A Pool of Vulnerability


Courage starts with showing up and letting ourselves be seen. – Brené Brown

Pool season is rapidly approaching. Here in the South, pools open around Memorial weekend. The water is still too chilly to submerge yourself in for long periods of time, but warm enough to stick your feet in.

I am a lover of the sun and I love laying by the pool. My fair skin would arguably disagree as every summer season it is tortured for the sake of a sun-kissed look. It’s a high price to pay, but everyone looks better with a tan 🙂

Every Saturday and Sunday if possible, I can be found at a friend’s pool.  A good book, a good research magazine aka People, conversations with good friends, tasty refreshments, and music pumping out of an Ipod sums up a delightful weekend.

However, for the past month, I find myself sitting in a different kind of pool – a pool of vulnerability. I’m not finding the same satisfaction as I do at my friend’s pool either. My mind endures the same type of torture as my poor pale skin does when it is first introduced to the sun. I don’t like it. It burns. As one author described it, “It feels like I am coming out of my skin.” I absolutely agree.

As I sit in this pool of vulnerability, of course I have a book to read. I cannot go at this alone, and I need some form of entertainment.  I am reading Daring Greatly by Brene Brown.  Taken directly from Amazon, the book is described like this,

Every day we experience the uncertainty, risks, and emotional exposure that define what it means to be vulnerable, or to dare greatly. Whether the arena is a new relationship, an important meeting, our creative process, or a difficult family conversation, we must find the courage to walk into vulnerability and engage with our whole hearts.

Unfortunately, this does not entertain me like People magazine. The text lends itself to those “hard” conversations I prefer to avoid.  I’m not a fan of engaging with my whole heart, and I sure don’t enjoy being vulnerable. Vulnerability is emotional exposure. It’s torture. I am quick to jump out, grab my towel, and cover up. I can’t risk getting burned again.

As summer progresses and my skin is exposed more and more to the sun, the burn starts turning into a tan. I have that sun-kissed look, that healthy glow I’ve always wanted. Eventually, my tan begins to fade, and my skin starts to peel. As the skin begins to peel back, a fresh layer of skin appears. My skin is healthy and no longer damaged by the sun.

For the last few weeks, I have desperately tried to get out of this pool. I feel like I have been kicking my feet and all I do is keep turning in circles. My float is getting no where and definitely not closer to the edge of the pool. I’m stuck and my skin is on fire.

However, I am learning that the longer I stay in the pool, the burning sensation lessens. The dead layers of my heart are being peeled away and wholeness is beginning to emerge.

You will know because of my glow 🙂



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