It’s month three of our Bold. Brilliant. Beautiful. You. project and after last month’s ‘I Am’ statements, we are trying on the concept of vulnerability. Vulnerability is the state in which you are capable of or susceptible to being wounded or hurt. In other words, it’s that sweat-inducing, freaking scary place of opening yourself up or putting yourself out there.
In terms of vulnerability, I like to think of myself as a fortress of many levels. At the bottom, accessible to all people, are parts of myself like a funny quip and conversations on weather. As one moves farther up in the fortress, the more Amy one gets – an explanation of my occupation, tidbits about my family, my opinions on things and at the tippy top are parts like my biggest, most elaborate dreams and my most frightening fears. I assume most people are like this, it’s not new.
I run a pretty tight
ship fortress. I am a very strong, can-make-it-on-my-own kind of person. I think I may appear more vulnerable than I really allow myself to be, what with putting myself out there with things like my artwork and this blog. Don’t misunderstand. It’s not that I’m being inauthentic or untruthful; my integrity is something I take great pride in. However, there are a lot more levels to me than what you see here and there are very few people I allow up into the top ones. I keep my very special interior levels securely protected and I am a master editor of speech.
I only give people what I think they can handle. It’s both for me and for them. But mostly for me.
But here’s the thing: keeping everyone at arm’s length (or every special fortress room locked) may keep you from inevitable hurt and pain (inevitable because life and living has it), it also keeps you from really connecting, really getting out there. My personal fortress works and makes it possible for me to function in this world and I have many deep and meaningful relationships with the people in my life. But there are areas where I need to breathe deep and unlock the door. I need to be honest about the things I need.
Have you heard of Brené Brown? I have a bit of an obsession with her currently. Brené is a research professor, having studied things like vulnerability, courage, authenticity, empathy and shame. She’s been featured on TED talks and written a few books. I’ve recently started one of her books called Daring Greatly and I loved this bit from the book, explaining what it means to dare greatly.
“Vulnerability is not knowing victory or defeat, it’s understanding the necessity of both; it’s engaging. It’s being all in.
Vulnerability is not weakness…..not optional. Our only choice is a question of engagement. Our willingness to own and engage with our vulnerability determines the depth of our courage…..the level to which we protect ourselves from being vulnerable is a measure of our fear and disconnection.
When we spend our lives waiting until we’re perfect or bulletproof…..we ultimately sacrifice relationships and opportunities…..
Perfect and bulletproof are seductive…don’t exist in the human experience. We must walk into the arena, whatever it may be…..with courage and the willingness to engage. ….we must dare to show up and let ourselves be seen. This is vulnerability. This is daring greatly.”
I’m going to keep my fortress. I will not be opening all the doors and letting all my stuff hang out. The world at large doesn’t need that noise. Haha! But I am going to have courage, dare greatly and open myself up more. I want to engage, I want to be all in. I am sure the alternative, the sterile, disengaged alternative is not for me. I want deep, I want close and I want vulnerability. Sweat and all.
So tell me. What do you need?
If you want to share a pic on Instagram, add the hashtag #boldbrilliantbeautiful so we can all see you! If you tag me (@thisheartofmineblog), I’ll leave you a message!
Another month, another linky party. Go ahead and click on any of the images to read about others ‘I Need’ statements. If you have a post to share, make sure to add it below. If you want to add the linky party to your site, there is a link for the code below as well. Come join in!
For 2014, I’ve joined forces with some blogging friends of mine to motivate and encourage ourselves and others to be bold, brilliant, beautiful and decidedly ourselves. And we totally want you to join us! The #boldbrilliantbeautiful project is a support group for all of us seeking to be real and vulnerable. No judging, no questions, just support and words of encouragement. Find us on Instagram with the #boldbrilliantbeautiful hashtag and on the Bold. Brilliant. Beautiful. You. Facebook page. All are invited and welcome. :)