It begins with vulnerability...

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...the root of fundamental change.

(From Brene Brown) It's the birthplace of joy, belonging, creativity, authenticity, love, laughter, joy, play; the origin for innovation, adaptability, accountability, and visionary leadership - essentials for effective parenting.

Here are some symptoms of invulnerability: 

  • Always trying to prove, please, perfect, perform
  • Trying to ward off disappointment with a shield of cynicism
  • Trying to disarm shame by numbing ourselves
  • Trying to circumvent grief by shutting off our willingness to love
  • Being judgmental, perfectionistic, always comparing self to other people, ranking everything, very little play, too much work
  • Paying a high price for trying to live up to expectations. Sacrificing our greatest potential (of being great spouses and parents) for unexamined goals, rules and beliefs

If you seek change at this level, you'll open yourself to experiences that will bring greater purpose and meaning to your life. You'll lose your fear of being wrong and be freed to work on the hard things.

Wake up everyday and resolve that no matter what gets done, how much, or how things get done, think and act as one worthy of love and belonging. You don’t need to earn it. Yes, be responsible and strive for excellence but don't be driven by an instinct of not being enough.

This is actually what the Gospel of Jesus Christ was intended to communicate, that in God's perspective and all reality, we are enough, enough for Him to send His Son as propitiation for our sins.

Be open about heartbreak, betrayal and shame – engage the fear of not being worthy for real connection by courageously choosing compassion (especially for oneself) to connect rather than running away or putting on the armor of invulnerability.

Don't be afraid of broken heartedness. “I’m here and I’m going to love you fully and if you disappoint, hurt, betray, or cheat on me you’re going to devastate me and break my heart, but I’m not holding back because this is short.” 

Be willing to commit to the slow process of building real connection.

Being vulnerable is, in truth, our most accurate measure of courage.

If you grow in this way, what results can you expect?

Generation of a growth mindset

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  • Embracing challenges
  • Persisting in arduous struggles
  • Seeing effort as the path to mastery
  • Learning from criticism
  • Getting inspired by the success of others
  • Reaching higher levels of achievement and fulfillment

If we want to create environments where everyone can learn, improve, develop, and find real solutions (especially to those parenting problems that have moms and dads flabbergasted and frustrated), we will need to foster freedom to make mistakes by eliminating insecurities, needs for approval, and other patterns driven by fixed mindesets and fear. 

When we can recognize mistakes, failures, and challenges (such as those that humiliate and shame us) as things to learn from rather than avoid, we will find the great value in them.

Positively understanding difficulties helps us initiate without fear of rejection, risk without fear of loss, move forward without need for total certainty, allowing ourselves to be deeply seen and known - flaws and all.

This requires us to exercise vulnerability by courageously believing we are worthy of love and belonging totally apart from what we do - this is absolutely necessary to being truly alive, passionate, whole hearted.

This frees us from settling for what has always been done, what is safe, or just bread crumbs of love, joy, and peace. We can approach those seemingly impossible relationship problems in our family with a different mindset than what brought about the problem. We can boldly explore where love and desire want to lead us!

Become better spouses, parents, and leaders who serve and develop future generations to do greater things with increased freedom, compassion and justice.