Connection is why we’re here. We are hardwired to connect with others, its what gives purpose and meaning to our lives, an without it there is suffering.
~Brene Brown- Daring Greatly
When I reflect on this quote, I reflect on my life and the truth held within these words. My life has changed exponentially over the last 5 years, and much of that is because the connections I have fostered in my life. Connections birthed from a place of being vulnerable, and allowing others to walk in my pain with me, so that I could find my way through it.
Tonight I will once again join a group of people who have impacted my life. Tonight we join together to walk through the night to shine a light on suicide. To share our stories of loss and heartache in the hopes that it will help others to get help. To raise money so that programs can continue to be developed to help the hurting in their time of need.
Last night I shared dinner with an amazing group of women who are standing together bravely in the face of their losses, and have rallied together to make a difference. And though I have never met most of these women before, they welcomed me with open arms. The community fostered through the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention and the Overnight Walk, is so much more… it is a family. Sitting at that table last night, sharing laughter and tears, I truly felt the weight of that truth.
Vulnerability is the core , the heart the center of meaningful human experiences
~ Brene Brown
This community is rooted in vulnerability, in compassion and the belief that we are stronger together. And I have seen the fruits of that in my own life. Two years ago in Dallas, I dared to be brave and give a voice to my story in a much larger scale than I ever had before. As I stood on the stage, holding my green honor beads in my hand, my story of depression, self harm and suicide attempts was being shared through the loud speaker. It was uncomfortable, and it was nerve wracking, but it was freeing. And that moment of vulnerability allowed me to let down my guard and accept the love, compassion countless words of encouragement and hugs from the community.
And I knew, for certain, we are in this TOGETHER. and it is beautiful.
This community has pushed me out of my place of comfort and given me the strength to turn my life and my story into something that I am proud of and will also help to save lives. I am beyond grateful for the kindhearted and brave souls that make up the AFSP community.
I am proud to walk alongside these brave-hearted individuals tonight as we walk through the streets of San Diego.