This morning, as I drank my daily coffee, perused the internet, and relaxed on the couch, I came across a fellow bloggers post click here on shame. Her post linked in a TED talk which I took the time to watch, and would tell others to watch as well: Brene Brown Listening to Shame. Brene Brown, a researcher of shame and vulnerability, discusses vulnerability and shames link to creativity, courage, and innovation. Say what?!
I’m not sure when it happened, but at some point in my 26 years on this earth, I have allowed my fears of being vulnerable hinder my own progress. I’m sure it began in childhood. I can recall riding my brand new bike with friends that I always desperately tried to impress, they were older and the cool kids in the neighborhood. As I tried to impress them with some bike trick, I tried to pop up, and instead, literally flipped my bike. I could hear the giggles. Blood poured from my knees, my face was scratched, I can still feel the tightness in my chest from embarrassment. I ran inside and cried to my mom. what were you doing out there?! I was mortified. That feeling began to manifest inside of me until it became shame. And I stopped riding my bike. This story occurred throughout my life in a variety of facets, like it does for everyone.
When I decided to write this blog I debated it long before it’s first post. Reason?
I was afraid of being vulnerable.
I was afraid of shame.
I was afraid of judgment.
I was afraid of people seeing that I have lupus and I was afraid of what they would think.
I was afraid of my writing and it’s quality… I’m not a writer! I just a regular person who has a lot of thoughts going through my head.
Even in that statement that I just wrote, I can see my fears! I was trying to justify, if this sucks it’s because I’m not a writer. I recognize that I continuously allowed vulnerability to control me.
Isn’t shame the red headed stepchild of emotions? And that’s why we are all terrified of it. We don’t like how it feels. We all have a shame story that shapes us in some way. But how we live after we deal with shame is what defines us. Can we allow ourselves to step out from those feelings and grow? If we can, then we can allow the most beautiful things to happen. Through this blog, despite my fears, I embrace my vulnerability and take it head on. I allow myself to be exposed, my feelings, and my trials and tribulations with running.
I hid my first blog post for a long time from my friends, in fact one person told me, maybe you don’t want to share this with people. I internalized that, this blog must suck. When I posted it for my world to see, I could feel my breath become shallow, I could hear my heart beating in my ears. That is vulnerability. All of my fears that I was holding onto were laid out of the table. It was too late. I couldn’t take it back. And I’m thankful that I didn’t.
Since beginning this blog I have felt the warmth and support of people that I never imagined would even care about what I had to say.
A friend who after debating running told me they asked themself: what would Talia do?
An e-mail from a college friend that I haven’t seen or spoken to in nearly six years thanking me for my posts.
A fellow blogger and high school pal who told me of her successes with running and how I helped her feel as though running slow was Ok, because it is!
People who have thanked me for writing about lupus. People who said, I didn’t know you had lupus, and then took the time to read about it and look into the disease.
I put myself out there and through you unbelievable people who have taken your time to read my posts, I want to continue running, trying, achieving, and bettering myself. I love all of you readers and your support. Thank you for making me a stronger person.
In the TED talk, Brene Brown quotes Theodore Roosevelt’s, The Man in the Arena, please read it and think about your own life. Make yourself the man in the arena, it’s challenging because it makes us all the more vulnerable, but in the end, it’s rewarding.
It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.