“Transparency wins hearts.” I read this phrase a couple of months ago in a book by Brene Brown called Daring Greatly.
This phrase has played over and over in my mind since authenticity and vulnerability are vital components to living a transparent life, a journey I decided to step into that has completely transformed my world from the inside out.
Imagine every relationship you have and every connection you make, you get to be you! You show up and are fully accepted, fully supported, and further empowered in loving yourself and opening up to others! How liberated would you feel? How empowered would you be to life your live to the fullest? This, my friends, is what we are made for. We are made to love and we are made for connection. We crave love, and we crave a sense of belonging (something I am currently working through). What would it look like for you to love and allow yourself to be truly loved? I believe this is the life we are all created and called to live.
I am not talking about that soul mate kind of love, but you will attracts your souls mates when you show up authentic to yourself. When I started to show up like this, I cannot describe to you the deep connections that have come into my life over the last two years. The love that I have felt and the nurturing my soul has received has inspired me to love more than ever before.
One area that I had yet to be brave enough to fully show up in, until recently, was in an intimate relationship. I’m that girl that got her heart broken and moved to Africa (true story), and did crazy things all in the name of “finding myself.” I did, but as the layers began to fall off that I built over the years, I realized it had nothing to do with him and it brought me face to face with my insecurities and my fears. I was ready to face them and dive into the uncomfortable work that brought me more growth and strength than I thought possible. I have always worn my heart on my sleeve, but opening myself to a significant other has sent me running for the hills, but new opportunities for growth. (Thank you for the lessons and the chances I had to crack open a little more. You know who you are).
I am proud of how far I have come but I am not quite where I want to be…. But are we ever ready?
I recently was able to have an amazing example of transparency, authenticity, and love come into my life from a friend I have always looked up to and that I deeply love. She has been in my life for 23 years now, and we went through all those awkward stages together. From fighting over who got to be the Pink Power Ranger, to fighting over which Spice Girl we got to be, to moving states away from each other, to backpacking Europe together and sleeping in train stations, to crying and laughing even more, to having random dance parties, and being complete weirdos ….. She was the first friend I was able to show up as myself fully and be loved and accepted.
Through the years, we have loved and lost and experienced brokenness and heartache and learned to build layers over our hearts to protect ourselves from the pain of this world. Despite this, Jade has always had a free spirit and has refused to settle into the comfortable trap that millions around us are doing because growth and vulnerability are not comfortable.
Although I wasn’t able to give Jade my approval before she and Tanner got engaged, I was among the millions of fans falling in love with their love story as I watched it unfold before the world. From their very first date, I saw something in Jade’s eyes that I had never seen before. It was an openness. It was a statement saying “This is me. Ready or not.” She had made the choice to show up with no masks as the unapologetic, amazing woman that she is, knowing that if you want something real, you have to give real. Tanner was drawn to that and for the first time they both recognized something in each other, something that said, “I see you, and I accept you.”
They knew that if they had a shot at something true, they had to be willing to be vulnerable, open, and love each other’s faults and fears, beauty and dreams, and empower one another to stand tall in who they are and who they are created to be.
They took this shot, and three weeks ago I had the honor of standing next to Jade as she and Tanner exchanged their vows to continue this journey to discover each other for the rest of their lives.
Yes, their love seems like a fairy tale love story, but I think most people believe in fairy tales and have false expectations. What they have is a real love story, one of strength and courage. Love is often spoken but rarely found because people rarely remove the mask. If you want to set something into motion, if you want to find a love like this, you have to take action and step out.
Take the mask down from your beautiful face and let someone see all of you. The friendships and connections you make will reflect so much of your amazingness back to you and empower you to engage more and live this life to the fullest. There is strength in vulnerability, and Jade and Tanner are an amazing example of that. Every time I think of their wedding and the amount of openness and love I felt just from being with them, I am moved to tears. To see their journey is truly inspiring and it is a blessing that it has been able to be shared with the world.
Being a part of this amazing love story, I answered the question of are we ever ready? My answer is no, but I am ready to walk boldly in who I am, unveiled and open.
If you are ready to embark on this journey of living an authentic life to the fullest, click Here to contact me to have a consultation to see what tools and resources will work for you!