Vulnerable – A Personal Reflection

VulnerableOriginal Post: December 26, 2014

This has been an incredible year. My life has changed in so many ways I almost can’t keep up. My nursing school colleagues know that my idea of change is to do it all at once in a short period of time. It’s been an ongoing joke among us that 15 years ago I had several life changes (that are classified as high stress events) in a brief period of time: marriage, had a baby, graduated college, bought a house, and started a new job. Whew, it was a great time in my life and didn’t feel the stress at all.  Now here I am at it again: divorced, quit a great job, moved to an Arab country (without every visiting first), started a new job, and missing my son in the states. Here is another series of high stress life changes that I am living through.  Guess what, I’m living life…and it’s good.

Going through this round of change has afforded a more mature and seasoned me to reflect in a way that a 21 year old would have no concept of. The time I spent in Maldives was a great time of reflection. Each day I discover more about myself and I’m enjoying each unearthing: good or bad.  A bit of advice that I have given as a leader to many colleagues is in order for someone to truly see who you are, you must make yourself vulnerable. No one likes to be vulnerable or perceived as such. I’m not saying put it on a t-shirt but vulnerability can be a breakthrough in your life. Read the passage below by Margarita Tartakovsky, M.S.:

“Vulnerability is scary. But it’s also a powerful and authentic way to live. According to author Brené Brown, Ph.D, LMSW, in her latest book Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent and Lead, “Vulnerability is the core, the heart, the center, of meaningful human experiences.” She defines vulnerability as “uncertainty, risk and emotional exposure.”’

The interesting thing about this passage is that one of the recent discoveries I’ve unearthed about myself is that in order for me to experience true happiness (yes, all my religious folks…I know what you’re thinking…) I must allow myself to be vulnerable…experience that “uncertainty, risk, and emotional exposure”; not just in my professional life but also in my personal life. Tartakovsky’s piece validated this for me and made me think on the many times I’ve advised others to make themselves vulnerable. So today, I have the strength, courage, and confidence to allow myself to be vulnerable so that I can have the opportunity to experience life in a way that I’ve not experience it before. It’s a bit frightening but if not now, then when?

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