Brave. Vulnerable. Or not.

My mouth has got me into trouble on many occasions. Can anyone relate? Even from an early age I have been known for my less than subtle approach when it comes to speaking my mind. My dad likened me to a Jack Russell on my wedding day, small with a fierce bite.

I am a work in progress and I like to keep that badge sewn on my arm in visible view for the world to see that yes I am trying, bear with me.

My mouth is never short of something to say, it is as many point out my greatest strength and my greatest weakness. What is it that James says? ‘A word out of your mouth may seem of no account, but it can accomplish nearly anything—or destroy it!’

I am not afraid to tell you what I love and see in you. I love to call out that gift that you have in your life and want with all I’ve got to see you thrive in your God given ability to be able to live this life to the full.IMG_0249.JPG

I am never frightened to tell people they are loved.
I am not scared to use my voice to beat the same drum, we all belong here, we all belong here.
I am normally brave when it comes to sharing my heart, my weaknesses and my strengths. The Mitchell house is known for it’s talking, much distress sometimes to the beautiful introverts that are amongst us.IMG_0251.JPG

This week however I lost my bravery. A few minor things took the wind out my sails and it manifested itself in retreat mode. I tried to retrieve it and even added ‘shake it out’ to my playlist to try and sing my way out of this one. I tried, but nothing was changing the wall of self preservation that began to slowly build around my heart. I listened to myself in one particular conversation with such a good friend where I said all was well, of course I gave the odd ‘this is wick right now’ but not really the struggles that were real and raw.

It was like the trust was just that little bit out of reach to be free. I wanted freedom in that conversation, this was the perfect place to lay it all out, my struggles, my weakness, where I needed prayer and loved and encouraged. My bravery it seemed had retreated.

In reality though I knew why, I began to listen to the careless whispers and people pleasing was slowly creeping its way in so the option of saying nothing, doing nothing, falling asleep watching Netflix and buying more things on eBay seemed a better solution. Who was it that said the only way to avoid criticism is to do nothing and say nothing. This felt like the best option right now. Keep my heart covered and keep that vulnerability at bay.

Talk about being fearless and ready for changing the world was not appealing right now and I needed it to feel appealing.
I knew I was giving in to doubt, shame, pride and losing joy at a rapid pace.

I would like to end this post with how I overcame it,what I did myself, me, alone.

That is never our story. Its always about each other. We don’t ever get brave on our own. IMG_0250.JPG

Two days later I got a text from that same good friend that chose to be braver than me, I text that contained her vulnerability and her fears, her struggles and her inner fight.

In that moment I breathed a ‘me too’.

I had numbed myself in her company that day and did what I thought was best, in reality it wasn’t. I laid out my excuses and why I shouldn’t and chose the easy path. I chose to not be honest, I justified the life out of it and everyone lost.IMG_0246.JPG

So I made a choice, I chose to get back on the track again. I chose to fight with my struggles, to have a coffee with a trusted leader and lay it all out and close my eyes and hope when I open them they haven’t walked away. I think we can fool ourselves into being vulnerable. We all have our limits ‘this is what you are getting and no more’ sometimes that is wise but with people who are so for you and so with you don’t let that fear of vulnerability be a reason to not get real. Life is what it is. It is messy, chaotic, raw and really damn hard sometimes.

I loved that I was able to get real again. Life was breathed back into me, hope was restored. I was pushed lovingly back on to the track and in my ear was whispered ‘ you are not alone, don’t you dare quit, keep going and don’t you dare think that you are defeated.

Some of us need to try again, trust once more. Its hard I know but lets not let vulnerability be something that is kept silent.

You could be the one who helps someone breathe ‘me too’.

(photo credits once more by the lovely Ruth Kelly – http://ruthkellyphotography.tumblr.com)

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