Today I cried in front of my staff. Me, Kim Bode…queen of abrasive, broke down.

Be vulnerable.

The reason why isn’t important, most of you will put the pieces together soon enough. What is important is the hard time my little furry family is going through and the despair, grief and sadness I am experiencing. Pretending to be a hardass will only get you so far, not showing weakness as a business owner in certain situations is a good thing. Never opening yourself up to feel soul-crushing pain is a bad thing.

Be vulnerable.

Opening yourself to others, telling them you are not ok or are dealing with something truly awful…will give you the support and in turn the strength you need to survive whatever it is you are experiencing. We are told from a young age, especially men to never show weakness, keep your chin up, soldier on, suck it up…all this does is push down the feelings we need to feel. You will never move past it if you don’t feel.

Over 10 years ago, my first marriage fell apart. I was broke, soon to be homeless and I was doing my damndest to keep it together. I will never forget what the counselor said to me, “get a bottle of wine, sit in the corner, turn off the lights and fucking cry.”

He said, “feel it, feel all of it. Scream, cry, swear and allow yourself to hurt.”

Be vulnerable.

If you don’t feel it, you will never move past it. You will only bury those feelings to have them reemerge with a vengeance months or years later.

Just know I understand. It hurts. That pain means you are alive and that is a glorious thing. Allow yourself to feel and be supported.

It’s ok to be vulnerable.

Sidenote: I took this blog picture to remember this feeling. It sucked.

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