What Everybody Ought to Know About Vulnerability

Why You Should Stop Being So Guarded

“I am guarded around people,” shared a mentee over lunch recently. My mentee was guarded because she feared that the people in her life would judge and reject her if they knew the thoughts that were going through her mind.

Dr. Brene Brown's Ted Talk on Vulnerability

However, this is the season for her to exchange her negative self-talk with positive thoughts that can propel her to the next level. For years, a voice in her head told my mentee that she wasn’t good enough, beautiful enough, or lovable enough, but not anymore. Since this is the season for that to change, my mentee felt more comfortable revealing this to me, her mentor, so I could help her with the process.

Over the next couple of hours, with her guard now down, we shared the negative self-talk that we had experienced and how it impacted our lives and relationships. We were vulnerable with each other.

Are You Treating the Symptom or the Disease?

Reconciling the God I Knew with the God I Now Know

As I wrote in my welcome post, prior to my breakthrough a month ago, my writer’s block was so severe I couldn’t even journal. That says something because I journaled daily and could easily write upward of 15 or more pages on any given day. Prior to Reggie’s passing, words flowed freely—afterwards, not so much.

Capsule Pack Image for treating the disease rather than the symptom

On several occasions, I tried unsuccessfully to journal. A few times, several days passed before the words stopped. Even on those occasions, my journal entries were brief and didn’t have the same flavor as before. They were mechanical as if I just went through the motions.

The same thing happened when I tried to spend time with God. It just wasn’t the same. That’s when I realized my writer’s block was a symptom, not the disease.

An Unexpected Benefit of the Unknown

A Clean Slate

“What about writing a book?” inquired my mentor Trish when I shared with her the breakthrough I experienced just under a month ago that led me to start this blog. Trish’s question was not as outlandish as it might sound. Before Reggie’s passing, I had lots of plans and goals for my life. One of which was to write a book. However, the trauma of adjusting to my identity as a widow caused me to hit the pause button on all my future plans and goals. My answer is “I don’t know.” I haven’t thought that far ahead.

Woman Thinking About What to Write on Her Clean Slate

Courtesy of iStock/Tsuji

No longer knowing who I am anymore makes it difficult, if not impossible, to know what the future holds for me. I never felt more in my purpose than when I was with Reg. It was as if I came alive in a sense when he came into my life. So, when he died, a part of me died with him. I didn’t want to go on without him, but I was still here.

I was so attached to the way things were that I continued in the same vein for a while. That provided some stability and time to mourn, but eventually, I had to let that go. Continuing after a certain point was like stuffing a round peg into a square hole. It just didn’t fit my life anymore.

Welcome to My Blog

Welcome! Around the United States today, Americans are celebrating living in “the land of the free and the home of the brave.” I, too, am celebrating my freedom—personally as well as nationally.

Welcome Fireworks celebrating freedom

Courtesy of iStock/dangdumrong

You see, before my dearly departed husband Reggie passed four years ago last month, transitioning our newsletter A Stitch in Time into a blog was one of my writing goals. However, along with the confusion following the loss of my husband, I experienced severe writer’s block. I couldn’t even write in my journal.

Then, two weeks ago, there was a shift. As suddenly as my freedom to write left, it returned. The words started flowing again. Now, free of whatever was blocking my writing, I started this blog.

Here, my goal is to open a dialogue about how to navigate the challenges, struggles, and obstacles, we encounter in life, and ultimately, not allow these experiences to define us. Also, I hope to share tips, ideas, and resources on how, like my writer’s block, we can overcome, resolve, and/or just plain move past them—whatever works to free us to write a new ending to our story. My prayer is that you will join me.