Dr. Brene Brown calls shame “the swamp land of the soul”
Shame diminishes our courage, our independence, and our freedom to be who we want to be and were created to be
Many of us tend to correlate vulnerability with weakness. Having the courage to open up and be vulnerable is one of the bravest things one can do! Allowing yourself to be vulnerable may feel risky, scary, and uncertain at times, but not all vulnerable moments are negative. Vulnerability is also the birthplace of creativity and innovation for positive change. Did you know that when we give ourselves permission to imagine, dream, and create, we are allowing ourselves to be vulnerable? When we allow ourselves to be creative and adaptable to change, we are practicing positive vulnerability!
Most of us have, at one point or another, experienced a broken heart. Maybe it was a relationship, friendship, or missed opportunity. However, as we move on and have the courage to open our hearts again, we all deserve congratulations for our courage and strength. If you have ever been in this state or are currently walking through this season, know that the broken hearted are extremely brave. Philosopher-poet Ralph Waldo Emerson observed, “For everything you have missed, you have gained something else; and for everything you gain, you lose something.” Challenges in life are the catalysts that steer us in a different direction.
Do you know what the hardest emotion for us to handle is? It’s joy! Have you ever self-sabotaged a happy moment? I have, and for most of my life I didn’t realize that I was even doing it! For example, when I’m at home relaxing on the couch, watching tv and hugging my dog, I start to think about how sad I will be when she isn’t here anymore. Or when I am finally on the plane about to take off on my well-deserved vacation, I start worrying about the stability of the plane and whether we are going to safely make it to our destination. I now realize that by thinking these things, I am stealing my own joy from these happy moments in my life. So how do we add more fully enjoyed moments of joy to our lives? The answer is quite simple, we practice having a heart of gratitude.
Gratitude is the quality of being thankful and having the readiness to show appreciation for and to someone or something. Gratitude is vitally important in living a joyful life. Even during the valleys in life, gratitude still exists. Holding onto a heart of gratitude, especially in these moments, helps us to get through those tough moments, situations, and conversations. As we continue to fill our hearts with gratitude, it doesn’t leave any room for fear. Gratitude doesn’t mean that we deny what’s happening, but rather it helps us to never lose sight of the horizon, even if at that moment we are not able to see it. As we continue to push through with our God given strengths and the support of those around us, we will begin to rise up out of that valley.
So, today I challenge you to fight feelings of inadequacy and shame by being vulnerable and focusing on the things you are grateful for and that bring you joy, and in this mindset, you will be met with new discovered self-bravery and resilience.