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