Recently, I came across this image, and immediately began to feel myself soften a little. As a therapist, I’m constantly encouraging my clients to question the beliefs they have around vulnerability and big feelings as problematic and dangerous. And for years, I’ve worked to dismantle these unhelpful belief systems in myself, but I still need reminding, and often. And I find this is true for my clients, too. The conditioning we have acquired around what it is to be a feeling person in this world are old and insidious, and it takes time and repetition of another story to not get pulled right back into it.
So here’s your reminder (and mine) for today:
Courage is not determined by a lack of fear, but by the willingness to look at that fear and to not be controlled by it. Courage is being vulnerable, to others and to ourselves. Being a strong and capable human does not mean hiding our true feelings and experiences, but instead it means knowing ourselves and caring for the wounded parts as we would someone whom we love very much. It means knowing when to ask for help and when to challenge ourselves to listen to our own inner knowing. Being a fully alive human is dynamic, requires relying both on others and our own intuition, feeling the strong feelings that come with living and not running away by avoiding our feelings or looking for a scapegoat.
Brene Brown says, “Vulnerability sounds like truth and feels like courage. Truth and courage aren't always comfortable, but they're never weakness.”
Today I hope you can can play a little with your vulnerability, test your wings and challenge yourself in authentic and kind self-expression. I encourage you to be strong by being compassionate to yourself, so that when you bring yourself to the world, you bring a self that is whole, tended, and deeply loved for all that you are.