@kurstinr: “I come from a long line of women and men who saw vulnerability as weak, as a cowardly and embarrassing way to move through life, and spent most of my own life believing this to be true. I hid all my truths, pretended they didn’t exist and put on my mask. My mother was a chef of sorts, my father, present and loving, my home surrounded by a white picket fence.
This was my mask, that I came from a perfect home, and a loving family. This mask informed how I interacted with friends, teachers and acquittances. I developed anxiety from keeping up with all the lies that made up the mask, and perfectionism was a way of coping with it. I spent everyday backing myself into a corner, telling myself I was not smart enough, pretty enough, likeable enough, I was not enough. Throughout high school my peers heard my self talk through my actions, insecurities and treated me as I was treating myself, like I wasn’t enough. Then, I began to judge others as harshly as I judged myself. I was living a big lie, a vicious circle of denying truths about myself.
In my third year of university I stood in front of 25 of my fellow classmates and decided to take off the mask. I could not allow my life to continue from behind a mask, rather, I would be vulnerable and take off the mask. I had never felt so light in all my life. I finally started to feel as though I was enough.
I am confronted everyday with my mask and sometimes I put it back on. However, I am practicing self love. I am learning that my past is not my present. And, I am stopping the cycle of my ancestors before me, that believed that being vulnerable and living a truthful life was weak. I must, because I would not be living truthfully if I passed the mask on to my future children.
One last note- I would be remiss if I didn’t acknowledge how incredibly grateful I am to be able to live out my journey on Snuneymuxw territory. Also, I have deep gratitude for my lovely friend Jess who introduced me to this challenge and supported me in writing my post. Lastly, Thank-you Colin for providing a safe space for people to be vulnerable, you are a great inspiration.” #thevulnerabilitychallenge