Strong back, soft front, wild heart.  This is absolutely one of my all time favorite Brene Brown quotes.  It’s from her book Power of Vulnerability and I love it so much, I want to make shirts, mugs, artwork – something!

This past week, I felt the power and truth of these words in a whole new way.  In the midst of grief, I’ve learned some lessons and her words have helped me make sense of my process.

You can absolutely have a STRONG BACK as you steel yourself for the day, your guard up against those waves that come out of nowhere.  You can allow strength to carry you through some of the moments when you are numb and lack awareness. You can even feel a sense of armor on your back as you stand at the foot of a hospital bed, desperately hoping for more time, struggling to breathe yet needing to be strong for those whose loss is even greater.  My strength allowed me to be at the gym, needing that outlet desperately, yet on the brink of tears barely held back, spilling over with a kind word from my coach.  A strong back gives us support as we move through each day, a moment at a time.

A SOFT FRONT is critical to prevent the grief from breeding resentment and bitterness.  A soft front is what allowed the grief to move through me as I held my best friend and cried with her.  A soft front let me stay feeling, without locking myself away or attempting to hide from the pain as I have done in the past. A soft front allowed me to stay present with my clients and keep my heart open to them, all while feeling all the feelings of the moment.  Softness lets love win.  Softness allows us to catch our breath, even when that means allowing another wave to overtake us.  Softness is what gives us a way to stay connected to all that is good.

My WILD HEART is what found joy despite the immense weight of loss.  Our wild hearts are where we can find our way back to the good, to celebrate memories, to share laughter in the midst of tremendous pain.  A wild heart is one that will dare to love again, that will fight to see purpose and remember all that a lifetime produced.  Our wild hearts let us connect to each other, to the earth, to enjoy a sunset and marvel at each new day.  Having a wild heart means you don’t just have a will to survive, but a triumphant spirit, one that knows love wins and joy is nearby, one that knows you have to feel the pain fully to truly know what joy is.

So I hope you all have found this encouraging.  Embrace these parts of you and let them all serve you more fully! I truly believe that this triad gives us the opportunity to live and feel life more fully, to be more healed, more whole as we walk our journey (or kneel, skip or run, depending on which part of you is leading)!

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