being in the arena

It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.

- Theodore Roosevelt

 

I'm not gonna lie vulnerability scares the bejeezus out of me. It scares most people. But here's the thing - when we give into it, it sets us free. You know that adage - that the truth will set you free… I think the truth, our individual truth, is buried and vulnerability is the key to that lock that gives the preverbal freedom.

The last ten or so days have been a whirlwind. Fear that is full of pushing back against the future until exhaustion hits and gives way to sweet vulnerability. It's a very powerful combination, but the embrace leads to something more valuable, sacred and dare I say, safe, than the fear ever could.

Brene Brown, researcher and author of books, Daring GreatlyThe Gifts of Imperfection and I thought it was Just Me, points to the age old quote from Teddy Roosevelt as touchstone of vulnerability. It take courage to show up on the field, when others didn't even make it to the game, and it takes guts to recognize that in the first place.