This very week I’ve experienced two instances where women have shared a story with me which has taken my breath away.
In both cases, the women were brave, smart and also trying to manage a tough situation by “powering through it“.
The first woman worked in the Bar of the Restaurant where we had dinner last weekend. She served our drinks before dinner and in a moment of instinct, I admired her engagement ring which was sparkling away in front of me (ever the Magpie).
By just saying that she said to me along the lines of “Oh thank you, I love it so. It reminds me of my husband who is still in Afganistan.” She went on to tell us she was married at 15 and is now 18 and doesn’t know when she’ll see her husband and family again…
Honestly , it’s moments like these when someone shares something so personal, tough and yet courageous you realise how there truly is strength in the struggle, in being vulnerable.
Snowy & I both were slightly in awe of her and her story’s stayed with me.
Another example is a client, let’s call her Jane. Jane is powering through her husband being very ill for over a year now. She’s been juggling homelife and children with a full on career in financial services with her husband away in a physical rehabilitation unit following a cardiac incident last year.
She was tired and felt adrift at work. Not surprising either.
Jane’s so brave and strong AND she also has felt the need to keep going, to avoid asking for much help, to give even more time to coping day-to-day.
But Jane’s not WonderWoman in the sense of being superhuman, as much as we’d all like to think we are.
We all know when we get so tired or run ragged that our health starts to suffer and then – irony of ironies – we need to be looked after ourselves… the last thing we wanted.
By being more open, letting people support you, saying the tougher stuff instead of “powering through” I’ve found this .
We set ourselves free.
We become stronger by not having to ‘hold it all together’.
Brene Brown’s work is focussed on courage, vulnerability and being seen.
If you haven’t discovered Brene Brown or have and need a reminder of just how brilliant she is, here’s her viral TED Talk to enjoy.
It’s breathtaking and it just might be what you need to hear today too.
So, whilst a reflective note to you this week , it’s also intended to inspire you to let your guard down and let people in.
There’s real strength in the struggle and there are a lot of people struggling with a lot of things all the time.
In other news…
Snow & I went to my favourite shopping Arcade in London – Burlington Arcade off Piccadilly. Full of jewellery shops, vintage watches and smart food emporiums…what’s not to love!? The man who greets you at the entrance had more bling on than I did.
Oh, and they had a James Bond celebration going on in the Bollinger store inside the Arcade. Did someone say Bollinger?!