Strength through vulnerability

I was watching a delayed episode of America’s Got Talent season 12 where the artist Seal was a guest judge. One of the contestants was Kechi Okwuchi, who in 2005 and was 16 years old at that time, was one of two survivors of a plane crash in Nigeria traveling between Abuja and Port Harcourt. The plane crash landed in Port Harcourt, killing 107 passengers and crew. Since then, she had over 100 surgeries to treat her burns and injuries. Ever since that fateful day, music became her daily companion. After her performance, she received a standing ovation from the judges and Seal had said that his daily mantra was “strength through vulnerability”.

I share her story because I believe that we can somehow all relate to this. We are all broken in some form. And the story of Kechi is the story of our weakest moments in our lives. The resilience and strength to fight back in spite of the odds serve as an inspiring story for many of us who have fallen and have difficulty in rising from that fall.

Change and chances are given to us unlimitedly. Saying that we don’t have time to improve our thoughts and our lives is like saying we don’t have time to stop for gas because we’re too busy driving. Eventually the situation will catch up with us.

They say that sometimes we don’t realize our own strength until someone tries to take advantage of our weaknesses. When we are at our lowest points in our lives and you have someone take advantage of that situation, that vulnerability, one cannot help but feel angry or sorry or sad or all of the above.

Brené Brown summarizes what I believe vulnerability is.

Vulnerability is not winning or losing. It’s having the courage to show up and be seen when we have no control over the outcome. Vulnerability is not weakness. It’s our greatest measure of courage.

And forgiveness is part of the process of strengthening ourselves. After all, when one forgives, two souls are set free.


What does not break us make us stronger”

No one goes through life without trials. Our burdens may vary between one another, but they’re burdens nevertheless. While some may be going through tough financial times, others are enduring health issues or emotional and mental crisis. No matter how small or big the problem is, everyone carries his or her own cross in life.

Do we learn to let go and walk away or hang on for dear life?

I remember my friend would always quip during story telling by saying, “but wait, there’s more”! I initially found it funny, but today I use that parody by alluding to letting go and finding the courage to fight for what is right and just.

Every trial is an opportunity at changing the game or situation. Do we fight on or just quit? Imagine if we walked away from all of life’s issues and challenges, where would we end up? We’d have no stories to tell or write about. Life would be so sad that no one could hardly remember who you are and why you existed. The best part of life isn’t just the happy moments I talk about in my stories. It’s about the small victories we take, one day at a time, and encouraging one person at a time with this courage. One voice today may not be loud enough but when you’re able to make all voices heard, even the king in the palace will hear his people’s cries.

That’s the kind of courage we need to have. To let go of fear. To have courage to find the strength to move mountains and yes, even if we cannot change the landscape today, my patience and resilience at life will make me a better person.

God will not allow us to be tried beyond our strength. And we are all here for a purpose. That purpose of change and good should be the focus of our goal.

I know why I’m here.