I reread Brené Brown’s The Gifts of Imperfection. Once again, I can’t recommend it highly enough.

What jumped out at me this time? Brené offers this self-soothing for the times when we are afraid. “I am feeling vulnerable. That is okay. I am thankful for….”

I’ve been using that, over and over, in my times of fear. (Often irrational fear.) I know that I can be overcome with fear. I know that many of my fears are completely irrational. And I know that it makes complete sense that I have some – if not all – of my fears.

But I don’t have to live my life ruled – or restrained – by my fears. I told a client the other day that I’ve learned to admit to others, and to ask for help, when I’m overcome with irrational fears. When my kids are twenty minutes late, I know it’s irrational to be afraid that something awful has happened, and I know it’s where I’ll go left to my own devices. So I nearly always turn to my husband and say, “I’m afraid, and I know it’s irrational, but I’m afraid.” That always eases my fear.

As does Brené’s self-soothing. I place my hand on my heart and say (sometimes out loud), “I am afraid. I feel vulnerable. That’s okay. I’m thankful for…” and I’m overwhelmed with the number of people and things I have to be thankful for.

I think somewhere along the way we somehow learned that we’re never supposed to be afraid, while we also learned how many rational and irrational reasons there are to be afraid. When we can let our vulnerability and fear be okay, it lessens, and it lessens its ability to rule or ruin us. When I pause and breathe and self-soothe and bring to mind even one of the many blessings in my life, my fear decreases and sometimes subsides.

It’s okay to be vulnerable. It’s okay to not feel strong or equipped. We’re usually a lot less vulnerable than we feel or think we are, and a lot stronger than we feel or think we are. But it’s okay to have fears and challenges and difficult times. And it’s okay to not have your life be defined by them.

I feel a bit vulnerable for putting this out there. I feel a bit vulnerable when I open my heart and soul in this blog. I feel a bit vulnerable when I let people in and love people deeply. And that’s okay. It’s okay to be vulnerable. It’s okay.

I am thankful for so much.

I’d love to hear your thoughts, and please share this post with others if it resonates with you!

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