Feb 152013

I’m not the expert on the topic of vulnerability. In fact, I’m far from it.

I do know, we’ve all been burned, beat up and bruised by our experiences with vulnerability.  We’ve been scared, walled off or numb to it.  Some of us want to open up, but are only at the “thinking about it stage”.

I will say there is wisdom in choosing who will be kind with your heart.  Who will hold it gently, without judgement.  You can be choose-y when it comes to those you want to expose your heart to.

Although I’m not the expert, I can share what my life experiences have taught me.  Maybe something from this page will glitter for you.

  1. Vulnerability is Uncomfortable.  When I am about to share something deeply personal with someone, when I am about to expose a part of my soul, I am usually accompanied by a racing heart, sweaty palms, or churning stomach.  Rarely has sharing my story been as comfortable as talking to myself in the mirror.  Opening ourselves for possible wounds goes against our nature.  It does get a little easier each time though.
  2. Vulnerability Often Breeds Depth.  More times than not, when I have shared my heart with someone or exposed a weakness of mine with them, an unknown depth is introduced into the relationship.  Our souls can connect on a real level.  It does away with the tendency to stay on the surface, which can offer little meaning.  I have a collection of what I call,“heart friends”, now because I am trying to choose the path of sharing the intricacies of me.
  3. Vulnerability Brings Freedom.  Once I have shared my heart and it has been received, a burden is often lifted.  My shame, my darkness, my insecurities no longer fester in the darkness, but are brought into the light to process, heal, and hopefully help others.  “For you are all sons of light and sons of day.  We are not of night nor of darkness.” 1 Thessalonians 5:5
  4. Vulnerability Can Turn Perceived Weaknesses into Strengths.  I used to think my eating disorder was something to be ashamed of.  Something I should keep to myself.  But since practicing talking about it with others, I see that it is changing from a perceived weakness to a strength.  Others who suffer familiar pains can relate.  They can feel less alone.  They can see hope.  Some of the things we are most scared to be vulnerable about are the exact things someone else needs to hear to move on, to breathe, to feel normal.

I love this quote I read today:

“Vulnerability sounds like truth and feels like courage.   Truth and courage aren’t always comfortable, but they’re never weakness.”

– Brene Brown, Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent and Lead

Are you craving to be more vulnerable in your life?  Are you wanting more depth in a relationship?  Do you have someone who will be kind with your heart?




© 2012 Standing on Peace

Feb 082013

I thought it was in my past.  It was over.  Done.  Then a Valentine’s day escapade left me sitting on our kitchen floor, crying.  And I knew I had a problem.

Exactly one year ago I realized perfectionism still had it’s hold on me.

After my holiday melt down, I wrote this reflection and I want to share it with you as we explore what it looks like to let our perfectionism go.  What it looks like to actually embrace our imperfections.

Recognition is vital to change.  This was my moment of recognition last year.


On Valentines Day, I took a picture of the valentines we – excuse me – I made for a couple of Harper’s friends.   I posted the picture on Instagram and Facebook and received all kinds of positive feedback from my “mommy-friends”.

Immediately, I was struck by truth from the Holy Spirit: this looks perfect… but you know, Audi, it was not perfect.  Other women need to be reminded of this.

I had pure intentions. I had set out to create activities Harper and I could do together, to bond over.  But I had imagined this perfect craft day in my head for so long, I became determined for it to happen exactly as I pictured.  We made hand painted cards, kid valentines and considered baking something yummy.  But by the time it came to baking, we had already had a major melt down.  And by “we”, I mean ME.

In my flurry to create that perfect craft day, I didn’t notice my little girl needed me to slow down.  I had become Major General Audi Swift. The result: a major tantrum and I wound up on the kitchen floor, with tears streaming down my face.  The tides of perfectionism and comparison had pulled me in.

Later that night, mulling over our catastrophe, I was struck by a few things:

  • I had set out that day to be perfect, not real, but perfect.  I had fallen for the trap of comparing myself to other mommy-friends who always do the craft-holiday thing well, and their kids seem to be completely compliant with the process.  I was going to bulldoze my way to the same result if I had to.
  • I had allowed myself to get too busy and too overwhelmed to stop and respond appropriately to the specific needs of my child.  I forget that my day needs to allow for fluidity.  Sometimes the check list needs to wait.
  • I also, and most importantly, realized I had misplaced my priorities.  Reading my Bible and praying were on the back burner.  Without intentional focus on these things and listening to the Holy Spirit, I am lost.  Chaos and confusion set in.

I read a quote recently by Theodore Roosevelt that said,

“Comparison is the thief of joy”.

This is the truth:  We live in a culture that thrives on comparing people, looks, talents, worth, status, careers, etc. It’s easy for us, as women, to get trapped in this. Comparison plagues and poisons us.

Everything within me says Jesus never intended this for us!

“I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.  Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.”  Psalm 139:14

It is my prayer today that our souls may know this very well, we are fearfully and wonderfully made.  I want to grow to appreciate who God has created us to be, to be grateful for the gifts and talents He has given me, and to be joyful for the gifts and talents He has given others.

When have you found yourself comparing yourself to others?  Would you join me in laying aside the facade of perfectionism and not allow comparison to steal your joy? 



© 2012 Standing on Peace