There has been a few little things shake my little world recently that has had a big effect on me personally and emotionally.
Most of these things have not come from a place of malice or damaging circumstance but from places of opinion, insight and even from nurturing in a challenging loving and reflective way.
I’ve discovered that not all things that challenge us come from a place of dismay… that’s just our perception of “challenge”.
And yes, I am going to leave it all as mysterious as that because really, sharing the story, the little thing that did my head in and shook my world the most in these past weeks, offering that story to be defended, scorned or analysed serves no purpose.
The only purpose served from that story is that in looking back I have so much to thank its uncomfortable experience for because it has led me to discover so many nuggets of gold that are influencing my life… and those stories are the stories worth telling and sharing and listening too… not the dissection of the instrument that led me there.
Why are the nuggets of gold more valuable to share? Because they epitomise the powerful voice of our most feared and yet most learned from emotion… vulnerability.
Finding myself disillusioned and questioning my whole belief system around my personal philosophies of life and how I live my life was not a place I expected to find myself at my age nor at this particular stage of my life.
It caused a gut emotional purge that reached out for buoyancy before I intentionally implemented a gut emotional reaction wishing to recoil and recluse to the safety of solitude… and the emotional purge response resulted in a delay to the emotional reaction… which was a desire to disappear.
What did I gain and learn from that gut emotional purge?
What did I learn from reaching out for buoyancy?
Connection is what brings purpose and meaning to our life
I share and believe that life is all about ‘connection’ for me but I have always felt it difficult to articulate the depth of that meaning to another or how feeling soul-connected to others profoundly impacts my life.
Through reaching out and connecting during a time of much questioning I was introduced and connected to the amazing world of Brene Brown. (I know! What rock have I been hiding under?) If I hadn’t been introduced to the world of Brene Brown my belief system encompassing my meaning and purpose of life would not have been rescued by her work and words.
I am resolved that what was rescued by her work and words was my vulnerability.
Brene defines vulnerability in one of her TED talks as…
The willingness to do something where there are no guarantees.
Vulnerability is not weakness.
Vulnerability is; How do we sit with uncertainty? How do we sit with fear? Who do you become when you feel vulnerable?”
If I am to sit comfortably with the resolve of embracing and accepting my vulnerability then I also need to embrace and accept courage in its original definition from the Latin shared by Brene as…
To tell the story of who you are with your whole heart.
For me to tell the story of who I am with my whole heart Brene also says we need to separate courage from bravery. “We need courage to be imperfect… deep compassion for ourselves and others is the only true path to connection”.
So if I am going to believe in my core values of connection and the power of connecting and sharing, I need to action the values of self-courage and self-compassion before I can offer courage and compassion to the world of others through connection.
Which brings me back to vulnerability.
Brene says the ‘whole hearted’ believe…
Vulnerability is the core of shame, of fear and our struggle for worthiness; but it appears to also be the birth place of joy, of creativity, of belonging and love.
Through the shaking of my little world, and the responsive act of reaching out and connecting, I’d like to share with you what I now identify as my take on vulnerability…
Vulnerability is not weakness.
Being vulnerable is a courageous invitation offered to FEEL the world of another through compassionate connection to their exposed soul.
Sandra J Kelly
EVERYTHING loops back to vulnerability. Being vulnerable scares the shit out of me. But I now whole-heartedly believe I’d rather ‘show up’ and be scared shitless vulnerable than hide behind my fear… because as Brene says… “Shame is the fear of disconnection” and I’ll take ‘excruciating vulnerability’ over disconnection any day!
I am grateful for those who have brought so much purpose and meaning into my life through their own courageous acts of vulnerability… of reaching out… of putting yourselves out there for me and for others. You know who you are. I see you. I appreciate you.
My beliefs are simple but are true to me. That’s why when many things have changed here in my online world these words on my About Me page have never been changed.
I believe we all have a story… a story of our reflective past, a story of our hopes for the future and a story of our precious present moment.
Through the sharing of our stories I have faith that strength, resilience and hope lie within us all and are nurtured from knowing we are not alone.
The validation of my masked feelings found in the layers of others genuine truths has been a most powerful and welcomed gift of strength to be rivalled as I continue along my obstacled path.
I hope that by sharing pieces of my own story that you may find validating comfort in pieces of your own story.
You know, you don’t have to shout your vulnerability from the roof tops, a stage or even a blog post to connect and share with others in a purposeful meaningful way.
All you need to do is to stay true to you… and show up for yourself.
Vulnerability means you no harm… it can, at times, feel emotionally harmful… but it means you no harm.
All it means to do is open up the space to FEEL… to shake your world in a little or a big way… in a meaningful way… a happy or sad way… a connected meaningful purposeful way… for as sure as life is unavoidably composed of duality, so is the gift of vulnerability.
Let ourselves be seen – deeply seen – vulnerably seen.
Till next time,
much love Sandra Xx
Brené Brown is an American scholar, author, and public speaker, who is currently a research professor at the University of Houston Graduate College of Social Work and she studies vulnerability, courage, authenticity, and shame.
If you would like to know more about the TED talks that have influenced me so deeply I suggest you watch the following links preferably in the following order.
Not only is she a brilliant and engaging story teller she is dead set funny.
Brene Brown: The power of vulnerability
Brene Brown: Listening to Shame
I’d like to thank the beautiful Katherine McKenzie-Smith for introducing me to the world of Brene Brown and for being the beautiful you that you are. Xx
Lisa Conn says
❤️❤️❤️❤️ as I read this I hear you, as I hear you I feel you. And as I feel you I know we are connected not by blood but by shared life experience .
Amazing how some of the same people in our lives have overlapped and shared some of our life experiences too!
Oh Lisa, that is just too beautiful… too beautiful. Thank you. Much love xoxoxo
You are a wise and courageous lady Sandra, even if it doesn’t always feel that way. Brene has touched the hearts and minds of many. I find her stuff on vulnerability uncomfortable because I know it is far from a strength of mine. Must take another look. xx
Thank you for your kind words Ellen. I can’t get enough of Brene at the moment. I must be at a place in my life where her work is what I really need to connect with and hear. Plus her story telling and humour is so engaging. Thanks for stopping by 🙂 Xx
Kelly Exeter says
I too came really late to Brene (like ‘last year’ late) and her work on vulnerability was a revelation. Like you, connection is a huge thing for me … and all my best work is done through the creation of meaningful connections. And of course, vulnerability absolutely underpins all of that
You are such an inspiring creative to me Kelly. And yes, I feel the same about Brene and her work on vulnerability. Thank you so much for stopping by Xx 🙂
“But I now whole-heartedly believe I’d rather ‘show up’ and be scared shitless vulnerable than hide behind my fear”. I absolutely love this and it’s basically what’s been driving me ever since I put myself out there creatively. Sure, sometimes it sucks and you always feel exposed in many ways, but it has brought so much more positivity than negativity.
You are so right Hugzy! Putting myself out there creatively has indeed brought more joy into my life than not. Pleased to hear this post has resonated with you. I just love your online world :-). Thanks so much for stopping by Xx
Showing up for yourself is the best thing I reckon.
It’s like loving yourself first and then the rest will come.
You, my girl, are just one gorgeous lady.
It is hard sometimes to have to feel pain and vulnerability to enjoy the joy.
But… otherwise it would all just be the same.
Thanks for sharing your nuggets of gold.
Luv ya, happy weekend x
Yes, I agree Sarah, life would all just be the same… and at times that thought can be quite inviting… but I wouldn’t want to set up home there. You are a sweet-heart. Thanks for stopping by with your lovely words. 🙂 Xx
Sammie @ The Annoyed Thyroid says
Love your words of wisdom – you nailed it. I think it’s all about being true to yourself and showing up for you, because you matter. We all do. Think I need some Brene in my life – thanks for pointing me in the right direction. You rock! x
Hey Sammie! I also think we need to let go of the notion that staying true to ourselves is selfish and can have a harmful affect on those around us. It just means we are chosing to treat ourselves as kindly as we would encourage others to treat themselves. Brene will rock your world gurlfran! Thanks for stopping by with your kind and thoughtful words as always. 🙂 Xx
I am teaching my kids this, Sandra. How important it is to lay yourself open. The trick is to be strong enough to do it in the first place. Inner strength, not reliant on anybody or anything, allows us to be vulnerable. Caring about what we believe in rather than what others think. x
Lovely Bron! I also think if we wait to be strong enough to be open to vulnerability it gets pushed aside. We need to summon our “wobbly courage” as Kelly Exeter calls it and take the shakey step anyways. Thanks for stopping by Bron 🙂 Xx
Sonia Life Love Hiccups says
Oh Sandra – this post, the words and the emotion I could just feel every part of it. “All it means to do is open up the space to FEEL… to shake your world in a little or a big way… in a meaningful way… a happy or sad way… a connected meaningful purposeful way… for as sure as life is unavoidably composed of duality, so is the gift of vulnerability.”… one of the most powerful things I have read in such a long time and something that I so want to reinforce to my children, to myself and to every person I love. Thank you so much for such an incredible post lovely lady. xxx
Oh Sonia! Thank you for your lovely words and I’m glad my humble words have touched you so deeply. 🙂 Xx
Majella Laws says
Oh where have I been Sandra, that I missed this post. Absolutely superb writing and so honest. Keep writing….
Always so encouraging. Thank you friend. 🙂 Xx
Raych aka Mystery Case says
I’ve been completely slack with blog reading but so glad I finally found the time to read this. Great post.
Nice to have you pop by Raych and leave your lovely words. Pleased this resonated with you. 🙂 Xx