Own Your Story: Wisdom from Karyn Purvis at #Summit9

I’ve been honest when I talk about my struggle to attach to my son two years ago. You let me know I wasn’t alone.

For the last year especially, I’ve also been wrestling with knowing my own worthiness and owning my redemption story. With believing I’m good enough. With letting go of shame. I’ve shared a little about this, but not as much. It’s still so close, so tender.

But today, I learned that those two things are intricately connected.  The one couldn’t be more related to the other, really. In hindsight, it couldn’t be more obvious.

I knew bits and pieces before. How I cannot give what I do not have. How my constant negative self-talk is still a form of narcissism. How I want to be about others. How I sometimes push my own kids and husband away when I feel too vulnerable, and how I know how destructive that is, how isolating.


* * * *

I had her book. I’ve read her articles. I’ve watched videos on her site.

But there’s nothing like the magic of being taught by Karyn Purvis in person.

Her pre-conference intensive at Summit 9 yesterday was phenomenal. This tiny, fire-in-her-eyes woman knows how to speak the truth well, and I thought I was going to learn about adoption and attachment, and I did, but I kept crying on and off because I was learning about myself. I was learning about my own brokenness and how it’s so easy to accidentally pass that down to my kids, to ask them to take responsibility for me in subtle, small ways. How if I’m not modeling connection and healthy relationship to them, they will not learn it. They literally cannot get it without me showing them.

Purvis teaches you about your children, yourself, your spouse, your parents. You feel like there’s a spotlight there on you in that room of hundreds of people, because she’s talking about you.

But the truth is, she’s talking about all of us. She’s talking about things we hold so close, we can’t even speak them aloud sometimes.

“You have to own your history with fierce honesty,” she said. “You have to tell your story completely. We need to do fierce work of our own so we can help our kids with their fierce work.”


* * * *

God has created us to crave relationship. Every child deserves a family so they can know safety, deep love and especially — their own preciousness. I see you. You are precious to me. I know who you are. No qualifications, not you’ll be worthy when you… , just worthy now. I see you. I know you. You have a voice.

And God keeps bringing it back to one theme: This life is about connection, about relationship, about love. When you take away connection, you take away the thing that makes us human.

Adoption is about connection, but more than anything, adopting a son has taught me more about my disconnection than anything I’ve done before or since. It’s forced some things to the surface, and it’s pushed me into my own fierce work.

What pushes you to do your own fierce work in your heart? Move towards it. Lean into it.

(Then share it with me in the comments.)

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7 comments on “Own Your Story: Wisdom from Karyn Purvis at #Summit9

  1. I was there Wednesday, too! I have been to 2 Empowered to Connect conference but this time, by far, was the best from Karyn. Connection, trust, attachment… my brain can give you lots of great strategies (that I’ve learned from Karyn) but my heart, it is so far behind. My flesh lashes out before I can remind myself of this thing called love that Jesus modeled for us so beautifully. Still processing what I heard, hoping to put it into practice. Enjoyed this post, thank you!

    • Shoot, I think I saw you, Elizabeth! You were a few rows in front of me. I thought I recognized you but couldn’t think of your name at the time. All my brain could figure was — Rwanda mama. 🙂 It was phenomenal, wasn’t it? You’re so right about knowing it… but I’ve learned so much about needing to have it in my heart before I can give it to my kids.

  2. Elizabeth Hagan says:

    I enjoyed her seminar too. Taught me much about how much I have to keep working in in myself too!

  3. Gina says:

    Have you read anything by Brene Brown? I am in a group right now going through her book called I Thought It Was Just Me, about recognizing shame and building shame resilience. Much of what you wrote in this post makes me think of her book because she says shame is the fear of disconnection, and we were made for connection.

  4. stacey says:

    Trust. It’s my huge thing. My mom and dad got a divorce when I was 26, and even though I knew of their issues, the divorce made everything come to the surface. Five years into my marriage and newly pregnant…it was a hard hit that has since pushed me into my own fierce work. Thanks for this post, Kim.

  5. LOVED this piece, Kim!! You are so authentic in what you share…totally vulnerable in putting yourself out there to say the things that NEED to be said, but so many of us do not have the courage to say. I love the phrase “fierce work” … cuz that’s the blood, sweat and tears needed for us to make the changes to walk toward living a fuller life.
    I have a friend who has extraordinary attachment issues in all aspects of his life; it’s really hard to witness. It truly breaks my heart because we know, as you note, “this life is about connection, about relationship, about love. When you take away connection, you take away the thing that makes us human.” …so I worry so much of his life passes him by. I will definitely forward this inspiring piece to him. Thank you, Kim!!