authenticity 101

Valentine's Day Vulnerability

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In honour of Valentine's Day, I wanted to post a little something about love.  I have just returned from a life-altering experience in San Antonio, Texas.  I was privileged to be training in The Daring Way™, an experiential methodology based on Dr. Brené Brown's research in the areas of shame and vulnerability.  You can see her TedTalk video called The Power of Vulnerability here. I could make this a very long post as I am super-excited about everything I learned but I'll keep it simple.  (If anyone wants to hear more about vulnerability and shame resilience, please contact me as I'd love to share.)

A clear outcome of the research by Dr. Brené Brown is that the only way we can truly love others is if we allow ourselves to be vulnerable, and believe that we are worthy of love and belonging.  It's not just a saying, it's not just a myth when we say we cannot love others before we love ourselves.   The feelings of not being good enough and the striving for perfection are where shame shows up and the voices in our heads say "you aren't worthy of love".  The bottom line is, we are all worthy of love just because we exist. 

So on this Valentine's Day, please remember to love and be compassionate towards yourself.  And then you will be able to extend that love and compassion out to your loved ones.  I tend to find being vulnerable in my parenting a big challenge and I need to really remind myself often that I am human and imperfect. Here are a few lines from "The Wholehearted Parenting Manifesto" on Brené's website (and on the poster in our kitchen) that I am striving to implement in my parenting.

Above all else, I want you to know that you are loved and loveable.  You will learn this from my words and actions - the lessons on love are in how I treat you and how I treat myself. 

I want you to engage with the world from a place of worthiness. You will learn that you are worthy of love, belonging and joy every time you see me practice self-compassion and embrace my own imperfections.

As a blended family with teens and multiple challenges, we are all stepping into vulnerable places and moments of self-compassion for our imperfect selves every day.  Happy Valentine's Day to you and your loved ones.