The Power of Vulnerability

Twenty two months into Ryan’s healing journey and I had to make a conscious decision. Do I want to be vulnerable again or not? Do I expose my thoughts, my feelings, my heart for the world to see? To read? To feel and to JUDGE?

Here is a flashback thru what brought me to write in the first place and its experience. Below in an excerpt from a chapter in the book I am writing . . . we will see if it makes the final cut ;0)

– – Vulnerability, The Birthplace – –

Upon his diagnosis, Ryan’s openness left me with a decision to make: Did I want to join him in his open expression or just stay quiet? I could have chosen to keep it all to myself and not let anyone in. Instead I chose to let my feelings out. At first I tinkered at the idea of various ways to be open then one night I chose to take pen to paper. I couldn’t write on paper fast enough so I let my fingers flow thru the keyboard. All of a sudden, my heart burst open and I wrote straight from my heart. I was timid at first and in time I allowed myself to just write. Write my heart . . . write my pain.

I wrote and I found a new path for my expression of thoughts, feelings, emotions and rationale.
I found peace.
I found my power thru writing.

Writing out what I felt and how I perceived things to be gave me an outlet to explore my own self. Thru that writing I let the world in. Initially, I wrote for me. I wasn’t too conscious of my audience and especially unconscious that my openness would bring about a whole group of uplifting followers. With that, writing would also bring a group of not-so-nice followers and critics. I certainly didn’t dream my openness, my words would be distorted and used against me and Ryan. Pretty naive, huh? When I became open and allowed the world to take a bird’s eye view of our lives it came with incredible beauty and it also came with incredible ugliness.

In the beauty of the human experience also lies a dark side. Towards the end of 2016 and especially the beginning of 2017 I went thru a time of doubt, shame and fear. I was doubtful that my words were helping anyone. I had lost my way in my writings. It was no longer about what I wanted to write, but rather what the audience wanted – or at least a certain few. I felt a subtle pressure and I no longer felt the freedom to just be me. I felt shame because in my own journey thru Ryan’s healing I was exposing places, people and things that maybe I felt differently towards at a later time. I saw my personal evolution as something to be ashamed of instead of accepting it for what it was: growth. I was always honest in all of my assessments at the time I posted each blogpost. However, I allowed the negative feedback to create doubt and cause an odd feeling of shame. I never felt like I was a lier, but I felt a shame that my inadequate credentials gave me no right to have a voice. I hold no degree, no medical background. I’m just a support person who expressed the journey of cancer while it was happening. The feelings turned into fear. Fear of other’s opinions, fear that I might say the wrong thing, and mostly fear that I would be misunderstood. Fear halted my writing. I wrote quietly for myself at times, but to show it to the world was something I wrestled with.

It’s amazing how us humans tend to accept criticism and forget about the love surrounding us.

Why do we do zero in on the few loud voices of negativity when there are exponentially more that feel differently? My answer: we are human. You are human. I am human. Our inner child deep within assumes the world is all about love and the thought of the opposite causes an interesting reaction. In time we can make conscious decisions to reverse these tendencies . . .


How is it that I have allowed a handful of negative opinions overcome the fact that our blog has been viewed at nearly 100,000 times? Oh the humanness in all of us. I laugh now. All those views, the hundreds, maybe thousands of incredible, loving and uplifting messages and all I did was hide behind shame, fear and self doubt of my own worthiness.

Sure, messages like “you’re sending people to their death” . . . “you are clueless” . . . “you are an imposter and should be ridiculed” and then the lies and rumors said about us would hurt anyone’s heart. But at what point do we all decide when a person’s opinion is simply that: their opinion? I knew this inwardly, but it took me months to finally let it be reality for me once again.

I started blogging again just 5 weeks ago. Why? Because I found my way, again. I will keep finding my way and continue just as I shared my heart thru the blogpost, “Rise Up.”

An amazing moment happened about a month ago. I found the words of my struggle thru another speaker named Brene Brown. She explained exactly what I was experiencing but couldn’t put it from concept to intellectual words. Brene’s TED Talk “The Power of Vulnerability” changed me. In her powerful 20 minute TED talk she made one statement that will forever have an imprint in my heart.

“I have a vulnerability issue.” . . . “At the core (of said vulnerability issue) is shame and fear and our struggle for worthiness . . . but it appears (vulnerability) is also the birthplace of joy, of creativity, of belonging, of love.”

And that’s what I found.
I found vulnerability thru my writing.
And, thru vulnerability I have once again felt the birthplace of joy, creativity, belonging and love. 

Thank you, Choice and LV164 for that gift.

~Caroline Luelf
Live Loved,
Live Free. . . Because YOLO!

8 thoughts on “The Power of Vulnerability

  1. As always Caroline, we feel your challenge I feel your pain.
    You and your family will forever be in our hearts and we will never forget the struggle it has been to get this far. You guys are amazing, YOU are amazing and we love you all very much.
    Ivan and Mona

    Liked by 1 person

  2. That was great. I just listened to Brene Brown on Oprah’s Super Soul Podcast. 👍💯👍 Can’t wait to hear her TED Talk. Thank you for sharing your journey!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. You are gifted. Period. Credentialed. You will learn anything you need to learn. Your gift qualifies you and like with anything else in life, you will grow. Please don’t expect your first book to be what your 10th book will be like. You will grown into your 10th book just like you are growing now into your first book. I can’t wait to read it! I just love Brene Brown too. I heard the talk youbreferred to and loved it also. Maybe you snd she can get together sometime. Wow! That would be an awesome interview to watch. Love you Caroline! Loving watching you blossom. Just wrap your arms around the fact that you are gifted. A gifted writer. Think what could lay ahead. Maybe a novel one day???? Much love and respect, patty eaton.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. You are a natural writer ,Caroline ! I’m so happy for you -that you discovered it for an outlet for all the things you yourself are experiencing. I know firsthand how overwhelming the amount of different emotions can be that comes from caring for someone with cancer (in my personal life ) and it definitely requires some kind of healthy outlet. I’m happy that you found yours and you should stay proud that you share it with the world. Simply put, no matter what you do ; no matter what you say ; sadly, there will always be haters! Love to you, Ryan, and the kids!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. The positive comments out numbers the negative which are probably 98% positive to 2% negative and then you have to wonder where there 2% actually come from….you are doing amazing job for your husband and family and if you help save or inspire one other person thats one extra life you saved but I am sure many have been saved… no money can be put on what that is worth…I am on same journey…so I know…

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Keep writing. As a active cancer warrior myself- this is how I deal with the cancer fight. First the breast cancer diagnosis in Sept of last year and now after becoming a survivor for that, to immediately be diagnosed with Ovarian cancer was a bit more than a person should be expected to handle. My blog is what has kept me sane. I wish my husband could do the same, but unfortunately he still struggles with my battles. Keep your writing going strong and keep the faith!


  7. I face the same things in my writings. Being authentic, transparent and vulnerable is brave and I want to live brave. I lived my life in fear for much too long. A very inspiring person that I adore once said, write, even if you have an audience of 2 who are touched by your writing. Show up anyway, and especially show up for yourself.
    I have struggled with writing from my heart and then someone I run into no longer speaks to me or feels awkward around me. Then there are the next few that run up to me and hug me and tell me how inspired they are about my life from what I write. Those are the people who I now show up for, and especially myself. I didn’t overcome all of my obstacles to keep to myself…no, I am called to set the captives free and give hope to the hopeless. I no longer care what anyone thinks about me or my writings, it’s a reflection of their own fear and a mirror of the perception of themselves.
    I have gained tremendous growth and the people I meet on this narrow path of awareness and self discovery are extradoridnary. They are people doing amazing things.
    This road is where I belong❤️💕

    Liked by 1 person

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