Being Brave

In my last post, I talked about being brave and writing more authentically, despite my fears of feeling exposed and vulnerable. Sometimes writing the words seems hard and I want to quit because it requires stepping out into the public eye. My introverted self doesn’t like to be in the spotlight. I’m the person who thinks the background singer or the drummer has the best job….the one in the background!! 

I keep second guessing myself, but then remember that when God calls you to do something, it’s not necessarily going to be easy. Of course, then I second guess the calling!! 

Putting words on paper (or a computer screen) doesn’t seem exceptionally hard, but every single word is like a little piece of yourself, something you created being sent out there for people to read and judge. 

Luckily, I have come across a woman whose bravery is so big it makes me feel silly about my fears. Her bravery inspires me to move forward and keep writing. Her name is Lizzie Velasquez. Lizzie is a worldwide motivational speaker and author. She has a TEDtalk with over 9 million views and an amazing documentary. I don’t know Lizzie personally, but from what I have seen, despite her tiny body (due to a syndrome that keeps her from gaining weight), she has a huge personality. She is smart and funny and I’d let her come style my closet any day! Plus, she is a Texan girl like me.

When Lizzie was in high school, she came across a YouTube video entitled, “The World’s Ugliest Woman.” She clicked on the link and was shocked to see images of herself! She was crushed after reading hundreds of hateful comments calling her a monster, saying that her parents should have aborted her, or that she should kill herself! After many, many tears, her sadness eventually turned into anger and she fought back in a most brave way. She began her own YouTube channel! Talk about being in the spotlight. She should be called the BRAVEST woman in the world!

Lizzie decided not to let her outward appearance or negative comments define her. She said she would use those comments to fuel a fire and move forward to become a better person. She wanted to fight back with her accomplishments and use negativity as a ladder to achieve her goals. You know what? It worked!! 

I encourage you to watch her TEDtalk, her documentary and visit her YouTube channel. I have no doubt, you will be moved and inspired by her honesty and yes, her bravery. 

In the words of Lizzie Velasquez, “Brave starts here!”

Thanks Lizzie!  

Until next time…..be well and be brave!

Lori

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Into the Deep End

My son is learning to swim. He is now able to cross over the ropes into the deep end (closely supervised!) without a life jacket. He boldly jumps in and bubbles back up to the surface wearing expressions of excitement, uncertainty, and a little bit of fear. He takes a breath, puts his face in the water, swims to the edge, climbs the ladder and goes in again. His strokes are still clumsy but he is making great progress.

As a writer, I’ve been avoiding crossing over to the deep end. It’s safe over here in the shallow end where my feet can touch the bottom, writing about topics like laundry, cooking, great deals I found on Amazon, and what I’m reading. Every now and then, with great trepidation, I move a little closer to the deep end and publish something that requires a bit of vulnerability, but not quite over the ropes, where I’m more susceptible…..to drown. 

I have poured out my heart writing pages and pages about anxiety and panic attacks, feeling isolated without a circle of friends, introversion, dealing with life’s unexpected curve balls, not living up to expectations, and abandoning crazy dreams for something safe…..all the topics that require me to drift into open water allowing all my imperfections and struggles to be exposed but I have not published them.

Brene’ Brown, vulnerability expert, says, “Owning our story can be hard but not nearly as difficult as spending our lives running from it.” 

So I am just going to have to jump in and experience the uncertainty and fear along with the excitement because I feel called to share. Maybe what I write will resonate with at least one person and let them know they are not alone.

And if I feel like I’m going under, if the vulnerability feels too heavy, I’ll just take a breath, put my face in the water and swim….even if my strokes are clumsy.