Vulnerability, Courage, and Owning Story
I am walking into this ongoing conversation that brings us together on the journey.
We all find ourselves vulnerable at one point or another in life. And that is ok. It is better than ok, it is courageous. It is human. When we are vulnerable, we are truly living. I need to remind myself of that truth more than I do. We access our courage regularly, but I am going to bet not many of us recognize that courage or can name it.
Between these two very poignant ideas is our story. We all have one. We may not always voice it, embrace it, acknowledge it, or have the space to stand in it as we fully need, but it is there. I have walked down many different paths within my story. Some days it is a battle I do not want to see, and other days it is a victory I want to celebrate. The one key piece I recognize is that it is mine to own. I find when I own my story in the rawest vulnerability and truth, it is only then that I am paying attention and living my story.
If I were to dwell in the silence of fear, I would not be here. Do I doubt the process at times? Hell yes! I do not have enough fingers on which to count the times where I have put myself out there to then question my sanity in doing so. I can even tell you about the many times where I ended up wounded and feeling more desolate. Though I would not take either back or apologize for this courage. When I take leaps in sharing of my story, I am certain it is for another needing to hear it, needing the support and needing the important reminder to keep going.
I had a recent quite raw and emotional unexpected time when my vulnerability was screaming as I found myself drowning in my uncertainty and past trauma. We all experience one type or another of trauma, it is just defined differently for each of us. It tends to appear at different moments in one’s life with more reason that we are able to understand. There is no shame in identifying it, rather courage in walking the road, side by side understanding it. I have found that my vulnerability and trauma go hand in hand on my journey. When I am able to name the trauma, it has less power over me allowing me to learn the lesson being offered. When I embrace the vulnerability without shame, it helps me to walk through it with more self-awareness and ease. The trauma that sits within anyone’s being is often their unique personal story that is waking within the soul. This is the story. The release happens when the balance in one’s journey aligns. It is not always easy to define, but when we take the pause, it breathes within our bodies and tells us of that time when courage lifted us up. This story is what holds us all together collectively. When we speak our stories with each other, we inadvertently could be saving someone else from their shame, darkness, or struggle. Consider this when you are wanting to sit in the silence.
For the first time in a long time, I was struggling deeply to name a new trauma coming through. I have a clear understanding of my story, so that there are not too many surprises. The surfacing of its story hit rough roads and challenging ditches that I knew I had to hike through rather than leap over. I had not been prepared for it having felt I had crossed over from more processing. The lessons we learn in these processes are reminding us that we are always continuing, we are always finding our balance, we are always writing our story with the lessons that keep us going.
Once I found the courage to reach out to ‘my person’ it felt like I was treading water endlessly. I literally could not catch my breath. This is not something that I am new to, but in this timing, I knew to be more exposed. The raw nature in which I struggled to admit that I was walking, allowed for my vulnerable self to suffocate in a comfortable shame I embraced. A shame I did not know was true or present until the fallout. A shame that perhaps I created. A shame that belonged to the trauma and not the courage to ask for help. It was not my shame to own, it never is. The vulnerable me wanted to explain myself. The vulnerable me wanted to hide. The vulnerable me wanted to desperately give up. Is that an option? No. Do I wish it could be an option at times? Yes, in the raw pain, I do.
Some days we wear our trauma and our story loudly. We do not always mean to, but there are just moments we simply do not know how to hold it in our hands. It overflows needing us to ask for help to carry it. I know there are moments I find myself too tired after years to hold it any longer. Those are the moments of frustration when I know too much to be ignorant to the hard work in walking through it. I struggle to find my courage most at those moments as do we all. I am certain of the gifts that will follow.
Though the moments of gratitude are more, the moments of gratitude are stronger, the moments of gratitude are what keep us going knowing there is a good to each word we put voice to and step into as we continue to walk. We must remind ourselves that the gratitude will come when we are in the middle of pain and the gratitude will carry us through to other side. Can you trust this process?
I continue to write about my journey often over the years, it is what keeps me grounded. I believe in owning our truth. I believe someone who locked away in their shame, vulnerability and fear needs to hear others’ stories to find the light.
When you hide the scars, when you push down your woundedness it only allows you to create more trauma on top of the trauma you already have experienced. When you hide you are not honoring the courage it took to survive. You are not honoring the story that made you who you are today.
I am not afraid anymore to talk about this journey. I learned when I talk about it, it releases the power I once thought it had over me. I learned when I talk about it, I continue to heal. And it allows me to embrace healing as a lifelong journey.
I used to think that I could be ‘healed’ completely and move on never to look back. I believe that is what got me into my struggles and battles within myself. That is why I believe we must remind ourselves as I am doing here of our vulnerability, courage, and story.
I want you to keep your eyes open. Anyone can look amazing on the outside, but the stories inside are suffocating those same people around us that we cannot see. We need to hear the whispers telling us that we are not done on this journey, we do not get to decide. We need to embrace the stories, ours and others remembering the lessons are gifts. We need to stop thinking about ‘me’ or ‘I’ and know there is a great existence guiding ‘us.’ People need to know they are not alone. We are walking side by side. We are all a work in progress.
Today consider recognizing your vulnerability.
Today consider acknowledging your courage.
Today voice just one piece of your story.
I am listening.