Are you Holding Back or Living Wholeheartedly?

wholehearted-title-image2I am a big chicken!

I don’t like carnival rides, going on adventures, Trust exercises, or being DARED to do something. As a matter of fact, if you say “I dare you”, I won’t do the “dare” on purpose!

(Rebellious much?)

I sat down with my 2 chosen books and said, “Whichever one immediately gets my attention, I’ll read.”

I knew that in spite of my aversion to rides and being dared to do something, Brene Brown’s Daring Greatly  was the book for me.

On page 2 Brene Brown writes, ” Our willingness to own and engage with our vulnerability determines the depth of our courage and clarity of our purpose; the level to which we protect ourselves from being vulnerable is a measure of our fear and disconnection.”

Disconnection is my spirit animal!

If Disconnection was an Olympic Sport, I would be a Gold Medalist.

Crown, Sash, Princess Wave, holding dozens of roses Miss Disconnection 2016!

I eat Disconnection for breakfast.

Too far? Ok. I’ll stop now.

In my opinion, there’s a difference between Survival Mode and Disconnection.

I’ve had seasons of survival mode.

Up all night with a crying baby, no shower, (unless you count getting caught in the rain walking into Wal-Mart to buy milk and diapers) don’t answer the door for the Girl Scouts- or as I refer to them  “Angels from heaven with boxes of Samoas” because they will see how high the dirty laundry pile is.

Survival Mode is the adjustment to a new normal in the beginning and then holding back the urge to count down every minute of every day until He returns safely at the end of a deployment.

It’s doing the best you can with what little strength you have.

Disconnection is holding back a part of yourself for specific reasons.

Choosing NOT to engage.

Choosing to numb instead of be fully present in the pain or uncomfortable circumstance.

Afraid to be “too happy” or even afraid to BE afraid.

Unwilling to put yourself out there because it’s uncomfortable to open up to criticism and judgement.

As we were unpacking boxes the other day (in my completely inaccurate calculation I have unpacked 9.7 TRILLION boxes over the past 3 weeks) I came across a mysterious manilla envelope full of cards.

When I opened the first card, I realized they were cards from a time when I was fully present.

It was a scary time, I was unsure of myself, felt completely unqualified, and SCARED. (Did I mention that already?)

I was all of those things BUT said YES anyways.

There was a  little “nothing”moment that struck me so deeply that I still remember what it felt like.

It’s one of the last times I was fully connected in the world.

I was speaking to a group of military wives that met weekly for bible study.

I “did my thing” for about 30 minutes and when I finished, I walked down the center aisle, out the sanctuary doors, and right into The Kid even though he was SUPPOSED to be in his own class.

He looked up at me with his giant blue eyes and exclaimed, “Mommy! I didn’t know you could do THAT!”

It was the first time he had seen me being something OTHER than his mommy.

I wasn’t “doing” anything.

I was sharing my heart with a group of women I loved during a difficult season in our military lives.

I had no idea he was watching. (The little stinker wasn’t supposed to be there.) 

I don’t even remember WHAT I said.

It was just something I did every week.

It was a part of me.

That was 10 years ago.

10 years since I was fully present, without fear of consequence, standing in my truth.

Imperfectly but wholeheartedly.

I know what has transpired over the past 10 years to change that.

I could give you the list, but I won’t.


We all have lists of reasons why we disconnect.

Life takes an unexpected turn, disappointment creeps in, dreams aren’t brought to reality, or pain is too deep to come out from without help.

Worn out, worn down and too tired of putting yourself out there to be hurt once again.

For me, unpacking boxes has not only been a physical act of confronting all the STUFF I’ve held on to, but unpacking the emotional STUFF I’ve been carrying.

The GOOD news is I’m halfway through the book and so far there’s NO mention of having to ride a roller coaster in order to Dare Greatly!

If only I could find the box that has my  “Now What” in it!

What about you?

What does disconnection look like in your life?







17 thoughts on “Are you Holding Back or Living Wholeheartedly?

  • Laura April 19, 2016 at 6:49 am

    My friend has a theory that vulnerability seems almost taboo nowadays, and that we need to embrace the word and the action more. We are all vulnerable but numb ourselves to hide it! Really interesting reflection on how to grow and live more fully.

    • Rebecca Williamson April 20, 2016 at 8:30 am

      She talks about numbing as one of the ways we hide from Vulnerability. The book has really challenged me and make me think through different relationships, my own responses and how I communicate to others.

  • Christia Colquitt April 19, 2016 at 7:02 am

    This is so me! My word for 2016 is fearless because I became fearful of so many things in 2015. I still struggle daily and might forever. But having a goal to move forward is so key!

    • Rebecca Williamson April 20, 2016 at 8:32 am

      Christia, fear is HARD! Celebrate the small victories…like the courage to post a comment about it! Press on, friend!

  • Nance April 19, 2016 at 8:08 am

    In my case, I try to be quiet about what has been bothering me and try to talk with myself about it. I know that it’s not healthy for me so I pray for God to remove whatever is causing me to build walls between me and others.

    • Rebecca Williamson April 20, 2016 at 8:36 am

      I love that, Nance- praying to God to ask HIM to remove the walls! That you are able to recognize that the walls are there is a great start. So many times we become so used to our own defenses we no longer recognize them as a problem.

  • Jeffery April 19, 2016 at 9:52 am

    Great post! I think that’s what Jesus meant when he talked about giving us a full life now. We often think of just eternity, but eternity starts now.

    • Rebecca Williamson April 20, 2016 at 8:37 am

      YES! This is so true, Jeffrey. Thank you for sharing that!

  • Rolene April 19, 2016 at 12:27 pm

    Another awesome post! Thank you for your honesty and encouragement. 🙂

  • Miranda April 19, 2016 at 3:57 pm

    This is such a very, very good post! I have had some events happen in the recent past, and I do realize that I have been disconnecting from so many things. I am glad I read this, and I am going to work on getting back to actually living!!!

    • Rebecca Williamson April 20, 2016 at 8:40 am

      This book has made me think through lots of situations differently! Disconnection is tricky, isn’t it. We do it to defend ourselves from hurt but then ends up hurting us…I will be praying for you, Miranda!

  • Mihaela Echols April 19, 2016 at 9:08 pm

    It’s scary to step out of our comfort zone at times. I’m proud of you! I’m introverted and my husband is very much so extraverted, but we are finding our balance of taking bold steps together.

    • Rebecca Williamson April 20, 2016 at 8:42 am

      Thank you, Mihaela! I love that you said “taking bold steps together!” What a beautiful picture of how marriage should look.

  • Mardene Carr April 21, 2016 at 5:00 pm

    No holding back here. I am wringing every drop of energy out of life while there is still breath in my body

  • Anna Clarke April 24, 2016 at 7:54 pm

    This was so so SO good. Honestly, I have never heard anyone talk about this subject from this angle before and it was so refreshing (and definitely has got me thinking)! I think the number one way that I disconnect is when there’s a lot of communication with a lot of people. Mainly with technology (social media, texts, emails) on a personal level (like, not work or ministry responsibilities related). Responding to people as it comes is often exhausting for me, and so I don’t normally respond to people all at once, until I’ve set aside some time and energy to respond. I hope that makes sense!! I am trying to work on it, and trying to find the balance of having personal boundaries, but also respecting others by responding in an timely manner. -xx Anna

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