It really does. It sucks the big one, being vulnerable. Feeling all small and shaky and shit? No thanks. Putting yourself out there for all the world to see you mess up is beyond terrifying. For everybody…every single person. Even those that seem immune to feeling vulnerable have their own ‘shit your pants’ moments.
I hate being wrong, not knowing what I’m doing, going to events where I don’t know anybody, speaking in front of a group of adults (Kids? Fine. Adults? No.) Shame! Horror! Fear! So to say I’m second guessing myself right now is an understatement. Don’t get me wrong. I’m not an antisocial hermit that never leaves the house. I’ve done many a vulnerable thing in my life (moved countries, joined a folk group and sports teams, had job interviews, met my husband on a dating site. Yeah…I did that). I know we all have. But this is just that bit more vulnerable than I would normally care to embrace.
Why do it then? I blame M (Husband, Partner, Cheerleader, Dickhead, Hero). He planted the damn seed and now it’s growing like it’s been fed some kind of pumped up plant food. I like writing, I want to be more creative, I like taking photos and documenting our wee lives on this wee patch of earth. I seek out and follow (online, not literally) other women who are real and messy and all kinds of vulnerable. I admire the hell out of them. So, M says, ‘Do that.’
-‘He’s actually crazy.’ (Yes…but the best kind.)
-‘He doesn’t have to put himself out there for all the world to see.’ (He plays in a damn band.)
-‘Why would he do that to me?’ (The idiot loves me. Apparently.)
-‘What if I do it and I make a massive mess of it all and everyone sees my shameful moments and judges me and I have to live this down for the rest of my life because I’m such a loser.’
He says, ‘So what if it does suck? Who cares? But what if its awesome?’
What if? What if I didn’t have a go? What if it just feels good to do and brings me joy?
He also went on to say that I shouldn’t worry if the first few blogs posts aren’t the best because when he looks back at the very first songs he wrote they are ‘atrocious little turds.’ I just need to keep going. Okay then!
So, the seed has been planted and that damn seed has exploded all over my brain, my Pinterest searches and phone notes. I’ve looked up ‘The Top Ten Ways to Start a Blog’ and ‘How the Hell Does WordPress Work Anyways?’ (but seriously…you need a degree in it or something). I’ve daydreamed about it, talked about it, read up on it and my journal entries are now starting to look suspiciously like blog entries. It’s happening.
Brene Brown (Author, Sociologist, Vulnerability Enthusiast, Hero) has this little gem to say about being vulnerable.
‘Vulnerability is not winning or losing; it’s having the courage to show up and be seen when we have no control over the outcome. Vulnerability is not weakness; it’s our greatest measure of courage.’ (Rising Strong)
This. Is. Everything. What could happen in our lives if we change our mindset around being vulnerable from fear based shame to kick ass courage.
Like ‘Check me out! I’m being vulnerable as hell! Yay me!’
Beg, borrow or buy all her books.
Vulnerable has been a bit of a dirty word for a long time. Its weakness and emotion and fear of sucking all rolled into one. But we don’t do ANYTHING new without it. We can’t take any chances without showing our vulnerability. We are vulnerable all the damn time but we do everything to hide it away.
My son, Tiny Dictator (TD), is three. He is all about being vulnerable and he doesn’t give two shits. Yeah, sometimes he is scared and worried. But never embarrassed. And he does most of the things anyways. He feels all the feels of fear and worry and he does it anyways! How brave are three year olds? Everything is new all the damn time. He usually moves towards that new thing with his little fist in the air shouting ‘Let’s do this!’. Seriously, the kid is enthusiasm personified. He is enthusiastic about being vulnerable! What the hell?
So, I’m doing it. I decided my focus word for this year is going to be ‘Shine’. Do things I love. Do things that make me feel all glowy. Do things that bring me and others joy. Do things that are creative. Do things that create more belonging and more love. Do things that scare the shit out of me. Be vulnerable. Shine.
Please. Let’s be vulnerable together. Let’s cheer on each other’s shame and fear and worries. Let’s celebrate our successes and our screw ups. Because I have a feeling that the more vulnerable we are, the more magic there will be. And the world needs more magic. Tell me the ways you are vulnerable. Share the things you would love to do that scare the shit out of you. I’ll need a team backing me up with this. I’ll need cheerleaders who are unapologetically joyful about it. And I’ll be jumping up and down cheering about your vulnerability right along with you.
Let’s all bask in the words of Brene and let our vulnerable freak flags fly.
So, inspired by the great women writers, the bloggers I love, the funny Facebook posters, the inspiring people in my life and most importantly, by husband and Tiny Dictator, here is my first blog post. About being vulnerable.
Let’s hope it’s not an atrocious little turd.