This month, I am exploring the kind promise “I will share my strengths compassionately.)

Several years ago, a woman in a good mood got on the bus. She chattered happily, explaining that she had just finished her volunteer shift at a nursing home. Residents there were working on crafts projects and she was helping them. Other passengers on the bus were smiling with her and/or exchanging amused glances as she went on and on. (That woman could TALK.) I suspect the woman was a valued volunteer. Her outgoing good humor affected everyone around her.

Even introverts like me carry the flavor of our personalities with us as we move through the world. We each effortlessly leave trails behind us.

Whoever you are, please bring the joy out of you to the rest of us.

I don’t mean that you must be joyful all time. Please be authentically and honestly yourself. If you dare to sigh and explain that you are having a crummy day, that invites me to be open about my own experience.

I have spent too much time hiding who I am, fearing that I am not enough and you will judge me. Too often, I hide behind perfectionist fantasies. Maybe (my disordered thinking goes), if I look like I have my stuff together, you will let me into the club. I will be worthy of love and belonging.

The truth is that I am inherently worthy. My stuff can be scattered here and there and still I am worthy. So are you.

Brené Brown has advice for us: “be awkward, brave, and kind.” When I leave my perfectionism behind, I am sometimes awkward. That’s okay. Brené is giving me permission (not that I need it) to show up as I am. This life is a come as you are party. Showing up undefended is bravery. Understanding that we are all doing the best we can and treating each other with care and respect is where “kindness” steps in.

I’ll see you on the party bus.

In your journal:

  • “the trails I leave behind…”
  • “My favorite defenses are…”
  • “I’m afraid of…”
  • Write about your reaction to “be awkward, brave, and kind.”