This past week, I have been doing a lot of self-reflection. I have been noticing the language I use, the way I speak to myself, and the self-judgments and criticisms I make. I have also started the book, “Dare Greatly,” by Brene Brown and identified with her experiences with shame and vulnerability. Using what I have read in this book, it has offered valuable insight as I journey on with self-love.
I have learned, once again, vulnerability is the most important quality we can express. By being vulnerable, we allow others to show empathy and empathy is what breaks down our preconceived notions of vulnerability as a weakness. Our society highlights the notion of independence as strength. It tells us we should not be too dependent upon others because people will let us down, we will get hurt, ect. However, in Dare Greatly, Brene Brown says, “Vulnerability journey is not the kind of journey we can make alone. We need support. We need folks who will let us try on new ways of being without judging us.” We must rely on others for support. We are social beings in need of love. So, I have been practicing sharing my vulnerability.
In the past week, I have held two workshops and I have thrown myself out there. I have shared my story of my past and it has been an experience. An experience of embarrassment, adrenaline, and overall, empowerment. However, I have noticed sharing the events of my past was the easy part. I have found it easy to talk about my history of sexual abuse and of my parent’s divorce, but harder to admit the fact that I struggle with feeling like I am enough. I find it hard to admit my self-doubt. This is hard for me because I feel like a hypocrite. I feel like I must already have mastered self-love to help people and spread the message. However, this is the beauty of vulnerability. I was shown I am not alone. Once you share your story, emotions, and fears, you are shown others have the same struggles. Not only are you not alone, people view your vulnerability as courageous.
So, let me ask you this. When someone has shared a traumatic event, a raw emotion, or admitted something they are embarrassed about, did you view this as a weakness? When rape and sexual abuse victims come forward and share their story, is it a weakness? Is someone expressing their true feelings or a heartbreak, a weakness? How about someone who has shared a failure? I have yet to meet someone who would label any of these things as weaknesses. I have only met people who say this is courage. So, what is holding you back? What makes you the exception?
Believe in yourself. You are not alone in any circumstance life may present. We may feel like it, but once you open up, a whole world of similar experiences flood in. We are never alone. In my commitment to this project, I do not only want to help encourage self-love, but I also want to create a network of support. Through workshops and meetings, you will meet other women who are dealing with the same struggles as you. Connect with these women, for these women are in essence, you.
In the book, The Dance of the Dissident Daughter, by Sue Monk Kidd, she says,
“Solidarity is identifying with one another without feeling like you have to agree on every issue. It’s unity, not uniformity. It’s listening without rushing in to fix the problem. It’s going deeper than the typical ways of talking and sharing – going down to the place where souls meet and love comes, where separateness drops away and you know these women because you are these women.”
I have come to realize I am not a hypocrite just because I struggle with knowing I am enough. I know most people struggle with this. However, I believe with my whole heart and soul that I am enough, just as I am. And, I believe with my whole heart and soul, you are enough just as you are. And, I believe, together, we can achieve self-love. This is my purpose here on earth, to remember this and help others remember, as well.
Go out this week and share with someone you trust something you believe to be a weakness. Identify this within yourself and reveal it to you, as well. Accept it, embrace it, even love it. For this has helped shape who you are today. Appreciate the beautiful, capable, intelligent, and talented individual you have the honor of looking at in the mirror. Tell yourself, “thank you.”
Peace, Love, Amity,
Recommended books and videos:
The Dance of the Dissident Daughter – Sue Monk Kid
Dare Greatly – Brene Brown
TedxWomen: Lourds Lane – Superhero
The Power of Vulnerability – Brene Brown
Shame – Brene Brown