“They fully embraced vulnerability. They believed
that what made them vulnerable made them beautiful.
They didn’t talk about vulnerability being comfortable,
nor did they really talk about it being excruciating.
They just talked about it being necessary.”
~Brené Brown, from her Ted Talk,
The Power of Vulnerability
(watch it HERE)
(Virginia Woolf at Monks House, her home in Sussex, England, undated. Via.)
Vulnerability is the key to everything.
It's being willing to let go of who you think you should be and be who you are.
It's putting yourself out there.
Despite the odds.
Despite the discomfort.
And despite the voice in your head.
It's doing what scares you not because the process is necessarily enjoyable (It's hard. I'm tired. I don't know how. They'll say no.) but because you don't want to leave this earth not having tried.
It's being brave enough to fail.
On Saturday I went to a memorial service for a neighbor. He was 91 years young and had a great life. One by one, his oldest and dearest friends stood up and gave the most beautiful, heartfelt and erudite speeches. I sat in the back and felt this growing nagging feeling that I should go up there and say something too. Because he was the coolest guy. He knew everything. He'd been everywhere. The week before he died, he was studying German verbs and advanced physics for fun.
But I hadn't prepared anything. And speaking in public makes me nervous. Because who I want to be isn't necessarily who I am.
Writing from your sweet spot is one thing. You can edit. You can delete. You can go over every word with a fine-tooth comb. Speaking from your sweet spot is entirely another.
So I sat there.
And sat there.
And my heart was pounding.
And then finally when it was asked if anyone else wanted to speak, I raised my hand few inches and somebody saw it. So I went up to the podium.
And I was super nervous but I took a deep breath and plunged ahead. And I stumbled over my words a few times but thought of how much I admired Oliver and kept going. And I told a couple of stories about how funny and brilliant he was and how proud he was of his three children and how much I was going to miss just sitting in his kitchen listening to him.
I think I got my point across. I hope so.
And then last night I discovered Brené Brown's TED talk. (If you have time, watch it. It's really that good.)
My admiration for my friend Oliver gave me the courage to be vulnerable.
What about you?
Is there anything you're brave enough to fail at?
If you're lucky, there is.