It’s funny because our culture is all about looking good, like we’ve got it all together. But we don’t. Whether it be the choices that we make or the circumstances that come our way, no one lives a perfect life. It’s when we admit that we’re not okay or that something is not right with us that others’ hearts are softened to let us in as well.

Writing about the miscarriage was a way for me to process and pull all my thoughts together. I needed space to make sense of my emotions. I didn’t think that people would respond the way they did. A flood of texts, Facebook messages, emails, cards, and even an encouragement from a total stranger. Many women shared with me their own stories of miscarriages and their pregnancy struggles. I felt honored that they allowed me to be a part of such vulnerable parts of their life. I learned that if you let people in, more often than not, they will overwhelm you with love. When you are vulnerable, others will be vulnerable with you too.

It’s also in these moments where our empathy for others grow. We are all broken and hurt but many times we fake it by trying to be poised, keeping our backs straight and our heads up high. But posture is tiring. Life is so much more fulfilling and freeing when we can look at each other the way we really are — sometimes bruised and bandaged up, and hobbling along. We need people to let us know that we are not defined by our bruises or what we may have gone through. We all need a circle of friends, a posse, your people, fam bam or whatever you want to call it, in our lives. We need people who will walk with us and let us know that we are not alone. We need friends who will listen to us and comfort us. We need others to speak truth into our lives when our spirits are so crushed it hurts to hope again.

But no one will ever know if you need encouragement, a prayer, or even just a listening ear if you don’t let others in. When you are ready, let people in. If you’ve got the right circle of friends, they will love you and take you in.

When my previous post went up, a friend of mine texted, “You’re the bravest person I know.” I laughed because she’s the one who runs marathons, hikes (on very steep parts of mountains) and goes on crazy adventures. I’m pretty happy just walking around Target and calling that exercise. There are so many other people who come to mind when I think of the word “brave” but my friend helped me to see that what I had gone through was not something small. It’s not that I walk around now thinking I’m this amazingly confident person, but she made me feel significant, heard, and understood.

Maybe this is what you need to hear today.

You are brave. You are seen. You can be vulnerable. And you are loved just the same.