When I was first beginning the writing of Clean Your Inner House, I was overcome by fear. How could I commit to paper all of the gruesome details of the abuse? Other people where going to know the worst parts of me. What are people going to think of me? How is that going to help anyone? The fear was gripping. I couldn’t move forward. I began to consult others. Was this really a call from God?
We all have moments in our lives when shame and fear creep in and try to stop us from taking a step forward away from the pain to a newness in life. I recently read a book titled Daring Greatly by Brene Brown. She is a self proclaimed “researcher storyteller.” It is in her research of shame that she was led to this concept living wholehearted. You can watch her TED talk on YouTube. It is totally worth your 20 minutes.
Here is what she found in a nutshell. The core of shame and fear is vulnerability. The birthplace of joy, creativity and love is vulnerability. Shame is about disconnection from others and connection requires vulnerability. UGH! She defines being wholehearted as (the UGHs are mine):
- Courage: having the courage to be imperfect UGH!
- Compassion: being kind to ourselves first then others UGH!
- Connection: as a result of being authentic UGH!
- Vulnerability: Fully embracing vulnerability UGH!
Do you like to feel vulnerable? Me either. Her book has sent my brain on a roller coaster. However, I think she is right and I want to live wholehearted. I will say deciding that it’s okay to be imperfect, because we are all imperfect, has taken a lot of stress off my shoulders. I don’t want to miss out on the gifts of life. I want more joy, love, and connection with others. There is risk with that choice, but the alternative is lonely, painful, and dark. Living wholehearted is a risk. It requires vulnerability. It requires a belief that “I am enough” as Brene puts it.
Here is how I know that “I am enough.”
13 For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful. Psalm 139 (NIV)
God’s works are wonderful. He created each of us in His image. We are worthy of love, joy, and connection. Are you willing to dare greatly with me this year? Are you willing to let your vulnerability be seen? Are you willing to push shame away and tell it to get lost because life is worth living fully, wholeheartedly? Do you believe that God made you in His image and worthy of His love? Are you willing to join me and step into wholeheartedness and create a life you never imagined?
Obviously the book is out there for all to see, but lurking is a second book with a whole new kind of shame and vulnerability to work through. Ugh! I am sure some of it will show up here in the coming year. So, I am claiming a wholehearted life. I am daring greatly. Will you join me?
It’s a new year. What are your hopes and dreams? Leave a comment and share how you are going to live wholeheartedly this year.