Three days ago, I hosted my Creative Writing for Self-Discovery circle, and was delighted when the conversation deepened and the participants started to open up in new ways, tentatively sharing the kinds of stories that only get offered in a place of trust and mutual vulnerability.

Two days ago, I went to see Brené Brown talk and was reminded that vulnerability creates resilience against shame, and that hosting each other’s vulnerability (without offering advice, platitudes, shame or resistance) is the way we create real community.

Yesterday, I worked on a timeline of my life for Christina Baldwin‘s Re-storying Your Life e-course, and found myself broken open once again by grief and memory and love (remembering losing Mom one year ago, plus mapping out all of the losses and stories of love in my life).

Today I am trying to make meaning of all of this, trying to weave the threads together and tell a story of how my life feels cracked open once again. A few more layers of shame, fear, and resistance have been peeled away, a little more clarity about my place in the world has arrived, and it all feels big and important and worth sharing. But so far the words are illusive and the blog post I’d planned to write isn’t showing up.

So I will turn to art instead, and try to paint meaning into the wordless spaces in my head and heart.

For now, I know these simple things to be true:

  • Vulnerability is essential for meaningful relationships.
  • Deep healing and growth comes when we host our grief well.
  • Co-creating circles of grace opens the door to transformation.
  • I don’t want to live any other way than authentically.

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