Perfect and bulletproof are seductive, but they don’t exist in the human experience. We must walk into the arena, whatever it may be – a new relationship, an important meeting, our creative process, or a difficult family conversation – with courage and the willingness to engage. Rather than sitting on the sidelines and hurling judgment and advice, we must dare to show up and let ourselves be seen. This is vulnerability. This is daring greatly.     ~ Dr. Brené Brown

I had a divine long run in the pouring rain today that opened my heart, and it’s no accident that after I showered and snuggled in I tuned in to Oprah’s life class with Dr. Brené Brown on the topic of vulnerability.

This woman gets it.

This is part of my story I’ve been trying to tell.

I spent years – decades – of my life suiting up with all kinds of armor to protect myself from being hurt.  And I was hurt a lot, though I am not unique in that regard.

My biggest gift of late is having someone in my life who is safe – someone with whom I can drop the bravado and truly be myself.  It hasn’t been easy.  In the beginning, my voice would shake and I stuttered when I tried to open up with this person.  I was terrified.  And I got scared – a lot.  My head would start racing through all kinds of potential scenarios – all of which ended badly for me.  I what-iffed myself into craziness.

I can say with certainty, every time I remove a piece of my armor and become vulnerable (and it is a process – I did not drop everything in a big pile on day one) my heart opens bigger and wider and I experience more joy than I ever dreamed possible.

It has been an extraordinary experience.

The running has been a physical manifestation of this very same idea – that Love comes when I become brave.  Love comes when I face the road before me with courage and try something I’ve never done before or that scares me half to death.  And every time I do that which I thought I could not – and live through it, my soul comes alive.

Vulnerability.  It’s a good thing.

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