20 March 2012

Revisiting Brené Brown: Vulnerability and Shame

 Brené Brown (a hero of mine who I posted about last month) gave a follow-up speech on some of her shame/vulnerability research, and a couple items stuck out as wonderful things to share with you (and to put into writing for myself, too).
"Vulnerability is our most accurate measurement of courage... Vulnerability is the birth place of innovation, creativity, and change."
With all of this talk about opening up my heart and laying my courage on the line, I often forget the tools I need to get there. Sometimes it's easier to recite quotes to myself than it is to really be actionable (because I forget how). Vulnerability doesn't have to happen while you're alone in your room at night trying really hard to rip your mind open to possibility. It evolves when you share love and honesty with others. Yes, you can challenge yourself (personal acts of courage) to do amazing things that don't involve other people. But if you get stuck in your practice, remember that it's easier (and more exciting, in my opinion) to practice vulnerability with others. The bonus - you get feedback! And perhaps they will share their vulnerability with you too! We can learn from each other.

I really love when Brené says, "If we are going to find our way back to each other, vulnerability is going to be that path." This fills me with so much hope and encouragement.
When we are struggling to be vulnerable and feeling shame of some sort ("I'm not X enough"), remember that the two most powerful words when we are in struggle is "me too." Share with others! (Of course, picking the right person to share must be done with consideration.) I can't even imagine how I would be able to continue growing and experiencing enlightenment without opening up to my friends and family. Shame thrives on silence, secrecy, and judgement. Wearing that coat of "I'm not enough" is made possible and comfortable when we do it in hiding. BUT, if you pour a heaping load of empathy on it, it simply won't remain. You'll want to triumphantly rip that coat off! And you can't have empathy without other people.  
Here is the full follow-up video if you'd like to watch:

Also, a cool song for the moment... Switchfoot's Afterlife (RHYNO remix)

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