"Vulnerability is about showing up and being seen. It's tough to do that when we're terrified about what people might see or think." (Brene Brown, The Power of Vulnerability)
The students of Glencoe High School have done something very powerful: they owned the words we are afraid to say, and they spoke them- clearly, proudly, and with love and humor.
We use words to define who we are, what we do, how we feel. Everyday, we make "I am" statements, statements that create boundaries between you and me, us and them. Strong walls that can include as easily as they exclude. They can create intimacy, friendship and cooperation; they can isolate, confound, and confuse.
These words linger in our minds. They change how we see ourselves and others, even how we feel and respond to ourselves and to others.
Our self-talk, our mental language, shapes the world we perceive. The words we chose, whether we speak them out loud or hold them in the our hearts and minds, give meaning to our thoughts, actions, and feelings. The words we chose can be positive and inclusive, or negative and exclusive.
The words we chose not to say, the ones we hold onto- out of fear, out of shame, out of guilt- impact our thoughts and feelings, perhaps even more strongly than the words we share between us.
Recognize the differences between you and me, between us and them, and then... BREAK THE BOUNDARIES OPEN. Be vulnerable, be courageous, and know that you do not need to be limited by the words and language you have always used.
"The limits of my language are the limits of my world" (Ludwig Wittgenstein) ~ Don't allow the limits of yours to limit you.