The power in vulnerability.
Posted by: Sue Atkins
Tonight I gave a talk about my journey of being a Mum at the very wonderful Story of Mum Event in London.
I turned up ready to explain my family photos and give the story behind my journey of being the Mum to Will and Molly and it turned out as soon as I looked at the first photo of my Mum with Molly I broke down, as the trauma of divorce, debt, empty nest and loss of family life as I had known it for 21 years finally hit me.
I felt completely vulnerable.
But I also felt the power of all our individual stories and our ability as women to connect, share, support and understand.
Then I had an amazingly profound moment on the way home on platform 19 of Victoria Station !
A young woman walking in front of me was clearly distressed – crying inconsolably as she walked along catching the 10.23 to Woldingham.
I caught up with her, put my arm around her and asked, “Are you OK?”
We chatted on the way home sharing our stories, sharing our lives and sharing our humanity and I told her about my embarrassment at crying at sharing my story of being a Mum, and finding adjusting to the empty house now my daughter has left for University as well as going through a Divorce after 21 years challenging.
Then she asked me if I had seen this video with the very lovely Brene Brown and I realised finally there’s no such thing as coincidence.
I am a very private person when it comes to really sharing my personal life’s ups & downs, yet maybe my vulnerability is a strength as it connects me with Mums who are also are going through the loss and grief of watching their children leave home observing themselves as their parenting role changes, to say nothing about sorting out the enormous challenges and changes that divorce delivers.
I believe that the coincidental meeting happened for a reason as this Ted Talk video is moving, compassionate and funny and here to teach me the power of authenticity.