So, I've been on a personal journey of discovery this year. My personal life has many challenges right now - still learning the nuances of a very challenging job, the care of my 93 year old mother, a - shall we say - difficult relationship with my sister with whom I share the job of caring for mother, a couple of physical challenges that I could totally overcome if I would just determine to do so - you know - life! But here's what I'm learning with the help of my good friend Brene Brown. (She actually doesn't know me at all, but I feel so connected to her that I feel we know each other.)
Brene is a social worker who spent many years researching shame. I've just about decided that shame is pretty much the root of all the things that sabotage our success. I stumble my way through a meeting or professional development presentation and feel shame - and it's really shame that causes the stumbling. Brene says that shame gets us in one of two ways: either - "you're not ___ enough" or if you can get past that one, it's "who do you think you are?" I think that pretty much covers every scenario you can think of.
Marianne Williamson said, "Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, “Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?” Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small doesn’t serve the world. There’s nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we subconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we’re liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.
In The Gifts of Imperfection Brene states that vulnerability is our most accurate measure of courage. We shrink back, we hide, we dissemble, we dramatize . . . all so we won't have to be vulnerable. I know I've grown more cautious about who I am vulnerable with. Before I share my story with someone I need to know if they have earned the right to hear my story, and if they can bear the weight of my story. You know - not everyone can. The desperateness of their own story can prevent people from being able to bear mine. But I do know this, "Loving ourselves through the process of owning our story is the bravest thing we'll ever do." (Brene again.)
I'm nearing the end of year two as an AP and some things are easier - much easier. Some things still trip me up. Some things I flat out miss because I'm not paying close enough attention. But it's okay because I'm determined to not judge my success or failures, my ups or downs, through the filter of my own worthiness, but rather understanding that, as Roosevelt said, I may fail while daring greatly, but at least I'm daring. So - back to blogging and Twitter and to a fresh perspective - whether anyone else reads it or not.