Vulnerability

Today I am finally taking the time to post a blog. Over the past six weeks I have moved house from the cost to the interior. Worked like a madman on the unpacking and decorating the house, hosted my parents and picked 150 pounds of cherries from our little orchard, hosted the previous owner of our new house and his niece from England for dinner, installed and picked lights in the house with my partner and then travelled back to the coast with my parents to spend time at the lake with my children, parents and friends. Since arriving at the lake on July 2nd I have been power washing and leaning out some of our outdated and worn out things here while making dinners for my family most nights. I am not sure why I am surprised that I snapped at the wrong person last night when they made a comment I interpreted as condescending.
You see I prided myself on all the self-reflection, counselling, mindfulness and intentional thought I have been working on over the past several years. Although I knew life would always toss me the odd challenge and painful situation just to keep me on my toes and allow me to continue to grow, I thought that being self aware and engaged in life would cause me to recognize my needs and attend to them before a crisis point was reached.
Last night stands as proof that old habits die hard and that sometimes even when we are equipped with a vast array of skills and tools to deal with life in a positive manner, we will be unable to access the right tool, at the right time for the job that needs repair. In my case I can see clearly now that allowing myself to be vulnerable and communicating it clearly to my partner could have saved us both from the barrage of nasty pejoratives, verbal diarrhea and hurt caused by me skirting the opportunity to practice being vulnerable.
Brene Brown has spent years researching shame and vulnerability and I have learned much from her book, Daring Greatly,as well as from her TED talks. Brown comes from a tough Texas family whose motto of ‘lock and load’ is second nature to her so she understands how difficult it is to reveal vulnerability . Like most people I tend to interpret vulnerability as weakness. Brown’s research reveals that is actually our vulnerability that allows us to ‘dare greatly’ and move towards livings life authentically and experiencing greater joy and happiness. Nowhere does her writing reveal this more than in the quote she chooses to epitomize the value of allowing yourself to be be vulnerable and dare greatly.
So to my partner, I apologize for being afraid to be vulnerable and to my readers I leave you with this fantastic quote by Theodore Roosevelt that Brene Brown uses to replace the ‘lock and load’ motto.
“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly, who errs and comes short again and again; because there is not effort without error and shortcomings; but who does actually strive to do the deed; who knows the great enthusiasm, the great devotion, who spends himself in a worthy cause, who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement and who at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly. So that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat.”
Theodore Roosevelt

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