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


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

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