To celebrate International Women’s Day, I had the privilege of being part of a special event hosted by lululemon on Monday night.
Ten women from Baltimore’s health and wellness community, were invited to share our stories of courage, bravery, and vulnerability. Each of us connected our journey with a line or phrase from lululemon’s powerful poem, Enough Already.
The room was full of passionate, powerful women committed to making a difference in their communities and in the world around them. They are business owners, athletes, dancers, yogis, mothers, sisters, friends, and teachers.
I knew one friend was going to be sharing a deeply personal part of her story for the first time publicly, and my heart broke but also cheered for her in her moment of courage.
When we create safe, inviting spaces for each other to open up and be human without shame and judgment, we give each other permission to be brave. And so often we find freedom on the other side of vulnerability.
We spoke our truths and bared our souls.
We shared our stories of abuse, bullying, loss, pride, doubt, fear, worthiness, success, setbacks and shame.
We offered each other grace, forgiveness, love, support, and compassion.
We laughed together, cried together, and danced together.
We were courageous, brave and vulnerable.
We were human.
Sharing our stories is one of the most powerful ways we can connect with each other and shed light on the dark places in our lives we hope no one ever sees.
We are more than what we’ve done, more powerful than our past, and by grace we are renewed, redeemed and remade.
The band Tenth Avenue North sums up what I think all of us were feeling on Monday night in these lyrics from their song, “You Are More.”
What a relief, a message of hope that all of us need to hear and be reminded of regularly.
It’s tempting to allow our past to define us, to continue to judge ourselves for regrettable decisions we’ve made, or to keep going on the same guilt trip over and over again to atone for our mistakes and shortcomings.
But that is not how we are called to live.
We are called to live in boldness and to stand in the truth that we are never too far gone because there is no expiration date on grace. There is no limit on love.
The story I shared was rooted in the phrase, “My vulnerabilities are fire” from the Enough Already poem.
Being vulnerable, honest, and open has been key to my growth and healing, especially over the past year. I know some of you wanted to come but weren’t able to make it, so I uploaded the video to YouTube and included it here!
It was a powerful evening, one that required each of us to show up fully and to be present and real with each other.
I was struck by how unique each woman and her story was yet how similar our shared struggles are.
The overarching messages from that night are ones that many of us struggle to believe and embrace – that we are enough, that we are worthy, that there is enough room at the table for all of us.
That each of our unique gifts, contributions, and stories are needed in this world.
That all of us are called to shine.
That we burn brighter together than we do apart.
It’s time for more collaboration and less competition.
It’s time for us to rally around each other, not talk about each other.
It’s time for us to rise up together, not push each other down on our race to the top.
It’s time to believe the truth that we are worth it.
It’s time to believe that we are enough.