Do you remember the moment you fell in love? I do. It happened when I met my husband, met my children, and again recently when I saw my granddaughter Briar for the first time. We arranged to travel to Vancouver when we found out the due date.
My husband, son and I were excited to meet baby Briar. The love you feel for a grandchild is unlike anything I’ve experienced, and I can’t look at her perfect face without my heart swelling.
I knew that our time in Vancouver coincided with a speaking engagement but there was no way I was going to cancel the trip. If you have a good camera and a microphone, you can deliver a keynote anywhere if it is online.
We were staying at an Airbnb; they had good WIFI, so I was good to go.
My tech guy (my husband) was with me, so he set up my camera and microphone and we figured out the lighting and the best spot to record. I asked both my husband and son to stay out of the recording area (living room) for the hour I was on camera.
What I didn’t count on was my son Phillip getting the stomach flu and rushing out of his bedroom to throw up in the kitchen sink during my presentation. The kitchen was open to the front room and it was one of the few times I wished I wasn’t staying in a home that had an open house plan.
It was at the end of the session when we opened it up to questions that I saw my son… and heard him. You know the sound. I’ve always been a sympathy spewer (sorry for the graphics), so I’m sure when I heard it, my grimace was misunderstood since it came at the same time as the first question.
It took me a moment to get myself under control and I managed to answer the next few questions without looking like they had asked me something distasteful.
Good for me… right?
I had an opportunity to model what I tell others is important. Authenticity, vulnerability, and connection. If I would have taken a moment to explain where I was, what was happening, and stopped and asked my son how he was doing, the audience would have figured out that the look of distaste wasn’t directed at them. They would have also seen that my family was important to me… something that I think would have connected us. Instead, I did what I often try to do which is to present the “everything is ok” persona.
I saw that vulnerability modeled when a fellow CAPS member apologized for blowing up and talked about his PTSD. I saw it modeled when my friend Lisa asked if she could take back her invitation to me for a special event. I saw it when I watched the royal Princes talking about their struggles with mental health and admitting how they struggled.
My wish for all of you is to find strength in your vulnerability. Trust yourself.