Although I don’t watch many television shows, I recently was drawn into the Apple TV series, Ted Lasso. As you may know, it is the story about an American football coach who is hired to coach a soccer team in England. Although he was initially hired because of his lack of knowledge of soccer with the intent of setting the team up for failure by the owner, that motivation changes because of his leadership and character.

In one episode, the team is faced with a major game at Wembley Stadium. Just prior to going onto the field, Coach Lasso gathers his fellow coaches in a room. It is there he admits he has a problem with panic attacks. Upon hearing this, the other coaches offer brief words of support.

But what is striking is that following their words of encouragement with Ted, each of the other coaches in turn admits a personal challenge or failure they too have experienced. When coach Lasso opened up about his struggles, it created the immediate space not only for empathy and care, but for others to become vulnerable as well.

Competence is important. Getting it right and doing things well is something we all are meant to strive for. Using our God given gifts to their fullest potential is why we are all given such gifts to begin with. Excellence is vital.

But in the midst of such realities, every single person, whether or not she or he cares to admit it, has internal struggles, challenges, heartaches, and sources of regret.

In our culture so many people hesitate becoming vulnerable with others to the detriment of all. Often when we share what is happening deep inside of our hearts with others, it frees others up to do the same. In other words, sharing our pain becomes a gift to other people.

While it has been said by others that laughter is the shortest distance between two people, I would add that the same thing happens when we open up our hearts and share what hurts. We all need love, encouragement, support, empathy, and caring hearts around us. Vulnerability is the quickest way to move us to both receiving and giving such things from and to others.

I invite you to ponder who it is in your life right now who needs to hear from your heart. It may be that they are waiting for you to do so, so that they can finally share what is within theirs.