Friday, January 29, 2016

The Paradox of Courage: A Parent's Perspective

Daring greatly - by being vulnerable

In the book Daring Greatly one chapter scared me to death…in fact, I skimmed it at first.  Then I went back.  I bet I started that chapter five times before I sat, finished it and allowed it to soak in…to change me.  The dreaded chapter four – The Vulnerability Armory. 

Mr. Cross has always pushed the Cougar community to stretch ourselves.  Chapter four was definitely a stretch to me.  Why does the word “vulnerable” scare me?  Us?  Why are we so afraid of being vulnerable.  What’s the harm?  Oh yeah – hurt, ridicule, embarrassment.  What if they see what my house really looks like?  What if they really knew how hard I had to study?  What if they knew that I was sad some of the time?  When did it become wrong to be vulnerable – to be real?

Want to know what I finally learned in the dreaded chapter four?  I learned that we all struggle with vulnerability.  I learned that everyone has some type of mask they pray does not get ripped off, discovered.  I learned that I had to redefine “joy.”  I needed to be grateful for even the smallest of things.  The sun shining, the car rider line moving smoothly, a good hair day – I was going to be grateful for more than the “obvious.”

The last thing I learned might shock you.  Hold onto your hat…I don’t need to be perfect.  Wow!  Mind-blowing; I know.  I can strive for excellence but don’t need to obtain perfection.  The scars I have gotten along the way, the cracks I have fallen in…they make me who I am.  They make me “enough.”  Learning that I did not need to be perfect changed my life.  Accepting me for me – that was something quite frankly that saved my life.  Yep; saved my life.  Uh oh – I am being vulnerable.  I am being honest.  I am being real.  Know what?  It feels pretty good.  
 
Maybe you are lucky and knew these things before me.  I am truly happy for you – but guess what – the new vulnerable me is here to tell you I needed to learn these things.  I sure am glad I did.  I want each of these things for my girls.  I want each of these things for you.  I want you to know that everyone around you struggles, worries and stresses.  Look around.  I dare you to be real with someone.  It might make you a new friend. 
  
I want you to find joy.  Find joy in the little things, in the ordinary.  Maybe you will see joy in your classmate who shares a pencil with you.  Maybe you will find joy in a smile from a stranger.  Hey, maybe you will find joy by smiling at a stranger. 


Perfection – don’t let it rule over you.  Embrace your scars.  Embrace each other.  Support each other.  Lend a hand when it’s needed and ask for one when you need it.  I am not kidding, chapter four changed my life.  Be vulnerable.  I dare you!  

Kym Pratt, Proud Cinco Ranch Parent


2 comments:

  1. Thank you. Vulnerable. Real. Honest. Imperfect. The little things. This is excellent!

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  2. Fantastic post, Kym! We must embrace the paradox of strength through vulnerability!

    ReplyDelete