Nothing is more courageous to me than vulnerability. I am overcome with so much joy when I see people being themselves without fear or apology. Being real is not something that seems to be praised in our society but I personally believe that there isn't anything more powerful to witness. We all have moments when our lives are messy. When it feels like everything is falling apart and we are holding on for dear life. This is beautiful. This shows strength. This is what it means to be human.
For years I kept all of my pain deep inside. Fearful that allowing anyone to see it would cause judgement and more pain. Instead of getting the help I needed early on in my struggles, I tucked all "negative" emotions away and vowed to only show positive ones. Struggling wasn't ok. Falling apart was unheard of. I had to have it together ALL of the time. The only way that this was possible was to be someone that I wasn't. To be fake. And the years that I spent living this way really makes me sad.
Being real takes balls. It means being uncomfortable, having people disappointed in you and just accepting that sometimes life just sucks. It means letting go of the reigns of control and ditching the shoulds. It means giving up on the life that you think you are supposed to live, in order to live the one that is unraveling before you. It takes patience, practice and many leaps of faith. It means showing up for yourself no matter what the circumstance and what others might think
It may sound like being real takes a lot of hard work but that really isn't the truth. Trying to live up to impossibly high standards and be someone you are not is exhausting. While being real can't promise perfection it allows for simplicity and hope. It's honest, genuine and truly inspiring.
Although some times its hard to let down the wall and let others in, I think learning to be true to myself even in my darkest moments, has been one of the biggest accomplishments of my life. Being vulnerable and sharing my story, both the ups and downs, continues to open the door to allow others to do the same. Through this we are all reminded of our humanness and able to connect on such deeper levels.