The Power of Vulnerability

Episode #21

Brené Brown says it so well. She says, “vulnerability sounds like truth and feels like courage but truth and courage aren’t always comfortable but they are never weakness”. With what is going on in our world today we all need vulnerability more than ever. We are all feeling some intense emotions in various ways – frustrated trying to work with kids in the home, scared of the unknown, worried if you or someone you love may get sick or lose their job. We need to vocalize our deepest thoughts and feelings with someone we love and trust. Speaking openly about our feelings isn’t easy or comfortable but by taking courage to be vulnerable will carry you through scary times and you will be healthier and more resilient on the other side. And who wouldn’t want that?!


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EPISODE TRANSCRIPT:

Ashley
Welcome to rise up and shine. We are two women at different stages of life who have overcome feeling stuck, and are now living life fully with peace and joy. Join Us Weekly for a real raw and faithful conversation about our trials and triumphs, bringing hope insight and weekly tips that you too can rise up and let your light shine bright.

Welcome back, everybody. So this is Claudine and Ashley here. And after our last episode, I’ve been thinking a lot about Claudine here sharing that she offered up for us and I have come to a diagnosis for you really my friend Claudine. Yes. So as you were sharing after our workshop, I thought about you have a vulnerability hangover.

Claudine
A vulnerability hangover? Is that what I have?

Ashley
Yes, a vulnerability hangover. So what that is actually, it’s the term was coined by Brittany Brown, phenomenal. She talked a lot about vulnerability in her book, the gifts of imperfection. But she said that the vulnerability hangover is, is that gut wrenching feeling that you get after you decide something or after you share something, and it’s like you decide to be real about who you are, or what you want, or you know, what you express and what you put out in the world. And so you had this feeling of like, it didn’t sit right with you, right? Like you said, you were kind of ruminating on all those rides, right days, days. So vulnerability hangover. So that brought us to our episode today. And so we thought we would share about vulnerability because vulnerability is huge. And I want to start with the definition. So vulnerability is essentially the uncertainty risk or emotional exposure. Right, you know, so there’s kind of this risk of being hurt. Emotionally, you know, if we tend to share things about us personally, things we want things we need just any personal stuff about ourselves. That there it kind of lets us be at risk for possibly people’s opinions, riling some sort of hurt from right?

Claudine
Well, it’s funny, because I wasn’t specific. Last week, I didn’t specifically say what those thoughts were on record. But I did talk with you. And that was one of the things I felt like, I had shared so many personal things that after I went home, I thought, Oh, my gosh, I shared so much. And now people know these things about me. And now they know the real me. And so my own mean girl in my head started attacking me. And I just felt so vulnerable. I felt so exposed exactly like the definition, exactly what I felt like. And yet what’s funny is after reading all the common cards, one of the strengths was all the personal sharing, like, Huh, comment after comment after comment was the strength of the workshop was both of us sharing. But the personal sharing was really powerful and help people feel relatable and connect to both of us through our sharing. And yet for several days, it was like this torment. So it’s kind of funny that there’s this vulnerability hangover, because that’s exactly. Now that you say it, that’s what it felt like, I just felt really down and weak. And I don’t know that I had a headache. But it’s been a long, long, long alcohol hangover, so I can’t remember. But it really was a tough, tough few days. And I really felt so exposed, I guess that’s the best word exposed. And yet, vulnerability is such a powerful tool, it’s so important that we are able to be vulnerable with one another because it really does help us connect to people. And it really helps people know our needs and know who we are.

Ashley
Yes. As we were talking after the workshop, I got to thinking how like you. In our conversations, it was almost like you’re second guessing things you had said, right? Or, you know, most of it was in your head, but you did share a little bit with me that you were you were unsure that what you said was appropriate, or almost like you felt like you shared too much. And it was it was kind of that, you know, like that feeling. You got that sinking feeling like, oh, gosh, I should have done that. It was that good. Was it? And it’s true. Anytime we share anything personal, especially in an environment like that, you know, I mean, 30-40 women, that we don’t all you know, right, we don’t have the closest relationship live. Um, there’s some of course, we’re absolute strangers. Yeah. So it is it’s that uneasy feeling of like, did I share too much is this Okay, as you know, and especially how’s it going to be received? Right, you know, are people going to make judgments? Are they going to cast opinions on me now? Or are they going to think one thing of me but you know, and that’s a huge thing is what is the other person on the receiving end going to think and that’s what vulnerability is vulnerability is just being able to share in a safe environment as well, you know, I mean, especially if there’s things that we really need to get off of our heart, you know, and share personal stuff to help us process. It’s important and a smart thing to do find people that are safe, you know, that you feel really comfortable with. So you can be completely vulnerable. But in a situation like that, I mean, I’ve had circumstances where I was sharing, you know, in a conversation, and specifically one was at a birthday party for my niece, and I was talking with one of the other moms, you know, I mean, we semi know each other from around town neighbors, but that’s it. And we just started talking, and I started sharing, and I’m like, you know, part of me is, like, am I sharing too much? Like, I’m getting really personal, and I don’t really know you. And as I left, I said goodbye to her. And she, you know, purposely thanked me for sharing well, so because she got encouragement from me being Orion, and sharing about my personal struggles and marriage or motherhood. And if she felt comfortable to be able to share it with me as well. And so it does open up a door for others to feel like oh, wow, like I can share too. And, and there’s this connection. Absolutely. And so now whenever I see around the school, there’s more of a connection like we get each other you know, we’re not alone. We understand we have compassion on each other and what our struggles we go through.

Claudine
Yeah, it’s almost the opposite of social media where you’re always presenting this Yeah, right. perfect life. Here’s my perfect life. My perfect husband, my perfect children, my perfect career, my perfect everything. And then when we’re vulnerable, it’s almost like we bring in our humaneness. Yeah, we are imperfect, every single our shared humanity, right shared humanity that no one is any better any different, really, we all have the same struggles in I know, I’m really inspired by Paul’s writing, I started to call Paul my life coach, but I love I love in Second Corinthians 12, he says, My grace is sufficient for you. For my power is being perfected, and is completed and shows itself most effectively in your weakness. And then Paul says, Therefore, I will all the more gladly boast in my weaknesses so that the power of Christ may completely unfold me and may dwell in me. And I love them. I think early on, I learned how to become vulnerable. I think I had women in my life that modeled that and taught me that and so I thought is a really powerful thing, right? And so it’s not terribly difficult for me to be real and to share vulnerably and to share my weaknesses, but for some reason, this time, I don’t know if it was because there were a lot of women I didn’t know there were a lot of new people, new faces. And then after it, I just felt like, Oh, my gosh, I really opened myself up, and what will they think? And I’m so beyond for the most part, what do people think? I mean, really, you get to a certain age, you’re like, honestly, I really don’t care. But in those moments, I can’t wait for that moment, I didn’t care again, I was like, oh, and and, and again, going back to reading the comment cards, it was amazing. It was that that was the strength was the vulnerability and how important it is for all of us to do that in our day to day lives. Whether it’s a mom in the school line, that you’re talking to her at a party or anyone we may come across that we just don’t know how our words and sharing our weaknesses, about our weaknesses can help strengthen someone else. And I do love Bernie’s, quote, that vulnerability sounds like truth and feels like courage, truth and courage aren’t always comfortable, but they are never weakness. Mm hmm. So when we are vulnerable, sharing about our weaknesses, that’s a place of strength, they really take strength to share that share about our weaknesses being authentic and real. Like, here I am flaws and all this is me.

Ashley
Which is the complete opposite of what we really think and right belief. You know, I mean, we think that like, Oh, I got to keep it together, right? I got to look a certain way I got to be strong. I got to you know, people are gonna see me falling apart, right can’t see me crumble. And that’s one reason why I got into blogging. You know, my motivation for that is because like, I all of my struggles, were the self awareness was so powerful for me that I felt like I needed to share it with others. And the more that I was starting to share with others, I would get this feedback that Oh, my gosh, Me too. Me too. You know, I people felt hope again, and they felt I’m not alone. Because when we go through certain struggles in our life and challenges and traumas and whatnot, just life even, you know, we feel like we’re the only one that’s right. No one understands what I’m going through. You know, I mean, it’s so powerful to know that other people struggle too but that’s not what’s out there on social media, right? You know, and that’s what like, I wrestle with that on my post, you know, I try to post three times a week. And part of me is like, what’s social media, you know, etiquette or what’s appropriate, or these people are posting all these beautiful, I don’t have anything beautiful, my house is a mess, and my children have food across their face. And in my pajamas. And I realized I have to fight that girl inside my mind. Right, I have to fight her that. That is what is powerful to me right here people’s true stories and their real raw feelings and thoughts and emotions. And I am wanting to do that as well. Like, I want to be vulnerable and share some of the big, you know, catastrophic, catastrophic events I’ve gone through and how I felt and how, you know, just like depression, even I mean, starting to talk about depression was huge, because not a lot of people talked about it. There’s the stigma that comes with it, you know, right. It seems easier and more, quote unquote, acceptable to talk about anxiety than depression.

Claudine
Yeah, Especially in a Christian circle, it’s definitely less acceptable. Because we’re supposed to rejoice always. I’ll say it again. Rejoice! I can’t get out of bed, but I’m trying to rejoice.

Ashley
I know. And, and unfortunately, I think a lot of us don’t allow ourselves to be vulnerable. I know, in my case, because I didn’t want to hear well, you should write dot dot, you know, or you need more faith, or you need to pray more you need, you know, the nines and the shoulds. And so really, what I realized for myself is that when I was in depression, I, I kept to myself because I was it was like, right, self protection. And I you know, I was already feeling shame. I didn’t want to add more on top of that, but opening myself up, and it was a risk to say, Hey, I think I’m depressed, you know, yes. And that’s why I think going to counseling and making the first phone call was terrifying for me, because that was extreme vulnerability to a stranger. Right? I called one, I hung up and I cried, I left a message I cried, like, I did it. I did. Oh, my gosh, that was so scary. But it is I mean, that vulnerability is what’s going to move us into healing. And that vulnerability gives us connection with other people. And we are as we’re all imperfect, you know, by being able to share in our humanity with these, right? It’s so powerful.

Claudine
Yeah. And that’s one of our core needs to be connected and to feel a sense of belonging. And it’s so funny, because for years, I’ve shared this before I struggled with perfectionism and trying to make everything look just write, keep the house perfectly clean, clean, keep the kids you know, in line and all that. And truly, it really kept distance between me and other people. Because right, they couldn’t feel like they could relate to me. And that was when I was in my superhuman mode before I got made myself sick with all this. Mm hmm. You know, perfection ideals that didn’t do anything good for me or for anyone else. So I’m over that now.

Ashley
Well, and apparently your kids learn to stuff stuff under their beds. How you like a mom, right? Just don’t looks perfectly clean.

Claudine
Just don’t look under the bed.

Ashley
I was one of those is the stuffer. Hey, metaphorically. I would stuff my clothes under my bed or my closet. And out of sight out of mind. I still use that tactic and with my kids. But yeah, it’s, it’s so true. I mean, vulnerability is so powerful. It’s scary, for sure. scary, but it’s so important. You know, I mean, but again, like, you know, you don’t just want to go walk down the street, right? share all your stuff with everybody. I mean, we want to be wise about it. But it’s important to be able to be who we are, and be our authentic self, right, you know, for ourselves and for others, you know, and when we are vulnerable, where we’ll be able to share, we’ll be able to show up better, right? families, our friends, and there’s just a deeper connection, right? You know, when people are like, wow, like, you get me we get each other?

Claudine
Well, and you’re real, it can be about being real and not pretenses, and not putting on a mask that other people can see us one way when we’re really somebody else, because that’s that’s draining, and it’s only gonna last so long, right? Because then you’re always fearful that they’re gonna find out. So I say, let’s just let them know from the get go. But like you said, Be wise, I don’t go up to total strangers and share the deepest part. Right. I did share some things, but there was a point to it. I mean, I knew my sharing, went along with what we were teaching and trying to make a point. So I did build it was purposeful. But um, you know, it’s just learning to be real, to be vulnerable, and to connect with others.

Ashley
Yeah, absolutely. Because it’s really healing for us as well as like you said, it deepens relationships. Yeah. And that’s really what got us started on this journey. With the podcast, right, we would just sit and have coffee together and just chat and we just got to know each other more and more and on deeper levels, because we allowed ourselves to be vulnerable, and share who we are and what we struggle with real, you know, real, right ah, and we didn’t hold things back. And so we got to know each other. And we realize that, wow, we’ve gone through similar struggles, we’ve gone through a lot of different struggle, right. But we’ve learned the same tools that have helped us to get out of this muck, you know, the depression and the challenges of life and, and deep, deep stuff. But we found this commonality, you know, that, hey, we, our passions are aligned, let’s do something together that we can bring to other women and help give encouragement and hope to other women by what we’ve gone through.

Claudine
Yeah. And that’s powerful. Had we not been vulnerable, those first few coffees, we wouldn’t be here today. So learn to work of that, that we didn’t allow feeling intimidated, or weak or scared from sharing our truths. And now look where we are a year or so later. It’s really powerful. So who knows where you’ll all be, as you’re sharing your vulnerabilities with one another out there.

Ashley
Yeah. And I just want to give one more encouragement, as well, as, you know, you never know who is going to impact right, had conversations with people, there’s one mom specifically of one of my children’s friends, and her and I will get together once in a while, and we’ll just talk kind of, you know, walking out of the school and, and then there was a time like, I’ve shared more, you know, I’m kind of I’ve learned to be more free with sharing about myself, but there was a time where I saw her and she was really upset and sad. And she was talking with the teacher. And so, you know, I caught up to her and I was like, how are you doing and and she opened up and shared what was going on had I not shared myself, you know, vulnerably and been open she may not feel comfortable sharing with me as well, you know, so I was able to offer just share here’s been my struggles, and we share a lot of the same struggles were very similar in our in our parenting and yes, analogy as well. And so I think it kind of gives other people permission and comfortability to be able to be themselves and kind of absolutely things that they need to process. Right. You know, because moms were so good at stuffing things, just kind of pushing ourselves to slide our emotions aside to true you strong, keep moving. But vulnerability is something that we all need to practice more in our life for wellness.

Claudine
Yeah, absolutely. You’re right, not only ours, but those around us.

Ashley
So you guys, thank you so much for joining us again on this episode. We hope you take one positive nugget from this episode and just realize that you know, vulnerability is a good thing. There’s so much power behind it to help you in your own life and just to rise up out of you know the ashes and rise up and find commonality with other women around you and just live your best life and vulnerability is one of those huge factors that will get you there.

Friends, thank you so much for tuning in with us today. We hope this episode has brought you one step closer to living the life you love. Until next time, remember the world needs who you were made to be.