When You Hit a Wall and the Door is Vulnerability {Day 18}

by | Oct 18, 2013 | Uncategorized


I hit snooze on vulnerability this week.

This morning, I woke up to the simulated waves of my alarm clock and my first instinct — before looking in the mirror, before making my kids lunches, before scrolling through emails on my phone in a sleepy fog to help me wake up — was to curl my legs up to my chest, pull the blankets over my head and hide from the world.

We’re over halfway through this 31 Day series and everything in me wants to quit. My mind wants to let go of all the plans I’ve poured myself into and pretend none of it mattered anyway. But my heart won’t let me do that.

When I’m in a conversation with shame, after it’s been stewing in the comfortable darkness of my inner voice, the response I hear rising to the surface says quit. Everything feels meaningless.

I take perfectionism and the need for certainty and belonging to new heights. Until I say what I’m thinking out loud to someone and hear the hilarity of my thoughts. That’s the impact of Light with darkness, it gives clear focus to false ideas and notions, and makes crooked thinking straight.

Now I recognize how the voice of shame sounds in my thoughts. That’s the outcome in my life in the short time since reading The Gifts of Imperfection and talking about it with you this month.

This is actually progress people, not a crisis. Do you see what I just did there?


Brown says that the only way to resolve shame is to talk about it. I hope these conversations are the catalyst toward freedom for both of us.

We’re on the 18th day of talking openly and honestly about the things that keep us from loving ourselves, like standing with our bare legs and feet on the cold shores before the sun comes up. I’ve waded in to the deep end of the pool, turned around and extended my hand to you. Will you latch on and wade in?

Instead of talking about what might happen if we go to the deep end of loving ourselves, let’s take the risk, jump in, and splash around a bit.

I’m reminding myself today that when we feel like we’re drowning and overexposed in our vulnerability,  Jesus holds the life raft. He’s committed to getting us to the other side, no matter what it takes.

Sometimes it’s not enough to know how to get there; putting your knowledge in action is what makes the difference.

Shame is the fear of being unlovable. It’s the direct opposite response of owning your story and believing you are enough. It’s time to put that myth to bed and stop hiding under the covers. He’s already paid the ultimate price for us.

Will you join me for a swim in the deep end?



rb31daysdeepbutton2Join us in the comments and for further discussion at Redemptions Beauty Book Club on The Gifts of Imperfection by Brene Brown as we let go of certainty and comparison this week to cultivate intuition, faith, and creativity. This is day 18 of 31 Days of Letting Go in the Deep End. Find out more here and join us for daily posts delivered to your inbox by adding your email address to Subscribe in the sidebar. It only takes a few seconds and it’s painless, I promise.


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  1. Diane Bailey

    “shame is the fear of being unlovable”, That, by itself, is deep water. Shame, insecurity, being shy…all start with thinking we are unlovable. Wonderful insights, Shelly! Looking forward to seeing you next week.

    • Shelly Miller

      Deep water indeed. Look forward to hugging your neck in less than a week!

  2. Kris Camealy

    Shelly, I know this has not been an easy series to undertake. But your willingness, your encouragement to live free from shame–it’s blessing me. YOY bless me. Keep splashing around, my friend. These are the baptismal waters of grace.

    • Shelly Miller

      Baptismal waters of grace . . . I’m seeping in that Kris, thanks.

  3. Ashley Tolins Larkin

    Shelly, these words are music to me in the place I stand today, emotionally drained, but gathering up what I can muster to say what’s true. It is such gift to be able to read your words and say, “Yes, me too!” recognizing this desire to cover up or quit for what it is. Shame. This: “Shame is the fear of being unlovable. It’s the direct opposite response of owning your story and believing you are enough.” Thank you for encouraging me to keep owning my story. Grateful, grateful to journey with you.

    • Shelly Miller

      It’s nice to know we are in a similar place Ashley. Empathy goes a long way in encouragement.

  4. Christie Purifoy

    You are a brave woman! I’m sure it doesn’t feel that way, but I love watching God be strong and brave through you.

    • Shelly Miller

      It feels brave and like I want to be a coward all at the same time Christie. Appreciate you.

  5. Janice S.

    Ugh, everything in me wants to quit right now, too. Thank you for these encouraging words, Shelly.

    • Shelly Miller

      Janice, said a prayer for you today. Keep the faith. When I feel that way (and honestly, its been often lately) its usually a sign that God is about to break something new open in my life.

      • Janice S.

        You know, I’ve been thinking that as well, because I haven’t wanted to quit my blog this much or been as jealous of other bloggers as I have been this week. Glad God is working, but boy is this hard to get through, when all I want to do is run away. Thanks for the prayers.

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