I’m reading Brene Brown’s Daring Greatly which is mostly about her research in vulnerability. In the chapter I’m reading, she’s discussing how when reaching out and sharing ourselves—our fears, hopes, struggles, and joy—we create small sparks of connection. “…our shared vulnerability creates light in normally dark places..my metaphor for this is twinkle lights..”
She writes on…”there’s something magical about the idea of twinkle lights shining in the dark and difficult places. The lights are small, and a single light is not very special, but an entire strand of sparkling lights is sheer beauty. It’s the connectivity that makes them beautiful…(vulnerability), connectivity means sharing our stories with people who have earned the right to hear them—people with whom we’ve cultivated relationships that can bear the weight of our story.”
These thoughts really struck a chord with me. I was reminded of why I decided to share my story on FaceBook. Leading up to this, I had questioned whether or not to share it in this format, but ultimately (obviously) decided to. When I hit “post”, I had a moment of pause and nervousness, but this quickly passed as I started almost immediately getting comments of support and empathy as well as some people even opening up to me about their own struggles with alcohol. This single act, of me sharing my story of my struggles with drinking, sharing my story on FaceBook, was probably the most important move I could’ve made to help me with my addiction.
By sharing my story first on FaceBook, then by starting this blog, then sharing a lot of my past with my PATH group, I started my own strand of twinkle lights. I lit them in places that used to be dark. In doing so, I’ve helped others light theirs, and, in turn, more lights keep turning on in this strand of life.
I started thinking about “ending” my blog. But immediately realized I didn’t want to because my story is not ending. I am continually adding lights to my strand. I have always been drawn to twinkle lights and have them in my house throughout the seasons, changing the colors as the seasons come and go. I am looking at my strands of twinkle lights differently now and will always think of the human connections I’ve made and the connections I’ve made stronger along my journey.
One of my favorite Brene Brown’s quotes is “vulnerability begets vulnerability. Courage is contagious”. And as we approach the season of twinkle lights, I am happy to light the path along my journey. Helping others and helping myself to light the way and building human connections by being vulnerable. Creating the lit path of courage so that others can find their way.
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