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  • Writer's pictureShannon Duskie

The Most Vulnerable Feeling

Brené Brown says that the most vulnerable feeling we have is JOY. As I listened to Dare to Lead, this idea made me tilt my head to the side and think, Really Brene? Joy? Not shame or fear or regret? I find this hard to believe. But you are the expert in this kind of crap, so I’ll keep listening.

She goes onto explain this feeling of terror you get when everything is going right, thinking something bad is going to happen. When I was first exposed to this idea in her book, Daring Greatly, I didn't quite understand it and I wasn't sure if that had ever happened to me.

This Saturday, it happened to me HARD! My eyes are wet and my nose is starting to run even thinking about it two days later.

The most vulnerable feeling we have is Joy. Joy is what I felt as I watched my amazing mother down on her hands and knees chasing Samson down the hallway as he screamed and giggled his way into his room. Sometimes, she plays with him in ways I've never even thought of. She has shown me - and continues to show me - what it means to be an exceptional mom.

Joy is what I felt as we snuggled on the couch Saturday morning, drank tea and watched cartoons. As we completed the 20 minute workout she was nervous to try and was so proud of herself when we were done. As we made sweet ninja sound effects recreating one of the moves from the workout afterwards and laughed because we know how funny we are!

Joy is what I felt when we hopped in the car and headed to the Agape Shop to see what cool things we might find. Then, on our way back, when our original plan was to take two cars to Beloit to go grocery shopping so she could leave for home from there, but we wanted more time for car talk, so we took just one car, even though, technically, those logistics didn't make sense!

Joy is what I felt when she kept saying "I should really get going. I want to get home before it's dark." and then ended up staying another thirty minutes to an hour!

The most vulnerable feeling we have is Joy. Then comes the glimpses of terror. I say glimpses because I try not to let those feelings hang out for too long. I recognize them and remind myself that God knows what he's doing.

Terror is what I feel when all of these beautiful moments are happening and I catch myself thinking of the future. The future that I cannot predict. The future that only ONE all-knowing God knows. I see my amazing mom rolling around on the floor with Samson wondering if she'll be here to see him graduate high school or get married or even for his 10th birthday. I wonder how I would even get through some of the hard parenting situations that are yet to come without her.

Terror is what I feel when I think about not being able to drink tea or coffee or wine or car water or whatever it is that we're drinking on a particular day or particular time without her. When I think about Cow Bones and all of the other things we laugh about because I clearly got my amazing sense of humor from her. Terror is what I feel when I think about the car talks screeching to a halt.

The most vulnerable feeling we have is Joy. I get it now, Brené, and I thank you for putting words to it to help me understand.

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