Community and Vulnerability

I am loving life these days, and in every aspect.  I am brimming with gratitude, happiness, and determination, along with a sense of self that I have never had before.  Why?  Many reasons, but one of the biggest is the community I surround myself with.

Photograph taken by unknown paddler.  Features Looie Voorhees, Diane Z, Grace Jones, Ruth Krieger, and Alexis Krukovsky

Photograph taken by unknown paddler. Features Looie Voorhees, Diane Z, Grace Jones, Ruth Krieger, and Alexis Krukovsky

I have many different communities I am privileged to be apart of.  Some of the characteristics they all have in common are a huge sense of support, unity towards a common purpose, mentoring, and constructive feedback.  Everyone is a collection of experiences they have throughout their lifetime.  It is one’s job to sift through it, and find one’s place where you can feel at home and “safe” at.  Where you can be vulnerable without having to worry about what people are going to think.  I started small by venturing out where I feel safest, paddling.  Since the summer it has snowballed into other areas, and now I feel at peace with myself.  Free even.

I think one has to be vulnerable to be great, because you have to get out of your comfort zone to achieve greatness.  This involves opening yourself to others, something which has terrified me for most of my life.  We’ve been taught that vulnerable is a dirty word, and it means to be weak.  In my experience, it’s the combination of vulnerability and mental toughness that brings people to greatness.  I have experienced within the past month what I would consider a shift.  I am making myself more vulnerable, and trying to be more open with people in my communities.  And I think it’s one step of many in my path to a greater sense of self and purpose.

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