Finding Strength in Our Weakness

Being intimate involves the mixing of our life with another’s, a mingling of souls, a sharing of hearts. We are all designed to connect. Real intimacy is not found just by merging bodies in sex. Real intimacy makes us feel alive like we’ve been found, as if someone finally took the time to peer into the depths of our soul and really see us there.
— Lucia Pador, Utterly Engaged

A few months ago I was asked by the editors of Utterly Engaged to contribute to their Volume 4 magazine edition which encapsulates the topic of intimacy and love.  And to be honest I was stumped on what to share to an audience that is traditionally reading this publication to find inspiration for their wedding. But the biggest reasons why I have always believed in Utterly Engaged and who they stand for is they are building a space in which people can create a meaningful wedding and life with those they love. 

Below is my written piece in Utterly Engaged Volume 4 paired with the beautiful and strong imagery of Elizabeth Messina, an incredibly talented photographer. 

Vulnerability can often be seen as a sign of weakness, but I’ve always believed that being vulnerable to our emotions, thoughts, and feelings and allowing others to see this side of us brings on strength and intimacy. Sharing our individual story and journey to others, enables us to connect with one another on deeper levels. It allows us to be able to share a side of our lives that most people have never seen or experienced. I know from my own personal experience how frightening this can be. I’ve always been afraid of unlocking and unfolding certain truths about myself, mostly because I want to believe I’m a strong woman, wife, and mother. But I’m learning that strength shouldn’t be just the perception of who you are to the public eye if you are holding back from some of the most intimate truths to the ones you love and surround yourself with.

I struggle with depression. I have since I was 15 and it has always been a very hard truth for me to share with those around me especially my husband and daughters. They have always depended on me as a strong minded, determined, and hard working woman. So when signs of my depression begin to unfold, it causes a lot of internal pain for me and I find myself trying hard to cover it up and hide the emotions that are stirring up so much agony inside. Not too long ago I had an episode of depression that hit me like a wave and my husband was the epicenter of the storm. He has often experienced my moments of anxiety, but has never seen the side of my mental illness that swallowed me whole. It was a rough few weeks for the both of us, but in that struggle we both came out of it even stronger and more transparent with emotions and truth. It's common that in relationships we try our very hardest to not allow the darkest emotions to infect others because of our fears of bringing them down, but the truth is it is these moments where we need to lean on each others hearts to create the authentic connection we need in order to find a place of healing.

I’ve been married to my husband, Jonathan for the 7 years and we’ve been together as a couple for nearly 13 years. The very moment I shared some of the darkest and most painful moments in my past with him brought out the most light in our relationship. It's difficult to carry the pains of our past, but in order to move forward with the future there are secrets we need to let go. These secrets to us can seem like moments of weaknesses, but the truth is they are the reasons for our strengths. Each day I feel like our love grows on a solid foundation of transparency and truth. We are able to tell each other how feel openly, which has brought us even closer than we have been before.

We are most alive when we find it, most devastated when we lose it, most empty when we give up on it, most inhuman when we betray it, and most passionate when we pursue it

Pick up your copy of this exquisite magazine here

Last night I had an incredible time at Sugarfina in SF seeing some old friends, sharing laughter, and catching up on this thing called life at the UE Volume 4 release party. Thanks for the good times. 


Joanne E

I’m a mother of two beautiful daughters and married to a man who completes me. I started my fitness journey as a way to heal my soul and launched my blog in hopes to continue to inspire and empower women to use fitness as a tool to heal depression and find their self worth. I strongly believe that each woman deserves to be in love with herself just as much as her man does. I have an obsession with reusable water bottles, I enjoy action movies, and I’m in love with burpees.