Saturday, February 18, 2012

fresh courage take

From Brené Brown's TED talk The Power of Vulnerability:

Shame is really easily understood as the fear of disconnection. "Is there something about me that, if other people know it or see it, that I won't be worthy of connection?" The things I can tell you about [shame]: it's universal; we all have it. The only people who don't experience shame have no capacity for human empathy or connection.

Courage, the original definition of courage, when it first came into the English language came from the Latin word cor, meaning heart and the original definition was to tell the story of who you are with your whole heart.

[I've found in my research that people who were resilient to shame] had, very simply, courage. The courage to be imperfect. They were willing to let go of who they thought they should be in order to be who they were. They fully embraced vulnerability. They believed that what made them vulnerable  made them beautiful. They talked about the willingness to say, "I love you" first, the willingness to do something where there are no guarantees. They're willing to invest in a relationship that may or may not work out.

This is what I have found: to let ourselves be seen, deeply seen, vulnerably seen; to love with our whole hearts, even though there's no guarantee, to practice gratitude and joy in those moments of terror, when we're wondering, "Can I love you this much? Can I believe in [something] this passionately? Can I be this fierce about this?" just to be able to stop and say, "I'm just so grateful, because to feel this vulnerable means I'm alive."

This has been a week of private sorrows followed by, as it always happens, some heaven-sent help in a desperate and dark hour. This time, in the form of my BYU Alumni magazine that had been sitting on my nightstand for weeks and weeks.

So many tender mercies. So much patience and long-suffering extended on my behalf.

From the article His Grace Is Sufficient by Brad Wilcox:

“Grace shall be as your day”—what an interesting phrase. We have all sung it hundreds of times, but have we stopped to consider what it means? “Grace shall be as your day”: grace shall be like a day. As dark as night may become, we can always count on the sun coming up. As dark as our trials, sins, and mistakes may appear, we can always have confidence in the grace of Jesus Christ. Do we earn a sunrise? No. Do we have to be worthy of a chance to begin again? No. We just have to accept these blessings and take advantage of them. As sure as each brand-new day, grace—the enabling power of Jesus Christ—is constant. Faithful pioneers knew they were not alone. The task ahead of them was never as great as the power behind them.

From the hymn God Moves in a Mysterious Way by William Cowper:

Ye fearful saints, fresh courage take;
The clouds ye so much dread
Are big with mercy and shall break
In blessings on your head.

So, gird up your loins my friends. We can make it together.


  1. You always have the right thing to say for me, Rachel. Thanks for being my friend & basically being a neat human being.

  2. I've been thinking a lot about you this week. It might be because there's a slight possibility I'll be coming to visit in a few months. You are great.

  3. amazing words. So glad you blogged.

  4. First, as always, thank you for your wonderful words of wisdom. You truly inspire me daily. If not with your blog, with your pictures on Instagram, your daily doings on MyFitness Pal and Facebook, and just all of the awesomeness you have in your person. Thank you so much for being such a wonderful friend and human being! :)

    Second, sorry I haven't commented on the last few posts. I haven't been much of a commenter on anyone's blog lately (since Cassie died). But, I'm starting to get out of my funk and will return to my normal Internet self soon. :)

  5. you always have the best things to say. i love this.

  6. How did I miss this one??? So beautifully written, and I love both of the articles you mentioned. They helped me have courage as well.