Yesterday, I opened my inbox to find an email from a close friend with a link to a Ted talk. Intrigued, I clicked it and it brought me to Brene Brown’s talk on vulnerability. The timing was absolutely impeccable and definitely a God thing, as that video had just been brought up in conversation with another person earlier that day, and it is exactly what I needed to hear. I clicked “play” and watched it all the way through…four times. (Disclaimer: and this is why I never sleep, I do things like this.)
I live a lot of my days in “shame.” I fear that because I don’t feel like I am “enough,” that I will not be able to build connections with those around me. So, instead of finding my worthiness and enough-ness, I tend to sit in the corner, hiding, wondering why no one sees me when, in reality, I’m not allowing them to see me. I don’t allow myself to feel worthy or enough because I do not realize that my worthiness is in MY hands. While I have an incredible amount of compassion towards those around me, I miss the most important step, and that is to have compassion towards myself.
It’s hardest to have compassion towards yourself when you don’t feel like you are “perfect,” when you don’t feel like you belong. It is easiest to not realize how much love and support will come to us if we put ourselves out there, if we allow ourselves to open our hearts to those around us. But the truth is: there’s just one step so many of us miss, and that is realizing our value in ourselves. The second you say to yourself “I am enough,” and you allow yourself to believe it, you will gain that connection, you will be given that love and support you felt like you were lacking, but was actually there all along.
Growing up, so many of us were always told to “be strong,” or “be brave,” or “have courage,” but we had a skewed image of what “courage” meant. Courage truly means “to tell the story of who you are with your whole heart.” When you allow yourself to break down those walls, and show your true colors to those around you, this is when you grow. True courage is being able to show your imperfections, to spotlight your mistakes, your doubt, your uncertainty, and being okay with it. You don’t have to fit a certain mold. You don’t have to live the way you feel like society is telling you how to live. You have to be willing to let go of what you think you should be in order to become who you really are. You have to be vulnerable. It’s okay to let those around you see an ugly past, or hear a sobbing cry, or listen to a confused story. It’s okay to not be perfect. No one is. The closest we can get to perfect is when we take ourselves, all of our selves, and love it and accept it for exactly what it is, and that is us. You are you for a reason. I am me for a reason. Those reasons are the same thing and that is: no one better could do the job, could play the part.
So, stop doubting yourself. Stop putting walls up. Stop thinking that because you make mistakes, that you aren’t worthy of love and belonging, because that’s not true. We all are. We have to allow ourselves to accept this love, to give tremendous amounts of love back, to always be grateful, thankful, and joyful, and to know, one hundred percent, that we are enough.