“Life is not a fist. Life is an open hand waiting for some other hand to enter it.” Elie Wiesel
Some people might think that the answer to the question of “do we really need each other” has already been answered with the opening quote yet I’ll bet that some people will defend their stance on keeping their fists closed and close to their sides.
What does it mean to stand with an open hand and wait for another hand to enter it? The first word or feeling I come up with is vulnerability.
The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines vulnerability as “being capable of or susceptible to being wounded or hurt; open to moral attack or temptation.” I also hear the word weakness in this definition.
Dr. Brene Brown is a vulnerability researcher. In her amazing, down to earth, no nonsense, authentic book Daring Greatly, Dr. Brown says,
“The perception that vulnerability is weakness is the most widely accepted myth and the most dangerous. When we spend our lives pushing away and protecting ourselves from feeling vulnerable, we let our fear and discomfort become judgment and criticism. Vulnerability is the core of all emotions and feelings.”
A lot of us tend to tie vulnerability to something dark like fear, shame, grief, disappointment. What if we did allow ourselves to feel all of those emotions in their proper place and space and time? Dr. Brown spent over a decade researching this question and more and she found that
“Vulnerability is also the cradle of the emotions and experiences that we crave. It is the birthplace of love, belonging, joy, courage, empathy, and creativity. It is the source of hope, accountability, and authenticity. Vulnerability is uncertainty, risk, and emotional exposure.”
“Courage is the most important of all virtues, because without courage, you cannot practice any of the other virtues consistently.” Maya Angelou
But why need each other? Why be so vulnerable in the presence of another person? For one thing it pushes each of us to become a better version of ourselves.
Here are a few thoughts on why needing each other is a great thing:
1- Community: It may take one person to come up with a plan or an idea but it will take many other people to help implement and bring that plan or idea to life. Each individual person does not have all of the answers. Even though answers to questions are easier to find these days through the internet we each have to realize that someone placed the information on the internet for us to find and someone else did a lot of work to create the answers we are seeking. Before you know it you have amassed a community or village of people to help you make your idea or plan take flight.
“Strength lies in differences, not in similarities”
Stephen R. Covey
2- Accountability: Just like a coach holds his/her players accountable to learn the sport they are playing and the position they are attending; just like a life coach holds his/her client accountable to the agenda being worked on so too do other people play important accountability roles in each of our lives and thank goodness they do. Think about any change you want to make in your life or any time you need to just get through a hard time and now think about the people who help you change or get through. With just the right question and just the right amount of care you know, in the end, you couldn’t have done it without the help from someone important in your life. A great example might be a surgeon or doctor that helps us get well when we need surgery or medical care right away.
“The only way we succeed as a group is not simply following directions, but in keeping each other accountable for our actions.”
A.J. Darkholme, Rise of the Morningstar
3 – Competition: A lot of people thrive on competition. Think of all those marathon runners each year that prepare and train and focus so intently on winning that long arduous foot race. Where is the glory of winning if we are only running against ourselves? Where is the fun in competition if we have no one that we want to compete against?
“Have you ever felt the longing for someone you could admire? For something, not to look down at, but up to?”
4 – Achievement: You passed the hardest test ever! You climbed the highest mountain in the world! You won the Nobel prize for your research or publishing! You worked so unbelievably hard and you finally graduated with honors and a doctorate degree! Can you imagine feeling so incredibly great about your achievement and there is not one single person to celebrate with?
“there is nothing more beautiful in life
than celebrating the talents, dreams,
joys, and accomplishments of another being
to see – and call attention to – the best in someone else… ”
Kate Mullane Robertson
5 – Love: It is important to find reasons and completely believe those reasons to love ourselves first so that we can love other people. However, it is also important that someone love us first and teach us how to love in order for us to know what it feels like and how to give it to others. Without love where would we be as a species? Love does make the world go round.
“Having someone wonder where you are when you don’t come home at night is a very old human need. ”
One of the very first lessons I learned when I was going through my coach business training was that it will always be important to have my own coach, whether for something specific or in general. The importance of that being the fact that you immerse yourself in the language and processes of coaching and at the same time work through your own personal road blocks so that you can be what your clients need you to be with empathy, authenticity, experience and hope. There are coaches for just about any life situation. For example there are coaches for teenagers, coaches for executives, coaches for life in general, coaches for relationships, leadership, Alzheimer’s, diabetes, ADHD, etc. I have a coach for coaching itself and a writing coach for the book I am working on and I have a supervisory coach. I couldn’t have come so far in my coaching practice without the help, guidance and love of all those mentors, classmates and colleagues. All it took was courage and vulnerability to let the work I wanted to accomplish begin to work its magic.
So I am a life, career, heart, and soul coach. My deep satisfaction and purpose comes from being able to take the scattered puzzle pieces of the life’s journey you are on and help you put them together; help you create a life road map with places to stop along the way and appreciate all the splendor of all that you have already within you. To empower you toward whatever you set for your life purpose, passion and potential. What I ask of you is to be vulnerable with me, have courage to stare your life in the face and create what you want from it. Everyone needs a little help now and then. That’s what I’m here for.
Why would you want to share those deep emotional parts of you and face the things you are most afraid of? Well, because that is what I ask of myself and so I have personally been where you are and can create a safe space for you to explore where you want to go; who you want to become. I need to go to those darker more vulnerable places too so that you know without a doubt that I am on your side, walking with you on your journey.
“When you stand and share your story in an empowering way, your story will heal you and your story will heal somebody else.” Iyanla Vanzant
Our life experiences are not meant for only us. Our life experiences are meant to not only teach us something important but also to be shared so that someone else might learn as well. On your journey please know that I honor you in your pursuit of purpose and passion and personal growth. Your courage and vulnerability to share, stand and influence another person is a cause for celebration.