By Cassandra Sales
If you talk to anyone in my inner most circle, they would probably share three things about me. First, when it comes to energy, I always try to make mine worth catching. I remember when I became a Mom for the first time and the doctor told me my blood type was B+ I had this epiphany that being positive literally ran through my veins. Life is one big adventure at sea and some days we are soaking up the rays while other days we are trying not to drown in the midst of storms. We can’t always control what happens to us, but we certainly can try to control what flows through us – in our mind, body, and spirit which is why choosing our attitude’s is so vital to our success. The second thing you would learn is humor is very important to me. When people are laughing they are not hurting (for the most part) and I have learned the importance of embracing laughter in all seasons and areas of life. I don’t take myself too seriously which is evident in the song of the day I send to Tyler and Jen via Marco Polo every morning. Nothing quite says “I’m confident in who I am” quite like singing Weird Al’s the White Stuff to the guy in HR and your supervisor.
However, the third thing you would learn is connection is just a part of my DNA. Having my soul connect profoundly with others is one of the best parts of life. That connection usually follows one of my favorite questions “Want to have a feelings talk?” Absolutely no one ever wants to embrace that question. You know that face you make when you drive by and smell a skunk? Yeah, that’s usually the face I get when I ask that question. Vulnerability is a tough necessity of life to embrace because we have always looked through the lens of it being synonymous with weakness. Animals are an example of monopolizing on vulnerability as weakness. Predators wait until their prey is most vulnerable – sleeping, eating, etc. – before they attack. When we are asked or encouraged to be vulnerable, we feel like prey.
Vulnerability is actually a deep form of courage. Imagine if Cinderella had just shown up to the Ball as herself. No gown, no glass slipper, but she boldly walked into the room confident in who she was – that type of vulnerability would take an immense about of courage. We are so afraid to be seen as our true selves that we present like Cinderella at the Ball in all areas of life. Social media is a great example of this. Sometimes when I scroll through Facebook or Instagram I wish my phone was an etch a sketch and I could just shake it and make whatever was on the screen disappear. I can’t tell you how many times someone has come up to me in public, introduced themselves, said we were Facebook friends and I had no idea who they were. I, of course, feel awful and look through my friend’s list only to find a photo of them that looks nothing like them because it’s so covered in filters they look more like a puppy than a human.
I get it. Filters are cute and fun and they make us feel better ourselves. But, your seven year old daughter who sees that you will never post a picture without them is watching. That little girl who looks up to you and sees you as beautiful just the way you come then starts to doubt the lens through which she sees. If I see my mommy as beautiful, but she doesn’t then when I look in the mirror and think I am beautiful are others seeing me as not? In order to see vulnerability as courage, we have to adjust our lens. We must turn our energy inwards, not focusing on other people’s attitudes, but our own. Once that transition happens, it becomes clear how we wish to be seen, and we become less concerned or afraid of what others might think or say. Ulitmately, we become more conifdent in our own voice and being our true selves.
Vulnerability is a super power you can access through courage, but there are several steps to that process. We let ourselves be seen, truly seen. We embrace who we are and the strengths we bring to this world. We ask for help when we need it and communicate when enough is enough. We give ourselves grace for our imperfections and rough moments, and we are grateful we are surrounded by a tribe that offers us that same grace. We acknowledge that we are human and love ourselves through all seasons of life. In a world of Cinderella’s, be a Belle. Encourage the beasts of life to be vulnerable enough to know they are worthy just as they come. Those things that make you vulnerable make you beautiful. And the world needs your beauty.