This Is Me

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“CHANGE BEGINS AT THE END OF YOUR COMFORT ZONE!”, my bouncy Barre instructor yells into her microphone, as muscles I didn’t even know existed start to burn. I try to focus on what she’s just said, instantly linking it to things far from exercise.

We forget that the comfort zones of others can be wildly different.

I have no problem walking into that Barre class with my mismatched activewear and messy bun (not the sexy Pinterest type either). To others, however, that could be the most daunting thing on the planet. In relationships, some people are confident to speak their mind and ask the tough questions, but that’s where my comfort zone has at times been a little weak. On occasion I tested those waters with loved ones, trying to be the honest-type, but honesty was met with defensiveness, or worse… silence.

“Get back in your box,” I would tell myself. “You can’t pull that off like other people can. Just stick to being quietly content and polite, and everything will be easier.”

I’m thankful for a husband who never settles for this behaviour from his bride. He lovingly nudges me towards the perimeter of my relational comfort zone. He encourages me to be gentle but fierce, honest but kind, and to be OK with the fact that it may ruffle some feathers to be vulnerable and real. Begrudgingly, I know he’s right. I know that kind of rare courage brings growth and strong relationships.  

My ninety-nine-year-old Grandma Violet went to Heaven just before I got to tell her that sweet Adelaide Violet was in my tummy. I was sad about the timing, yes, and sad she was gone. Mostly, I mourned for the words unspoken. You see, there were things she regretted not saying to my Poppy, her husband whom she adored, for the 20+ years since his death. Questions she wished she’d asked, conversations she wished she’d had. He was a closed book to certain parts of his life before her, so she never quite got to know all of him. Maybe a generational thing? Maybe a personality thing? For me personally, I don’t think I can fully know someone until I know where they’ve been. Until I can ask the big questions with ease. I can’t fully connect unless I’m courageously vulnerable, and they are too.

‘Courage starts with showing up and letting ourselves be seen.’ – Brene Brown

I could easily be a partially closed book like dear Poppy, with a beautiful marriage but capped intimacy. I think most of us could. I could easily be Grandma Violet, disappointed at the bank of unasked questions.

I think we sometimes have to choose to stand up tall, be a big grown-up and get a little uncomfortable for a bigger cause. Yes, daunting conversations aren’t fun, and they might even put a murky filter on our sparkly profile (or of those we love), but sometimes they can pleasantly surprise. I have to say, the most uncomfortable conversations I’ve had in my marriage (‘How can I be a better spouse?’ ‘It offends me when you…’) have lead to the most incredible growth and clarity, and I haven’t regretted them one bit.

Marriage must allow us to be courageously vulnerable, or it’s not quite the extraordinary (sometimes messy) gift that it was designed to be.

 

About the shoot:

Each of these “Give Love” shoots are from Lovely Bride and Lauren Nicole Photography’s collaboration giveaway where couples enter to win a bridal shoot, styled by their local Lovely Bride. The winner was based off their love story.

Augi + Igor live in Miami so they brought all the Miami vibes into this shoot. They went to Miami Beach during sunrise and had the whole beach to themselves. Augi wore the infamous Chosen by One Day gown while they had a romantic, fun time playing some tunes under the palms.

Credits

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