Vulnerability is Terrifying

brene brown scars

Vulnerable Definition:

  1. capable of or susceptible to being wounded or hurt, as by a weapon: a vulnerable part of the body.

  2. open to moral attack, criticism, temptation, etc.

  3. (of a place) open to assault; difficult to defend

Damn. Looking at that definition, almost every cell in my body wants to run screaming in the other direction. I am going to be fully, vulnerably honest. It was terrifying to post some of the dark moments of my engagement. I had no idea if people would want to know the dark stuff. I didn't know if I was ruining an illusion that people were attached to, or what their reactions might be.

Instead of people running away screaming, I got 30+ emails from colleagues, friends and I even got approached by my 15 year old niece.

She asked me, "Lolo, what is this instagram post? What do you mean 'the not so good parts of being engaged'?"

I froze. 'Oh shit.' I thought. What have I gotten myself into? Should I screen my family, so I don't have to share this with them. I kind of wanted my writing to spread far and wide to help strangers. The up-close personal, family and friends really knowing you... that's scary.

I think that we all have shadows, face darkness and know what it feels like to struggle. As we keep moving forward it is vital to create a community of people who are willing to pay attention, acknowledge their depth and share their tenderest moments. This is the way we can feel less isolated and alone in those moments.

I looked at my niece, 15 years old, a freshman in high school. Life is rather black and white, she is self-assured, from a great family, she knows there is bad in the world, but has not had to experience much of it. I looked at her sister, standing behind her, 17 years old and finishing her junior year of high school. I explained, "Well, C, your sister, she is graduating next year, that's really exciting right?"

"Yeah." They both replied.

"But also, isn't it a little sad that you won't be living in the same house anymore, you won't be playing softball together anymore and she will be leaving some of your childhood behind..." I trailed off.

"Yeah. True. But you're engaged!" They responded and then went back to checking their phones.

I realize that I have ripped off the bandaid, there is no more hiding, there is no more pretending where things don't hurt or affect me. It is out in the world for you, for my family, for my friends and hopefully can help bring a little light to the shadows of our experiences.

We need these stories. We need these moments to share, to make change. In light of this week's Emily Doe vs. Brock Turner case, I admire this woman who shared her story on the stand and with the world. We need more people to speak up about the moments that hurt so we can have community, support and release some pent up pain. To me, she is doing her work, and in the words of BrenĂ© Brown, she is both Daring Greatly and Rising Strong. Brene Brown has been a huge catalyst, push, inspiration for me to keep doing, sharing and living this work.

Stay with me. I will keep working to share my wholeheartedness with you.

As always, questions or comments for me, what this brought up for you are welcome by commenting below or contact me!