The power in owning your story

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Last week I wrote a personal post about some of the challenges I have faced in my life and how those challenges, as they always are, were blessings and opportunities for deep personal growth.

I was overwhelmed by the heart warming responses I received from people who told me that they no longer felt like they were the only one experiencing these feelings and that my post had given them hope for a better future. Sure, I was hoping people might connect to what I had shared but I was truly touched by how my little story could positively impact so many people!

It got me thinking about the power of vulnerability and how sharing our stories, our pain points and our personal challenges can be so healing not only for ourselves but how we can unknowingly inspire and give hope to those around us.

I know that being vulnerable isn't easy. It isn't something our society is comfortable with. To be vulnerable is often seen as to be weak. As a result, many of us choose to instead pretend that everything is perfectly ok. We hide behind veils and bury our truth, our pain and our stories deep inside...and we all know how well that turns out! 

It took me years to own my story and be comfortable sharing my darker days. Before opening up I often avoided certain situations and people that might make me confront emotions or things I was trying to hide. I felt embarrassed that my life wasn't perfect and also didn't want people to feel sorry for me or feel like they had to fix it.

Little by little I started opening up to those around me. It was then that I realised that these negative experiences, that once controlled and defined me, no longer had ownership of me. That they were instead something positive I could share with the world. By being true, open and vulnerable I was creating deeper and more honest connections with those around me and I realised how powerful and enriching my life had become when I had dropped the veil I was hiding behind. 

So to society, I want to say that vulnerability IS powerful. Vulnerability IS something that should be embraced, welcomed and celebrated. Being vulnerable heals and inspires. I know the saying is it takes balls...but I believe it takes balls & big brave ovaries to step forward and be vulnerable.

For those who have the privilege of experiencing another soul's vulnerability please welcome it with an open heart and open ears. Don't try and fix it or shut it down. Simply hold space. Sit with it and maybe even be inspired by it!

I'd love to know, do you allow yourself to be vulnerable? If so how did it feel? How do you feel when other people are vulnerable around you? Perhaps you'd even like to share some of your story?

Owning our story can be hard but not nearly as difficult as spending our lives running from it. Embracing our vulnerabilities is risky but not nearly as dangerous as giving up on love and belonging and joy—the experiences that make us the most vulnerable. Only when we are brave enough to explore the darkness will we discover the infinite power of our light.
— Brené Brown