We all enter the world the same—vulnerable and clueless. From day 1, we rely on our communities to school us in who we are in relation to others, what to (not) believe, and how to go about life.
At some point, we may question one or more of these stories, and that’s when the magic begins.
the courage to question
How many times have you heard a 3-year-old ask, “why”? As we get older, we’re often talked out of questioning. First, by well-meaning individuals around us–our parents, teachers, or friends–and ultimately by ourselves. We become so used to the same stories and thinking patterns that we assume they’re correct and even beneficial to our life story.
One of the most common stories and coincidentally the top regret of the dying is: “I wish I’d had the courage to to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.”
But that can be hard. In fact, I think the most courageous act anyone can commit is to simply be true to you.
Being You Requires Vulnerability
I have fought and faced vulnerability countless times. To pursue any dream, you must be willing to take a chance and expose yourself.
Think of your favorite pup. Now imagine giving him/her a belly rub. Paws up, tongue out, sheer bliss. It is the most vulnerable position for an animal–completely open and yet it’s also the most rewarding.
What if we took this attitude into our lives?
we’re in this together
7 years ago, I wrote a post inspired by Brené Brown’s TEDx talk The Power of Vulnerability, called “The V Word.” At the time, my heart was broken but also wide open. It was terrifying (and still can be) to let my guard down, not knowing if someone was going to reciprocate.
As Brené Brown mentions, the root of the word “courage” is heart. It is the heart, not the head that leads us into the great unknown.
The truth is we need each other. We’re all sifting through the stories to find what’s true, so why not do it together?
This V-Day, speak the truth of you who are, and you’ll be amazed at the beauty of a heart on fire.