When I started this blog, it scared me. There have been so many posts that I have sent to friends for validation before hitting publish. As my blog has grown, so has my voice. My confidence followed. This space has become safe. It has become my comfort.
Almost too safe. Almost too comfortable.
I’ve hidden behind my written words, and when it comes time to speak, I feel the same fear I used to feel before I hit publish.
Expressing myself outloud is hard. My friend Amy stated it best. The words get stuck somewhere between my heart and my mouth. When I write, my heart comes out of my fingers but when I speak, it gets stuck.
Last Tuesday I had no other choice but to speak.
Every season our training team gets together to celebrate the spirit of running and life. Running Reflections instantly became a highlight for me last season as I listened to four powerful teammates share their stories of overcoming life. That night I was gifted with a mindset for race day and life.
This season I was asked to speak.
Although I enthusiastically said yes to speaking inside I held tightly to nerves and doubts. What story should I tell? What story is worthy of sharing? Because my heart now speaks through my fingers, I sat down to write. As I explored my doubts, I found the beauty in my story.
“When we deny the story, it defines us. When we own the story, we can write a brave new ending.” ~ Brené Brown
My greatest fear on Tuesday night was that when my words left my body through my mouth instead of my fingertips, I’d feel weak. I’d loose control. I was afraid that if I let my story become unstuck from my heart, I’d be forced to face things all over again. Was I really living the silver lining of my story?
As I stood in front of over 100 teammates to share my story, my voice trembled. My nerves came spilling out, and it was okay. Staring back at me was a room full of people who were cheering me on. Through a few trembling sentences, I let the nerves leave my body. Once those nerves left, something magical happened. I relaxed. I felt confident. Over the course of fifteen minutes, I felt myself transforming. I felt light.
It wasn’t a huge transformation. It wasn’t anything I can pinpoint or define. It was just a simple subtle shift of thought. It was a weight off my tired body. It was the next step in my journey.
By the time I finished speaking, I fell in love with my story.
“Owning our story and loving ourselves through that process is the bravest thing that we will ever do.” ~ Brené Brown
I watched the Facebook Live video of my talk the next day. (It was shared privately with our group, so no I can’t share it). Once again I expected to feel something: regret for parts I left out, embarrassment over my numerous hand gestures, etc.
By the time I finished listening, I fell in love with myself. The tiniest of tiny of shift that took place between the start and the finish of my talk made me feel proud.
I did it.
I quit chasing something that night. Instead of wanting to be, that night after the nerves left my body, I just was.
In that moment, in a room filled with so many loving faces, I knew without a doubt that this was, this is, my life to live. The good, the bad, the ugly, the amazing, the loving, and the simple day to day, I am grateful for every breath of it.