The Power of Vulnerability

I never been the type of person that is willing to open up to people, and more so I would never open up to a random person I did not know. As far back as I can remember I have been an introvert, and for me to open up to you it takes me a long time to warm up.

Since my traumatic brain injury and dealing with all these mental health illnesses this part of me has been on extreme. I have isolated myself pretty well. I have closed myself off. We don’t have time to go into the details of why I am this way to begin with, and why I believe this has grown into a bigger issue. Rather I want to share a story of the power of stepping out of my comfort zone. The power of being vulnerable. The power of community.

Recently my wife needed to buy a new fall/winter jacket, so we headed to the mall. We planned out what stores we were going to go to, so I did not get overwhelmed with decisions or being around so many people. We went to two different stores, and we could not find what she was looking for. I was feeling overwhelmed. I knew she wanted to go to more stores, so I offered to go to more. I wanted us to get this taken care of that night!

She could tell that I was getting ants in my pants, so she told me we could leave. As we were walking through the mall to exit we saw the Sleep Number store. I DID NOT want to go in there.  I knew I would fall in love with their beds, and this was something I did not want to buy right now even though we need a new one. I also was ready to leave, and I did not want to think about any other decisions.

She ignored me which happens in marriage. I do it all the time. It is called selective hearing. I am sure you heard of it. Well back to the story. She walks right in, and so I have to force myself to get over all my anxiety and emotions and just go in.

We were greeted by a nice lady. Of course, she has us go through their routine of trying out their beds. The point of this story is not their beds. I love their beds now, I will be buying one. I will be a member of them for the rest of my life. However, the point of this story is the fact we were in this store for over two hours. One of those hours was an hour after the mall was already closed. She didn’t mind and were didn’t mind either. Why? Because the conversation we were having.

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See, this person was a person who wore many hats. She was a mother, a sales lady, a wife, a graduate student, and a licensed psychologist that focuses on motivation such as life coaching. She was a life coach for a long time before her husband had a stroke, then she needed to pick up a different job to support the medical bills.

The conversation we had was honestly the best conversation I have had since my car accident. Here was this person who I have never met. She was old enough to be my mother, but something happened. I call it divine intervention, you can call it coincidence, either way I believe we were supposed to be in that store that night.  This lady got to know us on a very deep level, and she even shared some very deep traumatic events that happened in her life as well.

At the end of the conversation after the mall cop kept looking at us as if to say, you need to leave NOW. She gave us a list of material to go over. Music to listen to that she believes helps. Tons of authors to look up that discuss my situation and recovery methods. She also gave me her email that was attached to her life coaching business. We hugged each other, and I asked her if she was still offering her life coaching services. She said no, because her life circumstances right now she doesn’t have time. I was bummed, but I told her I would email her to keep in touch.

I went home that night and immediately emailed her to thank her for being so kind and opening her heart to us…to me. I cannot express enough how warm she was to us, and how much the conversation we had meant to me. Well, she emailed me back a few days later and told me that she was thinking about us and has decided that she wants to be my life coach for FREE! She has already emailed me some worksheets, and once I finish those we will be meeting up for some coffee to start this new journey of healing!

Long story short…being vulnerable opens up doors. It brings people together, and it provides a light in a dark place. It is not easy, but nothing in this life that is worth having is easy.

If I can do it…you can do it.

Depression lies to us and tell us that people and even the universe hates us, but really they love us we just need to be willing to push away the lies that rest in our minds.

 I am a huge fan of Lecrae (Christian Hip Hop Artist) his song called Can’t Stop Me Now (Destinations) on this album has helped me push through when depression strikes. It is worth the listen.

To those that do not struggle with this…be a friend to those that do. We need you through the ups and downs of life. We might push you away, but really that is because we love you and do not want you in our mess…so push back.

It takes a village, so let us be in the tribe together.

P.S.

We found my wife a jacket! (Carhartt Women’s Shoreline Jacket, Deep Wine)

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61 comments

    • I agree Heather, it was a really cool thing. Looking forward to many more talks with her. Such a great person….I am glad my wife got one too! Can never have too many jackets! It was the exact one she wanted, so everything worked out!

      Thank you for stopping by…I will be sure to give yours a read as well!

      Like

  1. Great post! I’m so glad you found someone who’ll help you out!
    Sorry to get a bit off topic, but I’ve been a “helper” (a person who people can contact when they need to talk to someone about anything, usually those peope are those with mental health issues) for basically 12 years and I found out that if I talked about myself first, the other person would feel more comfortable to talk about their problem.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hey Anja, thank you! And no that is perfect. I agree with that. That is basically what she did. She connected the dots basically, and from that we had a warm conversation.

      Also thank you for taking the time to be there for people in the mental health community. I know that it is not easy, so I send so many good vibes your way!!

      Like

  2. I definitely find it hard to open up to people. I think a lot of it is actually my fault and my stubbornness as I don’t like people to think they can hurt me so I act very nonchalant which I then act around people who are important in my life. Saying that I do think sometimes you can meet people and they just get it and they understand and it’s so much easier to open up. Sounds like this lady is one of those people.
    Oh and glad your wife found her jacket!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Exactly. Walls are built up. And we protect our hearts. I totally get that. It is all a process. Some people like you said can figure us out in no time. like the lady I met. Others take time.

      As long as we allow ourselves in time to open up and have healthy relationships then we are on track. Just can’t be like me and stay in a hermit shell for a year haha.

      She loves her jacket, thank you! Thank you for stopping by. Hope you have a wonderful day!

      Like

  3. Thank you for sharing & opening up about your anxiety. I enjoyed reading your post & sounds like you were meant to met this women & happy she made such a positive impact on you.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. praise the Lord! I loved everything about this post! praise the Lord for helping you “to even go out”, to go out of your way, to go to new places, to communicate… with a stranger too, for the connection between you and the sales lady/psychologist, and the perfect jacket. All of these show God was thinking about everyone mentioned, and had them exactly where He needed them to be to bless each other! God bless you and your wife, Travis. And the lady and her husband, Praying for each of you! God loves you each! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Wow Travis! That is divine inspiration! I’ve definitely known for having selective hearing..I think it’s a dude thing.

    If you believe in Jesus, whom I do I know that he had everything lined up waiting for you. As a fellow man, I can’t fix my own life, I can’t fix what is “wrong” with me. I can however cope and do my best and be inspired because of bloggers like you who choose to share and change the world. Happy thanksgiving Travis!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you man! I do believe in my man Jesus, so I too with you believe that it was lined up for me to be there!

      I am also glad that through my sharing that you and others find inspiration and are able to cope better. I feel the same when I read yours as well. We are changing the world together brother! Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!!

      Like

  6. What a great share! I was an anxiety ridden mess at one time. No social or people skills what so ever. I’m a recovered alcoholic with 25 years sobriety in AA. That’s what AA did for me. When I straightened out at age 28, I had a 7th grade education and was, most of the time, mute. I have a college education these days. After a few years of intensive healing, I could not shut up. I have been public speaking in one form or another for the last 20 years. At meetings, spearheading non profits, presentations, one on one, writing. Making up for lost time I guess. Welcome to the world! Note: I only mention that I am directly affiliated with AA because this is a private conversation. At the public level, all AA members are asked to remain anonymous. Go get em Travis! The healing is in the sharing.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Wow! That is so encouraging/inspiring. Thank you so so much for sharing that with me! Truly motivating as I head out to my physical therapy session. I am so happy for you in what you have overcome! And look forward to being able to say something similar soon! It is kind of a goal/dream of mine to turn all this into motivational speaking/public speaking at some point! So that is awesome to hear! Thank you again. You rock! Have a fantastic week!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. This was a beautiful post, I agree with everyone – things happen for a reason. You all were in the right place at the exact right time and I am so glad that you all’s paths crossed. I know this will be a great journey for you, I’m looking forward to hearing updates. So glad your wife found a jacket and that she had selected hearing that day…lol lol lol. Have a Great Day!

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Man, look at you! That is so how God does a thing! Sets before you a challenge, to which is attached an amazing, mind-blowing, tailor-made blessing just for you….only He chooses not to tell you about the whole hidden blessing part. You either meet the challenge or you don’t. The times when you don’t, you can never know what you gave up ‘behind door #3’! hehehe You met the challenge and look what you got for your courage and obedience! Makes you want to step out again, doesn’t it? God rocks!
    By the way, selective hearing isn’t just a guy thing! Just ask my husband! Hehehe

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I loved reading this. You were in the right place at the right time. How wonderful for you. I understand your introverted side. I have always been like that and after my brain surgery, it feels like it has gotten so much worse. And I am glad your wife got her jacket. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for reading! Yeah, my introverted side has gone to the extreme side after my accident. And that’s okay! As long as we have healthy relationships and allow people in our lives! And thank you, she loves it!

      Hope you are having a great week!

      Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much, Kelly! And I agree! That is why it is important to be open to people. I can be such a closed off person, so I totally get the other side of it.

      As introverts we just have to be willing to step out of our comfort zones when we feel it is right. Just a process.

      Like

    • Thank you so much for sharing this! I’m glad you enjoyed it! It is very true when we step out of our comfort zones life usually gives us a blessing for it. I hope you have a wonderful weekend!

      Like

    • It truly is an awesome thing to be a part of. A reminder that God is good…all the time. No matter what our minds and circumstances try to tell us! Thank you for reading. Have a blessed weekend.

      Like

  10. I always believe that things are meant to happen and def not believe this was coincidence! Great things happen to us if we allow them ☺️ Very happy for you and wish you all the best with the life coaching sessions. I think it’s a great experience.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Wonderful. Thank you!

    I was looking into the topic in different ways this morning, when I bumped into your amazing article. I especially like the two final paragraphs.

    A researcher on vulnerability says: “Out of 13000 pieces of data analyzed in over a decade, I couldn’t find one that is not underpinned by vulnerability” and

    “It is to show up and be seen, even with no guarantees.”
    “It is all about risk, uncertainty and emotions.”
    “It takes seeing the weaknesses in us and the courage in others, even though what we want is the opposite”.

    I wish you a wonderful recovery!

    Maybe you’ll want to check out my book/blog as well? It takes me all my vulnerability and courage to write. 🙂 It is a book, so good to read from the beginning (Press Menu/chapters and voilá!).

    Merry December to you and your wife. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  12. I find it easy to relate to this post and by just reading it, it ultimately shows full recovery is whats coming your way.
    And I want to believe it wasn’t that easy writing this piece but keep them coming someone out there needs your wise words to keep up to the struggles of daily living

    Liked by 1 person

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