Home #magicofvulnerability Vulnerability Challenge #MagicOfVulnerability

Vulnerability Challenge #MagicOfVulnerability

May 19, 2017 42 comments

I’ve been thinking a lot about vulnerability lately, and I have come to the conclusion that vulnerability is a real life super power accessible to all of us at any moment.

It’s like magic.

When you find people who you can be totally comfortable around, and truly vulnerable with, that’s when you’re life starts to change for the better.  Hard times become more manageable, and possibilities start popping up left and right.

I know this because I’ve experienced it.

The truth about vulnerability though, is that it’s like a muscle you have to exercise daily if you want to see continuous growth. You can be vulnerable once—and even just once is amazing—but one time isn’t enough to keep the magic that follows vulnerability flowing. To be vulnerable in your daily relationships is a lifestyle choice that you have to choose every morning when you wake up.

There’s two side to the sword, though—and the other side of this very sharp vulnerability sword cuts.

I’ll explain…

It hurts when you’re being courageous and vulnerable, and it’s not received so well—it seriously hurts, people. That cut, cuts deeep. So deep that like with any other wound, you need to suture it up…. You become closed, covered, protected….that’s what needs to be done to heal a wound, right?

And have you ever thought about a healing wound? When you think about it you’ll make the connection that most people are ashamed of their healing wounds—yet proud of their scars. People rarely let you see their pus-filled gash…and if they do they preface it with, “Prepare yourself—this is going to be disgusting.” Then they let you sneak a peek, and just a soon as you get a glance they cover it back up. Ashamed.

But when that putrid, gross gash does heal over, and scars, then it’s a tale to tell around a camp fire. Like a badge of honor. Something horrible happened to my  body and my body healed! Look at my scar! Here’s the proof!

Vulnerability, to me, is deciding to show people your unhealed, pus-filled wounds in hopes that whomever you choose to share with wont turn their head in disgust.

And by wounds I’m talking about emotional and spiritual wounds. Wounded thoughts and beliefs that are covering your heart and mind. They can be your fears, your truth, your worries… concerns…insecurities…secrets—that list can go on, and on, and on. It’s personal to you.

But basically, it’s anything that you’re afraid to share–you’re afraid of how people will judge you for your truth or fears—or afraid if you open up to someone that they will try to talk you out of your truth.  Not everyone’s truth is pretty. Sometimes peoples truth are really, really hard to accept, actually.

But here’s the truth about your truth—-even when its not real to someone else in your life, it’s real to you—and for that reason alone—it matters. 

So lets back up…I’ve been totally open and vulnerable in my life before and its been received really well—amazingly well actually. Magical things have come out of me being vulnerable.

But, I’ve also been cut by that double edged sword. I was courageous, honest and oh-so-vulnerable, then worst of the worst  happened–my biggest fear. Which was: People that I love and respect have turned their head in disgust at my truth. Judged me for it.

…And it stung.

Theres no sugar coating it.

So, this stingy place is where I’ve been for awhile. It made me clam up—I took a step back and stopped that vulnerability nonsense– for a few years, actually. I’ve been actively coving up my wounds in hopes they would heal faster without sharing too much to anyone.

And maybe this is just me, but I feel like if I can’t talk with people about some of the most important stuff that makes me mewell, then I don’t really want to tell them anything at all. I literally don’t know how to tip-toe around my life story and big experiences. I don’t see the point. Small talk/chitchat?? No, thank you. Not my thing.

 While the above is true, of course I have many things I consider sacred that go unshared, and I also believe people don’t need to know everyyyyy little detail of every story—but, for the most part I’m an open book. And isn’t this the point of life, guys? To share? Connect? I think so.

So here is where I’m going to talk about social media;  this matters because this is most likely the vehicle in which you’re reading my post right now.

Social Media is a way of life. Whether you like it or not, it’s staying. It’s how I talk to my grandmas, parents, my kids, pizza delivery man, and everyone in between. And, guys, let’s face it…. this newish way of life is a strange one.

It’s strange because we live in a time where if your skinny on Instagram and happen to have kids, then your considered a good mom. If you wear cute outfits, and if your house is beautifully designed with expensive furniture, then  you’re thought to have your life all together, and basically know the secrets of the universe. If your bone structure (in which you have no power, control, or choice over)  aligned perfectly at birth, and your face comes out symmetrical and beautiful, then you have more people who like you and think you’re interesting.

All weird stuff, right? But take a look for yourself….It’s pattern, and once you see the pattern you simply can’t un-see it.

It sometimes feels like this is the sort of stuff that people want from us, doesn’t it?  They want to see your version of societal perfection, then they will love, envy, compare, and hate you for it all at once.  One big, huge new (maybe not so new–just more in your face) social media emotion. LOVE/ENVY/COMPARISON/HATE all smushed into one feeling…we’ll shorten that mixture of emotions to L.E.C.H. for fun. LoveEnvyComparisonHate=L.E.C.H.

It’s so, so strange, isn’t it?

So with a lot of L.E.C.Hing going on in social media it makes sense that most people don’t feel comfortable sharing their healing wounds. Social media makes it easier for gossip, too, so we all become guarded of our wounds. We’re protective over our healing—as we should be-and cover them up. We talk about our new favorite Target find, what we eat, or best new concealer—all of which is important, guys, I love the merch knowledge and travel posts just as much as anyone else—but social media leaves me hungry for more.

It’s like an teeny tiny appetizer when you’re hunger has grown to want an entree sized meal.

Like I wanna knowwwww you.

So back to what this is really about. I’ve been covering up my wounds for the last few years. You know, keeping to myself. Healing…

…But now I’m ready to show you my pus filled gashes. 

This is me telling you that I’m choosing not to care any longer. It’s me saying that I’m choosing vulnerability over the cool factor. It’s me coming to grips with the reality that I’d  rather be vulnerable than liked, or pretty, or nice, or thin, or envied in anyway.

So, for 30 days straight I will share something about myself that I feel vulnerable sharing. I have no idea what is going to come up—I haven’t thought that far ahead yet. But instead of being scared of how whatever I choose to say say will be received—I’m just gonna do it, and not feel responsible for how others take it.

But I need you guys– and here’s how…

I want you to do the same. I’m going to call it The Vulnerability Challenge—because this. is. challenging.

I’m aiming to bring some of my truth, thoughts, and vulnerability forward for the next 30 days, and I want you guys to join me in this challenge.

Maybe you choose to do the full 30 days with me, or maybe you choose just one day—and even one day…well, thats a step in the right direction. Just  be vulnerable back!

I want to feel that magic again like I used to, and  I want you to experience it, too.  It feels so good! You can write me a personal email  or blast your vulnerable truth out on social media  so we can all follow along if your courageous enough to do so . It doesn’t matter to me. It can be short and sweet, or heavy and deep—and everywhere in between.

And guys, a lot of my truth sounds something like, I’ like to eat cereal in my bed while I pretend I’m busy doing highly important work. So it doesn’t have to be as scary as you may be thinking… Yes, I know hiding from your kids eating food in your bed is hardly a big deal, but even that is kinda hard to say out loud…mostly cause it’s ohhhh-so-true.  It’s me.

Like I said before, I’m hungry for it…and if I’m hungry for it, I know, KNOW that there are others people out there that are hungry, too. So, if you want to join me in this vulnerability challenge you can hashtag your stories or comments with #MagicOfVulnerability so others can follow along.

And please tag me on Instagram (@weslie_ ), so I don’t miss anything! I really, really want to read all of them.

One more thing for those of you who choose to take this challenge…It’s a promise to you from me…

I will not judge you. I won’t turn my head disgust. I swear this to you. Most likely, I’ll find some pieces of me in you, and in your story..whatever it may be…but just know I’m excited and grateful to hear from you already.

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Michelle A. May 19, 2017 at 6:12 pm

I really respect you for always being who you are and also letting your kids being who they are. Sometimes in social media, we only share the happy shiny parts of our lives, which leads to unrealistic expectations and I appreciate when people can be authentic. I appreciate you!

As far as vulnerability goes, I’m far too judgmental when it comes to myself and my appearance. I’m also dating a guy with a six year old so I also judge myself on how good I’m doing with his daughter. Being in a mom-type role isn’t easy and I appreciate you posting your life and being authentic! Thank you!!!

admin May 19, 2017 at 6:22 pm

Thank you Michelle! I judge myself daily in mom duty department too–and appearance is half the reason I isolate–it’s just tooo much pressure to always look great. Everyone feels it! I appreciate you sharing so much.

Kenzie May 19, 2017 at 6:19 pm

I just started following you recently after your podcast with your husband on The Skinny Confidential, and needless to say, I have fallen in love with you and your darling family. I love how open you are, I admire your love for your family, and ability to make all situations fun (referencing your adorable instagram stories 🙂 ). Thanks for being a great role model and being vulnerable!!! I love it!!!

Xo, Kenzie

admin May 19, 2017 at 6:23 pm

Thanks Kenzie!

Aileen May 19, 2017 at 6:44 pm

Love this. I am the same as you. I hate “shallow friendships”. I want to connect with people on a deeper level. Looking forward to this!

Carolin May 19, 2017 at 7:01 pm

After nearly 3 years of lots of hardship in my husband’s personal life, which caused a lot of tumult and heartbreak in our family, I have recently found out things I never ever thought I’d ever have to deal with. My marriage has been a covered up wound for so long now that I don’t remember what it felt like before all of this. I don’t know where the man went that I married, the man I left my country for, the man I chose to have two babies with. I am so ashamed of this part of my life, which obviously is a huge part, that I choose to only bare my soul to a handful of people that are either my family or like family to me. And even some of those I won’t tell the whole truth to. I am more vulnerable today than I have ever been. I feel alone due to covering this up. But I have to protect my heart and children from being looked at sideways. I feel hopeless, and so so sad. I know I am not alone. I know many women and even men go through this. And maybe one day, when time has healed the wound, I will rip off the band aid and expose my scar. Even though letting complete strangers just have a tiny peek at this side of my life by writing this comment, without exposing too much, made me feel better. Thank you for this opportunity and for not judging and making me feel worse. You seem like a good one to keep around, so I keep reading, following and watching ✌❤️

admin May 19, 2017 at 7:58 pm

Thank you carolin! I want you to know that this one got me. I found myself taking deeeeep breaths in throughout the whole thing–just taking it In and honoring that you allowed me to be apart of your truth. And I can I say that I relate? Nothing is identical in life–but I relate to you. Ive felt some of those emotions you described, too, and know the isolation that comes. You’re not alone!

Tiffanie Jensen May 23, 2017 at 10:03 pm

I’m totally going to jump in on this beautiful! Just found you because my friend Demi did this and I saw her post which linked to yours. I’m ALL about that vulnerability magic, so I’m excited you created this. Thanks for your beautiful words and for sharing, deeply, intimately, bravely and vulnerably!

admin May 29, 2017 at 4:49 pm

Thankyou tiffanie!

Allison May 19, 2017 at 7:09 pm

I love this. So much. This is so needed in today’s insane world of social media comparisons and the endless cycle of processing thoughts about how we compare to those we see online. Great idea. 🙂

Kat May 19, 2017 at 7:12 pm

Thanks for leading by example! I really feel like vulnerability is a domino effect and I know this challenge will have some beautiful repercussions. I hope to be courageous like you – nothing great happens when we keep to ourselves, sharing and opening up truly is magic!

admin May 19, 2017 at 8:00 pm

I swear it is real life magic on earth!

Liza May 19, 2017 at 7:31 pm

Here are some of the things that make me feel most vulnerable when talking about:
I have many insecurities about my body, smi feel that my butt is too small, I have extra tummy fat, a bump in my nose and a bite that couldn’t be fixed by braces and will still require surgery. But the thing that I am most insecure about is my ears. I feel like they stick out too much, and I’m an adult so I’m not going to “grow into them.” I was bullied in school (not severely, just the occasional comment. And I still had friends and boys interested in me etc.,) but it’s amazing how those comments stick with you and you can still hear them word for word. I wear my hair down all the time expect when I’m at home as I actually like ponytails and buns. Ive been with my fiancé for 5 1/2 years and I didn’t let him see my ears for a long time and still avoid having him see/touch them. I’ve thought about getting surgery but I don’t want to offend anyone (namely parents, whose genes gave me these ears) by changing my appearance. Everyone in my family also thinks my ear is the cutest thing ever, but of course I hate having attention drawn to it. I keep hoping that the change in acceptance will come from inside rather than surgery, but it hasn’t yet.
Another thing that makes me feel vulnerable is talking about my relationship and the struggles that I’ve been having there. There has been emotional cheating and activity on dating apps this year after the birth of our son, and I feel like people will judge me for not just leaving my fiancé, because it’s not the first time things like this have happened. I am just trying to navigate this and find the way through that is best for my family and myself, but I think it’s hard for people to understand my reasons for not leaving. It doesn’t make you want to be vulnerable when the only solution you’re offered (especially if you’re not looking to be offered solutions) is to break up. It’s also hard to find people to talk to when they’re only seeing the parts of your life that are on social media and they think you look so happy but they have no idea what’s really going on in your life.
And here’s a lighter one to end this with: sometimes I take suuuper long showers in the morning while my baby plays in his excersaucer ‍♀️
Anyways, I’ll be back if I have more vulnerabilities to share in the next 30 days. Looking forward to hearing more of yours!

admin May 19, 2017 at 7:59 pm

Liza! Thank you so much! The physical appearance stuff is what inspired this whole idea. I feeeeel you girl. I know. It’s hard. But you’re not alone in it.

Jenna May 19, 2017 at 8:07 pm

Weslie!! Ughhh we love you girl! Thank you for being you & sharing.

Ashley May 19, 2017 at 8:59 pm

This.is.amazing. I have to start off by saying, I seriously love your blog and your family’s YouTube channel. I have never commented on anything before, but I just felt compelled to! I love how honest you are and that you allow your readers/viewers to peak inside your life. The topic of social media really resonated with me, and LoveEnvyComparisonHate=L.E.C.H is SPOT ON! Truthfully, I have a serious love/hate relationship with social media. As I was reading, I thought to myself, this chick gets me! I really struggle with the unrealistic and “perfect” images everyone obsesses over and can’t help but think- what has our world come to? Is this what is important in life? Is this what we place value in? There are so many other things we can bring awareness to (which some platforms do, i.e. yours:) ) and it frustrates me that social media causes people’s unrealistic expectations in life and elicits such negative thoughts and emotions. Yet, I find myself sucked into that world and I’m just as guilty of those feelings at times. All of that to say, THANK YOU for bringing attention to this topic. It’s comforting to know other people have similar thoughts about the issue.

So onto the vulnerability challenge. Girllll there is so many examples I can give, but I’ll start with a big one. I’ve had some pretty significant changes in my outlook on life, kind of an existential crisis if you will. Maybe it’s because I became a mom, or turned 30. I don’t know. Maybe everyone goes through a period of growth in their life when they question everything. Maybe I’m just being dramatic, but I feel like my world was turned upside down! All of the things I was so sure of, completely changed and I’m such a different person now (in a good way), but it is extremely hard and scary to share my new views about some pretty deep topics with friends and family for fear of being judged or looked at like you’re a crazy person. Especially if you know they don’t share the same views as you. I still struggle with this, but I’m inspired to speak my truth to the people I care about. Thank you for this! It’s such a good reminder to practice daily 🙂

admin May 19, 2017 at 9:10 pm

I feel like I could have written this myself–am turning 30 in just a few months and my world views and entire belief system flipping in what felt like one night. It was like I got spit out of a tornado–I was so confused for months afterwards. But I get you, girl. I get you!

Ashley May 19, 2017 at 9:18 pm

So crazy, right!? Glad to hear I’m not alone 🙂 Thanks for the response!

court May 19, 2017 at 9:17 pm

It’s been very hard to accept my postpartum body. I’m a previous marathon runner, fitness junkie and health addict. I’ve had two beautiful baby girls and this weight just seems to stick on (I seriously have a 2 month old so ya I’ve been hard on myself). The reality is that people post when they look hott even one week after baby so ya even the seemingly confident people fall into a comparison ditch. With the first baby I essentially withdrew and didn’t want to see people because of embarassment– this time around I look worse but have allowed myself to hang with my friends and have fun. People really do judge you for a few seconds, and then go on feeling insecure about their own self. It all boils down to LOVE and never do I want my girls to think they’re less than for looking a certain way. Social media is a beast and comparison truly is the thief of joy. Cut out the sponsored posts, like to know it bags, leg selfies…and there you find real life and what most of us are interested in anyway. Good job! I followed years ago because you and your family are beautiful, I’ve stayed because you and your family are REAL.

admin May 21, 2017 at 3:58 am

Post partum sucks. Like suuuuuuucks. And you wanna know what’s worse…feeling shame about feeling ashamed. It’s like a double whammy…I would hate on my post baby body…then hate on myself for hating on myself in the first place. shame snowball from hell. I’ve done-we’ve all done it. I appreciate you being brace enough to say it aloud so others know they’re not alone.

Jannah May 19, 2017 at 10:11 pm

Weslie. This is a beautiful idea. I love finding people who are not afraid to go deep. Who aren’t scared to show their inner self’s (selves?) and raw and real over airbrushed and perfect wins any day.
So my husband. I really love him. More than I thought it was possible to love someone. Our work lives at the moment means that we are living apart. And I mean… really apart! I’m in Australia and he in America. It’s a 2 year stint but thankfully we’ve only 6 months left to go. I feel as if I’ve had to hold my head up, suppress suppress suppress everything I’m feeling, and just make excuses about how “it’s not that bad” and “you never get used to it but you just do it”
Well I watched inside out the other day. That was it. A freaking Pixar movie broke me. Sadness. It’s a feeling. And an important one! So my vulnerability is that I feel sad. I’m very sad at the situation I’m in. And, I’m okay with being sad.

admin May 21, 2017 at 4:00 am

I know this all too well, too…it’s shame mixed with a little bit of healthy pride in your relationship. Even the most loving, wonderful relationship are hard! It’s hard! Thankyou so much for sharing!

Talisha May 20, 2017 at 12:25 am

My newborn baby sleeps right next to me in MY BED! I hate admitting that because people look at me like I am doing this whole parenting thing wrong. hahaha the reality is that I basically raise my kiddos opposite from all baby/ parenting books. Part of me hates that those stupid books even exist, because quite frankly every kid is different. And as long as your kids are kind, and happy, and loved who really cares what other people think?

admin May 21, 2017 at 4:01 am

All my babies sleep right with me! It worked! Happy baby happy mama…and mine all turned ok so far. You’re doing good!

Courtney May 20, 2017 at 2:35 am

Your vulnerability is inspiring- even reading this article feels so freeing and close to tears realizing how much we all (myself especially) hide behind our wounds and social media. It is empowering to see someone I admire share that they too- are human and share in the same fears. Thank you for being you and helping me take a better look at myself. I can not wait to read what comes up in the next 30 days and share. Thank you!

admin May 21, 2017 at 4:02 am

Thankyou Courtney! It feels strangely freeing—and scary, too.

SDJCA May 20, 2017 at 3:35 am

I’m nervous about writing this hopefully my husband doesn’t see this, because I don’t want him to feel sad. I had a miscarriage a year ago. It was a natural pregnancy,what I mean is that I didn’t do any fertility treatment this time. We were so surprised and happy that I don’t have any words to describe the emotion. My baby boy will have a brother or sister. Then the nightmare star , we were devastating. This is one of many vulnerability #MagicofVulnerability: When I’m alone at home sometimes I just cry and talk to my baby angel. My family think that I exceed this and I’m still recovering.

admin May 21, 2017 at 4:02 am

I’m so sorry for your loss. Grief is so personal-there’s no right or wrong way. But thankyou for being brace enough to share! It matters!

Kaylene May 20, 2017 at 5:21 am

I love this idea! It takes a brave person to not care about what others might think! I’m in!

admin May 21, 2017 at 4:03 am

I’m feeling brave–and crazy. Then again I alway feel crazy! ☺️ thank you!

Bry May 20, 2017 at 6:46 am

You killed it with this post! So on point! I am pumped for this challenge and I love love love who you are and the influence you have in this crazy world!

admin May 21, 2017 at 4:04 am

Thank you bry!

Erika May 20, 2017 at 11:29 pm

You’re amazing babe. I just may join you but I am a little scared too

admin May 21, 2017 at 4:05 am

That’s ok! I’m scared to death…like what on earth was I thinking?!? I’m just happy you’re here following along

Sharni May 24, 2017 at 1:29 am

Weslie you are the coolest person ever. Ive loved your blog for years, and I love what you’re doing with this.

admin May 29, 2017 at 4:50 pm

Thanks Sharon!

Trish May 31, 2017 at 4:41 am

Love you! Spot on girl!

Corinna June 2, 2017 at 5:36 am

Weslie, thank you for opening up a bit! I am drawn to your updates and love your seemingly authentic personality. I see myself in many of your vulnerability posts. Interesting enough, it’s starting to help me unravel some of my thoughts and understand how I feel, since I am struggling with depression.

Like you, I hate small talk and long to connect with people on an authentic, deeper level. However, for that reason I struggle to connect with anyone. I am a fairly new Mother (I have a sweet 2 year old son) and feel more closed off from people than ever. So one thing I feel vulnerable over is the fact that my only friend (who I adore) is my husband. Living in a big city can often feel like the loneliest of places sometime. Anyways, love your posts. Thanks!

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