I may have said this before but it bears repeating: I have great friends. The last year of my life has been pretty rough, but God sent me some real glasses of water in the desert. Surround yourself with safe, consistent and vulnerable people and it will improve your life daily. That said, I have this really great friend who sent me a book on Audible. She’s smart, kind, witty and successful. I think sometimes people think you have to either be vulnerable and authentic OR successful. She is all 3. I admire her and I trust her.
She sent me a book by Dr. Brené Brown call The Gifts of Imperfection. When someone I respect recommends a book, I take it as a compliment and I read it. In this case, she not only recommended it, she sent me a copy. I couldn’t resist. Audible, the lazy man’s way of reading is perfect for a small cleaning business owner like me. Who can say no to cleaning toilets and improving your life simultaneously? So I’ve been through it twice already.
I love to give you all the cliff notes. Especially those of you with littles who don’t have time or the brain cells left at the end of the day to read, or you business folks grinding out those 12 hour days.
If you’re not familiar with Dr. Brené Brown she is a shame researcher and gives the most engaging TED talks. Look her up on TED.com. Shame researcher??? Her life’s work has been collecting and analyzing information from people on the topics of fear, shame and vulnerability. She’s written several books, but this one in particular is about people who live wholeheartedly.
I love that word wholehearted. Probably because I feel like my heart was shattered into a million pieces over the last few years and I’ve often wondered if I would ever be whole again.
Wholehearted people aren’t people who have thrived in life without adversity. They are people who have thrived in spite of the adversity life has thrown at them. Wholehearted people are vulnerable. She explains wholehearted people as having the following 3 qualities:
Courage is being able to own your story. Compassion is being kind to yourself and others. Connection comes as a result of the authenticity you display in courage and compassion. Wholehearted people are beautiful because they are willing to let go of who they think they should be. The beauty is in the brokenness. The Leonard Cohen song lyrics say it perfectly, ” There’s a crack in everything. That’s how the light gets through.”
Oh man, do I aspire to live like this in every way!
Here’s my wholehearted story:
Courage: Hi I’m Jill and after 22 years of marriage my husband left me for another woman. I never planned to be divorced and alone at 45 years old but here I am.
Compassion: I seek to understand my role in all of it and take responsibility so that I don’t make the same mistakes again. I have chosen to take the path of self-care by forgiving myself and learning to love myself which I strive to do daily. It is my goal to be a safe, no-judgement zone for friends and strangers alike.
Connection: My intentional vulnerability and willingness to own my story and share my pain and my process has brought the most beautiful people into my life. Some are a few steps ahead of me on the path others just a few steps behind. I live to connect with people. It is what makes me rich. I know now, it is my God-given purpose.
Most people would be mortified at this level of honesty and vulnerability in their own life or their relationships. I find it sexy.
Most people numb out with work, working-out, alcohol, general busyness, online shopping, watching t.v… I learned pretty quickly however, that when you numb the bad feelings; you numb the good ones too. I’ve endured far too much pain to numb the good feelings going forward. I want to see, feel, taste and experience everything good life has to offer me.
Vulnerability is the birthplace of joy, creativity, love and belonging.
I choose to live a wholehearted life. Will you join me?