Brene Brown - whom I admire tremendously for her tenacity, her no bullshit, her I-am-a-woman-hear-me-roarness, and for her great humor - says that courage is to tell the story of who you are with your whole heart.
Your whole. heart.
You can't go halfway and still be considered courageous.
The first few weeks with The Boyfriend were full of thunderstorms and rainy windows - full of big truths that we demanded of each other. Full of whole stories. I'd look out and see nothing but fog - no path, no direction, no yellow brick road ... there was nothing. There was a boy, patiently waiting for me to forge my own way, and there was me - a girl that doesn't even own a shovel.
And you guys? I am a wild leaper.
I'm the girl that would've willingly leapt wildly into that abyss of a thunderstorm and without a rain jacket because I have no patience to even think of grabbing one on the way. I have no experience in waiting out the storm. I have no knowledge of what it is like to sit and wait and feel each and every drop. No experience in listening to the thunder. No idea about how to take cover from the lightening.
And so with every charge out into the rain, The Boyfriend would calmly and quietly put his hand on my arm and tug me back a little.
"No, no," he would whisper. "Not yet."
In the path forging - the brick laying and repairing, in the finding our way, I felt vulnerable. I'm so black and white and all in or not, that the idea of converging two separate lives slowly, surely, bravely ... threw me for a loop.
"You make me feel vulnerable," I would tell him. A hiss. A battle cry of pent up emotion from a life before him.
"And that's okay," he would respond. Easily. A steady voice through a monsoon.
And you know what?
It was okay.
Sometimes, I think we overlook "vulnerable" ... we consider vulnerability to be a bad guy. It's a scary place. It's dark. It's full of second guesses, insecurities, and large, looming doubts. But the scariest part of vulnerability? It's the hope. It's the hope that there is something better waiting for you on the other side of the thunderstorm. It's the clawing, desperate hope that whatever it is that you are - that it's just ... good enough. It's the faithful hope that we place in another person ... the faithful hope that they'll still be right there - after you've waited out the storm together.
It's some big, risky stuff.
You know - I love Kevin Costner. There's something about his tanned skin and voice that makes me want to love baseball and bleachers and men in tight pants. In the movie For Love of the Game, the girl he's totes in love with says to him that everyone should just carry a sign. That life would be so much easier if everyone just had a card hanging from their neck that just said whatever it was that they were carrying.
Wouldn't that be interesting? To step into a relationship with someone else - any kind of relationship - and just say the big stuff up front? A sort of list: THIS IS WHAT I NEED MOST FROM YOU. And if your lists match up? Hey! Perfect! And if not? No time wasted. No hurt feelings. No broken hearts.
But that's also showing your hand, right? Showing your vulnerability cards? Freud says that out of our vulnerabilities, rise our strengths. And I'll be damned if that isn't just a big old truth.
See, if we had the cards? If we had the giant signs around our necks? There would be no growth in grace. There would be no healing. There would be no bridge built to the other side. There would be no reason to walk with someone, share an umbrella, and not even care about getting a little wet from the crazy hurricane around you.
Life is full of wild leaps. That much, I'm quite sure of. And without the feeling of vulnerability in the jump, there would be no bravery.
There would be no courage.
And what kind of life is that?
I love you like I love Christmas tree lights in early November,
PS - No more baseball references. I promise.
PPS - That's a lie because I love Kevin Costner fo' life.
. About Moi .
I love, love, love flannel sheets and I am really passionate about lists on post it notes and most of the time I'm sad that no one else is as excited as I am about Diet Mountain Dew. I also adore run-on sentences.
He saw her before he saw
anything else in the room.
- F. Scott Fitzgerald
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