What does it mean to Dare Greatly?

What does it mean to Dare Greatly?

I have been studying Brene Brown’s research on vulnerability, shame, and worthiness.  In my recent journey into online dating, I have been, in my opinion, authentic with my intentions of what I want and what I would consider my “deal breakers.”  My list is getting shorter and more succinct through the encouragement of my friends, who are in successful marriages, who say that my list is “too long” and unrealistic. But hey, I am hopeful–this Sassafras has waited this long. And as one of my besties always says, “you’re just a tough butterfly to catch.”  My intention is to explore what it means to live, play, work, and love big. I believe it is by living an authentic life, one that requires vulnerability, ownership, and often discomfort. We must stretch in all ways in our life so that we can shine our light and share our divine gifts as we were created to do.

I love the new awareness Brene has offered around my ego, aka the “Hustler”, and how it has been sneaking into my search for my mate and into my online business. Here is an snippet of my internal  dialogue as I answer the online questions: “I really don’t want to date a man who earns less than X amount of dollars per year. I want to travel all over the world. He does not need to pay for me, but I am sure not picking up his bill, that’s all,”(and then I feel shame). And I definitely hear the hustler in that request!

I find that in being authentic I also feel shame in asking for what is really important to me, one being financial security. You can thank all the dirt-bag, rock climbers I have dated for that “want!” Certainly those were some of my most memorable and loved times. In this case, my mom was totally right. “You don’t really need to date a rock climber, just put on a little blush and eye makeup for your next cupid date, and remember grandma always said three is the magic number.” I truly see the value in having people I love, even a partner, with different passions in my life. AND I love wearing just a little bit of eye makeup and blush these days. I feel smashing. Gotta love Sharon Lou.

Understanding that authenticity is a practice, one that, although you may try it every day, or even every hour,  you certainly don’t just wake up and say, “Ok,  now I am authentic.”  I am also having a new understanding and compassion for those I love that have name-called or have criticized my shares on social media by suggesting that I am not in alignment with my own truth (and how the hell would they know I think? Ah, there’s the hustler again!). The old hustler hears people I love saying to me “#bereal” and “#ownmylife,” and sometimes, they tell me that I am “full of *&$#” by promoting healthy lifestyle as my way of living. And that’s when I have to tell myself: PAUSE right there.

Now, I am no celebrity, and these critical voices are certainly not the paparazzi, but our greatest teachers don’t exactly love or coddle us, either. So as these words have run through my ears for months now, I have looked at areas in my life where I may not be living authentically or keeping it real. After studying Brene’s work I understand the fear (sometimes manifesting as anger) in others as I myself seek to understand my intention when I share, knowing that I am sharing with courage and vulnerability. It’s about sharing the tools that support me for the moments when I do feel confident and have it together, and for those when I don’t.

Oprah said on supersoulsunday with Brene that “vulnerability is the cornerstone to confidence.”  Hello? All we are trying to do is be more of who we are!

In my efforts to dare greatly, I continue to write, share on social media, and have gratitude for each person who reaches out to me and shares how I have touched his or her life in a positive way. You have no choice but to get really clear about who comprises your support system. Who is within your inner circle, who can you count on and who will sit with you when you are in shame and vulnerability? It’s not everyone, and it doesn’t need to be. But there is no innovation and creativity without failure, so I am okay with failing. I don’t need someone to jump in the hole with me, but I do need someone sometimes to just throw me down a rope.

My greatest teachers of all are the ones with whom I am now setting boundaries because I have no control of another person’s reaction and behavior–only mine.  I hope that I can somehow hold steady space for fallen relationships that I am tied to, to come back together one day, if that is what is meant to be. That’s all I can do is surrender them to the higher power and work on forgiveness. Hurt people, hurt people and so it is.

So in my relationships, both professionally and personally, I want people to show up: be vulnerable, courageous, authentic, and grateful. And it’s not some hunt for perfectionism, but just a practice and awareness. I feel like the judgment that has been held against me in the past, allows no room for me to grow and make mistakes in their eyes. Although in my world, it has helped me grow exponentially. I am a recovering perfectionist and my life has become less hurried, less stressed, and more joyful since I gave up toxic relationships or relationships that just didn’t feel #supportive, #authentic, and #real.

I choose courage; that is what I value.

So my question: in this search for a partner and in my blessed friendships, is it really too much to ask for courage, vulnerability, and authenticity? It’s not that I want someone to fix me when I feel broken, but to be vulnerable with me when I am stretching into new places–To just sit with me when I am in pain, discomfort, or sadness, and just show up. Tell me you don’t know what to say, but just that you’re here.

There are people that will be in our lives forever and our time together will seem like we never skipped a beat, you know the ones, those wild women that you hold near and dear in your heart. New friendships and a relationship with a potential mate, are really not that much different. What I most certainly want is a partner and authentic friends who are willing to share this crazy, wild ride with me.

I pray that the next time around I am doing the dating dance with a new man, I don’t just mold into what works for “us” and let moments that I question as authentic and real, to slip by without a conversation. My hope is to hold steady with what holds true for me and know that I need a partner that is willing to do the same. I want to dance in the storms so we can discover what brings us individually and together, the greatest joy. Only then can we support each other in sharing our gifts with the world and rock our time together in a partnership.

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