I don’t believe in coincidences. I believe in ordained moments and orchestrated encounters. I subscribe to Frederick Beuchner’s type of coincidence, ‘Who can say what is going on? But I suspect that part of it, anyway, is that every once and so often we hear a whisper from the wings that goes something like this: ‘You’ve turned up in the right place at the right time. You’re doing fine. Don’t ever think that you have been forgotten’.

I was sick last week and didn’t have the energy to read or to watch tv. So I decided to work my way through my saved TED list.  Top of the list was Brene Brown and her talk on ‘the power of vulnerability’. I don’t remember where I first heard of Brown but I knew of her TED talks and some of her books (maybe a blogger I read had talked about her?).

Her TED talk was fascinating and engaging. I don’t think I quite understood all of it – I’m blaming that on being sick. But the general gist was that wholehearted people are people who are able to be compassionate, be courageous and who are able to connect, and to do this, you need to be vulnerable. And being vulnerable is the antitheses of shame and fear.

I liked it. I liked the idea of living ‘wholeheartedly’; I liked the implication that courage, compassion and connection are all expressions of being fully human. I liked that Brown is a researcher and backed up her ideas with years of study and personal experience.

So far, so good.

Until she said this,

The root of the word courage is cor—the Latin word for heart.In one of its earliest forms, the word courage literally had a very different definition than it does today. Courage originally meant “To speak one’s mind by telling all one’s heart.”’

To speak one’s mind by telling all one’s heart.

To speak one’s mind by telling all one’s heart.

Is that not the very cry inside all of us? To feel safe enough to tell all of our hearts?  (is that not the reason for this blog?)

After the TED talk I thought and prayed and decided that I needed to go deeper with this, I think that there is grace to be found in the midst of this for me. I thought about buying one of Brown’s books. I chatted with AJ about the whole idea of ‘wholehearted’ living and what that might look like.

The next day a package arrived.

It was Brene Brown’s book ‘The gifts of imperfection’.

Um, what?

Yep, apparently I had already bought it and I had (and have) no recollection of doing so!!

It is underlined and dog eared and scribbled on already and I’m only two chapters in. There is something good for me in these pages. There is something to be learnt and embraced. I am in the right place at the right time. I have not been forgotten.


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