read: saddle shoes - until the 3rd grade. Although that was one amazing day when released from the doctor - my feet were cured?! - and my parents took me to Kinney’s Shoes in Marquette Mall, where I was allowed to pick out my first pair of real tennis shoes! But needless to say I was teased a good deal, and allowed myself to feel I was a bit ‘less than’ my peers.
So where do we find this courage. How can we release the vulnerability needed and let our own light shine.
1) Self love - Accepting and believing that what we think and feel about ourselves is what truly matters. Also understanding no one can truly love us if we don’t love ourselves first.
2) Faith - Religion and belief systems aside, the Universe/your creator is on your side. Believe in yourself, knowing and trusting the universe truly wants the best for you.
3) Release expectations - Approach situations for what you can put into them not what you get out of them. You’ll be surprised at how outcomes become much more meaningful when you release a pre-conceived expectation.
4) Truth - Always share your truth. Sugar coated perfectly filtered social media pictures and posts are fine. But genuinely tell your true story. That’s where the connection lives.
5) Serving others- Open up, put yourself out there to give something in service to others. You receive exponential love and light back, when you share your light selflessly and in service to others.
And this isn’t a secret elixir, I don’t read these aloud and click my heals three times for the magic to happen. I need to work on these elements each and every day. But like our other muscles, the more you work them the stronger they become. I’d love to hear from you. What are you doing to try to show vulnerability and courage today? And as always, I am sending you love, light and laughter. ❤️🙏