Two weeks ago I told you about my three step gratitude practice: Notice, Appreciate, Share. Some of us have a hard time with that third step: sharing our gratitude with others. That step is all about vulnerability and it reminds me of this quote by Brené Brown: “Vulnerability is about showing up and being seen”. When I heard the quote I immediately thought about those dreams many of us have when we arrive to a public place and we’ve forgotten to put on our pants or maybe we are completely naked. Showing up and being seen brings up a fear for me of being exposed. When I am truly vulnerable I let down my guard and stop trying to control the image of me that you see. In this way I am choosing to be exposed by showing up and being seen. Sharing my written gratitude is one way that I am vulnerable like this.
It takes courage to show my true self in this way. But it is the type of courage that builds me up, makes me stronger, improves my self-awareness, builds my capacity to love, and reconnects me to my happiness. This courageous act does more than just help me. Like I said before, sharing authentic gratitude is contagious. It spreads because it makes people naturally notice, appreciate, and share their gratitude. This chain of gratitude builds connections between all of the people involved.
We can choose to protect ourselves, guarding ourselves from the discomfort of vulnerability or we can show up and be seen through our gratitude. If you choose to share your authentic gratitude, you are in turn practicing vulnerability. Don’t judge yourself or others when they are being vulnerable in order to foster an environment of connection. Show up and let your true self be seen in gratitude.
I’m learning that recognizing and leaning into the discomfort of vulnerability teaches us how to live with joy, gratitude and grace.
My name is Antonia Montoya, born, raised, and gratefully living in Albuquerque, NM. When we notice, appreciate, and share our gratitude it grows exponentially right before our very grateful eyes. I hope you will join our gratitude collective.