“Bravery is the audacity to be unhindered by failures and to walk with freedom, strength and hope in the face of things unknown.”
Morgan Harper Nichols
I am strong and independent, and I have always been.
Trustworthy enough to walk home from school to an empty house as a 6-year-old, and prepare my own afternoon tea. To babysit neighbours children when I was barely in my teens.
Independent enough to buy my own apartment, pay a mortgage and move out at 19 years old.
Determined enough to raise children full time, keep my house clean 90% of the time, make home cooked meals and soldier on, even when I’m sick.
All of this is something to be proud of certainly.
Sometimes though, I’ve been blinded by my own capabilities.
A certain pride comes with a refusal to seek help, or admit defeat or acknowledge limitations.
I’ve been in that place where humility fades and my self-worth has been wrapped up in what I can do.
The ugliness of pride stops us from acknowledging our limitations, but humility lets us see.
Humility lets me see that all the doing and hustling wears me so thin that I forget how to stop, slow, and just be. Pride demands a place, but humility… humility and a sharp awareness of my limitations reminds me that I’m already accepted, just as I am – that there is no need to justify my place or prove my worth.
I am imperfect, and that is okay, there is still a place for me where I am loved and I belong.
Last week I sat at my desk and, absolutely elated, clicked send an email going out to hundreds of women. Internally patting myself on the back for drafting it, having it approved to send out, and working out how to import a mailing list into my Gmail account, I fist pumped myself for ticking a big one off my to-do list for the day.
Until a message that stopped my heart. “You didn’t send that email bcc did you?” Meaning that email list was viewable to all: completely unacceptable in the world of email etiquette, and privacy.
Cue the sickness rising in my throat, eyes prickling and the inescapable urge to run. Away. Anywhere. Hide. Bury me. Tear my clothes in grief, and have a biblical sackcloth-and-ashes moment.
When our limitations are evident, and failure comes, there’s not much we can do other than square our chins, and brace ourselves for the blow.
Limitations, however, are a gift in grace.
In showing ourselves grace, and in allowing the grace of others to cut through our shame.
I refused to hold this one close to my chest.
Because not only do we need to be okay with our limitations, our failures, our imperfection… we need to be okay with others seeing them.
Remove the façade. I don’t have it all together.
Being vulnerable with our limitations actually brings freedom to other women who might be watching you with dismay, wondering how on earth you do, and have it all.
Being vulnerable with our limitations makes space for someone else to come along and say, “Here, that looks heavy, let me help you carry it.” And that, most of all, is the biggest gift.
Big loves x