“If you show me a woman who can sit with a man in real vulnerability, in deep fear, and be with him in it, I’ll show you a woman who has, A, done their work, and B, doesn’t derive her power from that man. And if you show me a man who can sit with a woman in deep struggle and vulnerability and not try to fix it, but just hear her and be with her and hold space for it, I’ll show you a guy who’s done his work and a man who doesn’t derive his power from controlling and fixing everything.” ~ Brené Brown
This was the quote that Shirly Joy Weiss shared with me after telling the story I share in today’s episode. It was a moment of intense vulnerability, perhaps the most raw and open I’ve ever been with another human. This moment changed me. It was the most beautiful moment of love I’ve experienced in all my life.
I was naked, physically and emotionally. Raw, freshly sutured, and still swollen from giving birth. I felt disorganized in my physical body and also in my world as life would never be the same.
But one thing was constant – the way my husband looked at me, the way he held me, the way he loved me for all that I was and all that I wasn’t. And he didn’t try to fix anything or wipe away my tears. He simply shared in them with me letting his tears meet my own as he held me, as we held each other, both crying for what we gained and what we could have lost.
Love. It’s the most powerful life force there is – to practice and give away, yet also to receive. It’s a force that humbles you and enlivens you. It’s a force that makes you whole and also a force that heals.
As I’ve reflected on this moment many times since, I’ve come to believe thatall our life journeys are learning to deepen into love, learning to choose love over fear, learning to practice love with ourselves and others.Click To Tweet
Everything always comes back to love.
- Love yourself enough to trust and pursue your purpose.
- Love yourself enough to forgive.
- Love yourself enough to try, to let go, to let yourself be seen.
- Love yourself enough to fight, enough to not settle.
- Love yourself enough to dream.
I learn these lessons daily. What an honor it is to love.May you love yourself more deeply today. May you offer and receive more love daily.Click To Tweet
P.S. As I shared this post with my parents before sharing it with the world, my father went and grabbed the tape recording of his and my mother’s wedding. He may be the only person I know who still has a cassette player, but it’s one of his quirks that I love about him. And also that he knows exactly where this tape is in a moment’s notice some 34 years later. I’ve had a beautiful model of love.
But he shared this with me to listen to a very specific verse on love. It’s J.B. Phillips translation of 1 Corinthians 13:4-8. It goes:
This love of which I speak is slow to lose patience. It looks for a way of being constructive. It is not possessive: it is neither anxious to impress nor does it cherish inflated ideas of its own importance.
Love has good manners and does not pursue selfish advantage. It is not touchy. It does not keep account of evil or gloat over the wickedness of other people.
On the contrary, it is glad with all good men when truth prevails. Love knows no limit to its endurance, no end to its trust, no fading of its hope; it can outlast anything. It is, in fact, the one thing that still stands when all else has fallen.
Let us all choose more love.
*** Special THANKS to the nursing staff at Baptist East Hospital in Montgomery, AL especially my fabulous night nurse, Kay Collins for supporting me through the scariest and most beautiful moment of my life. <3