Brene Brown is so right. Vulnerability is the key to moving forward.

My tribe. I’d be lost without these women.

Brene Brown, the international best-selling author, TED Talk queen, and shame researcher, is spot on when it comes to vulnerability. But before I go into that, let’s all take a moment to react to the word “vulnerability.” Join me, will you?

Eeeeek! Being vulnerable? So not doing that! Put myself out there? I’d rather put pins in my eyes! Open myself up to judgement, share my “stuff”? Oh no. Not happening. I shall keep my shit to myself, thank you very much!

I’m right, right? That’s where we go when we hear the word vulnerability. I recall watching Brene Brown’s TED Talk on the topic with my hands over my eyes, peeking through my fingers. That’s how freaked out I was. But I watched, and watched again. And here’s the bottom line about being vulnerable: it is the key to moving forward to joy, to true happiness.

But first, the hard part. We have to dig deep, listen to what our body is telling us, and look for the clues to why we feel a certain way or are suffering inertia in some aspect of our life. Scary stuff, I know. I’m a master at putting my head in the sand. But ignoring whatever is stopping you from moving forward in your life doesn’t make “it” go away. It makes it worse.

So first, you dig deep. Don’t set up camp down there or anything, just look and acknowledge and accept.  Have tissues, because the final part of that sentence is “and cry.” Then muster up all your courage, hit the store for more tissues and several bottles of wine, and share your discoveries with the person or people you trust most in the world, and only those people.  At first your tribe, aka the people you trust most in the world, could be a little surprised, maybe scared. (Eek! She’s being vulnerable! Quick, where are those pins for my eyes???) But because they’re your tribe, that stuff passes in an instant, and then there’s nothing but listening, support, and love, and being absolutely blown away by your courage.

Any time we have the courage to pull the monster out from under the bed, hold that sucker up to the light and see it for what it really is, we begin to heal, get stronger, put that beast in perspective, free ourselves from its grip, and move forward.

And when we have the courage to do that in the company of those we love and trust? We give the gift of courage to them, too.

Nice right? It ain’t easy, but nothing really worth doing ever is.


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I Can’t Feel My Face

The first time I heard the song, I Can’t Feel My Face, I was with Cuy. We had his music on in the car and I said, “I don’t get it. Why can’t he feel his face when he’s with her?” To which Cuy replied, with all the patience a teen can muster when speaking to an absolute idiot, aka a mom who’s clearly too old to be listening to young people music, “Because he’s smiling at her.” Me: blank stare. Cuy, sighing, “When he’s with her, he smiles so much his face goes numb.” Me, light bulbs going off in my too-old-to-listen-to young-people-music-brain, “This is a great song!” Cuy: stares straight ahead at the road, shakes his head, says nothing.

I get it now though. I really do. It happened to me yesterday. Cuy’s car is a piece of junk. He bought it by himself (kudos to him, I know), with his money (more kudos, of course), from a particularly questionable used car place near school. It cost a pretty penny and now, after owning it less than a year, it needs to have the engine replaced, which will cost many many many more pretty pennies.

Nope. Not doing it. Not throwing good money after bad. The kid needs a car that’s safe. And just like I did for his older brother several years ago, yesterday, I went and bought him a good used car. But I didn’t tell him I was doing it. And throughout the entire process of test driving the car, completing the paperwork, and signing and initialing every single spot that needed to be signed and initialed, I smiled. And smiled. I smiled so much, my face went numb.

It was really numb when I shot this video (Bad video of really good car!), sent it to him, and was on the phone with him when he watched it. I only wish I had a recording of his “WHAT?” long pause……”OH MY GOD, MOM! THANK YOU!” response. I’m smiling right now, writing this. I’m even enjoying the numb feeling in my face and the knowledge that I’m going to die broke, but my kids will be safe. And that makes me smile even more.

I surprised him with this yesterday. I’m still smiling.


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