Over the past several years I have been studying vulnerability and imperfection as I realized that the only way to become fully myself was to break the need to try to be perfect. Vulnerability took a little extra motivation to work on. In full honesty, vulnerability is not something I felt a lot of need to work on until I met a man who I wanted to be vulnerable with and realized how I struggled with opening up. It was a realization that built over time and then hit me full on all at once. One of those scenarios where you almost feel the wind get knocked out of you by the wave of thoughts that rush into you. I knew beyond a doubt that I needed to learn to be vulnerable for me to grow and become my best self. What also hit me with that wave of thoughts is that when the right person is brought into your life they will truly inspire you to be your best. Not because they want you to change, not because they think you need to… but because of who they are and the way they see you. This is a beautiful thing!
Here I was wanting to be vulnerable and being scared of the idea all at the same time. Thankfully a really wonderful friend of mine was dealing with her own struggles of being vulnerable and shared not only resources to study, but the love and empathy that I needed to start into this journey. Side note: this friendship is one of the biggest blessings in my life.
The resources she recommended have been instrumental in the vulnerability process for me. Recently in my studies of this I read a section on ways to move beyond the fear in vulnerability and one of the biggest ways is to practice gratitude for the good in your life. That includes that the things that make you feel vulnerable.
Gratitude is a practice I started doing a few years back when I was having a difficult time finding the joy in life. Someone suggested I try practicing gratitude each morning. I am not always good at it, some mornings I wake up and focusing on the things I am grateful for is not a priority. It is a practice that I regularly focus on because it feels good in the depths of my soul.
What a change that simple little practice makes in stopping the fear that inevitably tries to grab you when you actively choose to be vulnerable.
A few things I am grateful for:
I am grateful for the friendship that has grown over almost 20 years into a strength of sisterhood and sharing life’s wonder and life’s trials. What a blessing!
I am grateful that my mom is an incredibly loving person who passed that on to me. She genuinely loves others and looks for the best in everyone. There is true strength in loving the way that my mom does. It is unconditional. She just radiates love and care.
I am grateful for my brother. There are more reasons than I can begin to list as to why. He knows and that is all that matters.
I am grateful for nature. It has carried me through the all of the phases of my life and the consistency of it never ceases to bring a peace and joy to my soul.
I am grateful for the parts of life that took me to the darkest places because the journey out of them taught me strength, compassion, and love in ways I don’t believe I would have learned without it.
I am grateful that the universe put me on a collision course with someone who sees the beauty of my soul and tenderly holds my hand as I wander this path of vulnerability. Bonus: he can get me laughing or grinning like an idiot at any time. That is pretty damn cool!
Oh, and I am incredibly grateful that I have this wonderful little spotted dog who is the embodiment of joy and love. My dog inspires me daily to love life fully in the moment I am in.
Gratitude. It is simple and makes all the difference.