Thursday, February 10, 2011

Grace under pressure

image via Dr. Brene Brown
Fear. According to, fear is 1. a  distressing  emotion  aroused  by  impending  danger, evil, pain, etc.,  whether  the threat is real or imagined;  the  feeling  or condition of being  afraid. 2. a specific instance of or propensity for  such  a  feeling. 3. concern or anxiety; solicitude. 4. that which causes a feeling of being afraid.

It's crazy how crippling fear can be. I can say this with certainty because fear has been occupying my life for awhile now. Scars from past relationships have built up walls around me giving me a false sense of safety. I'm learning, though, that in reality fear has been stifling me from experiencing love, living life to the fullest, making deep connections, expressing joy, practicing creativity and feeling like I belong.

image via Dr. Brene Brown
Vulnerability is a scary thing, but I believe it is one of the cornerstones of friendship. Vulnerability = fear (oh geez), shame and uncertainty. But choosing to practice vulnerability = courage and strength. I learned that this week when I broke down in my Bible study. I've been attending this Bible study for about 6 months now, and I've opened up here and there, but I've never really spoke about my struggle with depression and anxiety, especially during these winter months. I felt God pushing me to tell these women, and for about 20 minutes, I sat there wondering and practicing in my head how I could get out my prayer request without crying. No luck. As soon as I opened my mouth, tears streamed down my face. I think I might have even done the ugly cry. Fear immediately welled up inside me, but the response from these amazing women brought me to my knees. Love. Oh, the love that out poured in this meeting brings tears to my eyes. I have a difficult time asking for help, asking for love, asking for compassion and prayer, but these women gave it freely. Prayers, coffee dates, happy hour meetings, lunch dates were coming from all directions.

I am worthy of love. I can say this, but still struggle to believe it. It's all in God's timing. This is my journey. God's story for me. I'm choosing to practice vulnerability. I'm choosing to be fearless.

I read this on the blog Allora Handmade...a fave, and wanted to share:

i am enough.
that statement alone can and will change my life.
i am loved.
and i am worthy of that love.
i have so much to offer the world.
why do i shy away from that?
i can make a difference.
and i WILL make a difference.
i have a voice.
as i use it i will feel empowered and be able to empower others.
i choose happiness.
it is my choice, not something that happens to me.
my story matters because i matter.
i share myself, not a fabricated version of myself.
i am willing to feel a full spectrum of emotions.
i will not push out feelings i am afraid of.
i will share my gifts with those around me.
it is the least i can do with all i've been given.

Happy Fearless Thursday, my dears.

1 comment:

L said...

Oh jules.... you just made me cry! I love you so much and definitely wish we didn't live so far away so we could spend more time together.
(( and i need to be a better cousin/friend and call you! )) fear sucks. but beating fear and having courage and bigger and better than fear! fear still gets to me....its hard! know i do pray for you and love you and even look up to you in many ways girl. even though we don't talk so much or as much as we did via phone and can't see each other i love u and am here for you even for a vent/talk session at 3 am if you ever need me! keep that chin up and look high to Him! He won't let you fall!