I am slowly coming to understand that what we each consider our weakness may, in fact, be the source of our greatest strength.
My younger self was afraid of being seen. She kept her true self hidden – those parts of her that were unsure, unique, and just sprouting. She feared being judged and was sure she didn’t measure up, so she waited to be certain until she could creep out from the underbrush. I’m not sure she over emerged.

I am older now (and perhaps wiser), but I am so used to staying tentative and hidden, that I find it hard to step out into the light. With age comes the suspicion that we are ALL hiding. You are as afraid of me as I am of you – one of the great tragedies of human existence.

Brené Brown has taught me that when we dare to be vulnerable with each other, we grow closer and stronger. We discover that we are not so different from one another. We relax into the joy of love and belonging.

Over the last couple of years, I’ve literally lost my voice. Multiple sclerosis affects my breathing so that what was once strong and (I dare to say) melodious has now become weak and crackly. Now I am really likely to stay silent and hidden.

But I’ll make you a deal: you stand up, speak out and be you as loudly and strongly as you can and I will be as much me as I can (crackly voice and all).

Perhaps, with honesty and grace, we can come to know and stare our true selves.

In your journal:

  • Are you ever afraid of being seen or known?
  • Where do you feel weak?
  • Describe a time when you spoke up.
  • What would it look like for you to stand up, speak out, and be you?