By Ashley Smith:

Vulnerability is our most accurate measurement of courage. -Brené Brown

When I was faced with the true reality of my need for second chances and radical, scandalous grace, my entire concept of life dramatically shifted.

I recently began a journey of self discovery and vulnerability, and it revealed that I've lived in shame for, honestly, the majority of my life. Not being able to comprehend the trauma of my childhood, I processed it through "my bad-ness."

In my broken view of reality, I could rationalize that bad things happened because I was not good enough.

I lived in silent perfectionism: SHAME. In that distorted "reality," it made sense that suffocation was breathing, perfection was human, and control was freedom.

I realized I wasn't alone in this. I looked around and saw many (silent) perfectionists living in shame... and became aware I was living this addiction, described below by Brené Brown:

"Perfectionism is addictive because when we invariably do experience shame, judgment, and blame, we often believe it’s because we weren’t perfect enough so rather than questioning the faulty logic of perfectionism, we become even more entrenched in our quest to live, look, and do everything just right."

My guess is that this hits home for some people like it did for me... as People of the Second Chance, we're here to carry each other's burdens. We're here to set each other up to win. We're here to embrace our beautiful humanity and imperfections. Together, we practice self grace and compassion. To have the courage to be vulnerable and shatter the silence of shame.

Let's be vulnerable together. The TED talks below are a wonderful way to start... would love to hear your perspective in the comments below.