Being vulnerable isn’t easy.  I think it would be easier to stand outside naked for a moment of mocking  than to unveil the inner-self to others for a life-time of judgment.  However, I recently heard a TED Talk by Brene Brown on her years of study on the subject of vulnerability.  What she discovered moved me to the core.  I’ve included the link to the video at the end of the blog.

 

Brene states that in order for us to connect we have to allow ourselves to be SEEN.  This is scary for the shy and the outspoken because we all think the same thing; “Is there something about me that if people knew they would withdraw?”.

 

Every soul cries: “Am I worthy of connection?”   We then allow the mass public to tell us the answer to that.  Please note: that unstable analysis can never end well no matter how popular one may seem.   This leads us to live in shame of who we are in which Brown describes shame as “the fear of connection”.

 

I believe I can state truthfully that we live in a world of people full of shame.  We’re scared to death of each other!

 

So what would it look like to be free of this shame?  What differentiates the open and vulnerable from the ones cowering in the corner?   Check out what Brene Brown says: “Those who feel worthy have a strong sense of love and belonging and BELIEVE they’re worthy of it.”

 

Wow.  That may just be the most courageous act you and I ever engage ourselves in; the belief that we are worthy to give love and receive love.

 

She lists the characteristics of these types:

– Sense of courage.  Courage to be imperfect (read that again).  To “tell the story of who you are with your whole heart”, which is the meaning of the latin word, “courage”.  Isn’t that beautiful?!

–  Compassion to be kind to themselves and others

– Experienced connection as a result of vulnerability!

They were willing to let go of who they thought they SHOULD be in order to be who they were.  Doesn’t that sound wonderful and freeing?  No one likes to be shoulded on.

– They fully embraced vulnerability.  They believed what makes them vulnerable makes them… beautiful!

Just when I didn’t think my mind could be blown any more, she threw this statement at me:  “Vulnerability  is the core of shame and fear but it is also the birthplace of joy, creativity, belonging and love”
Friends, we can either think of being vulnerable leading to a life of shame or seeing it as the beginning of finding the life we were created for.  A life of joy, creativity, belonging and love!  Imagine for a moment what that life could look like?   A life free of having to prove yourself to others.  A life free of questioning your every word and movement.  A life free of checking yourself out in the mirror every moment in fear  your hair may have moved out of place.
Those who have discovered this kind of life become safe people.  People who provide love, safety and comfort for weary souls around them.  Sounds like the One I’ve given my life to follow…  I  believe with all my heart THIS is the kind of life we were made for.
I will end with some final challenges from Brene:
Let yourself be deeply seen
Love with your whole heart, even if there’s no guarantees of recieving anything in return
Believe you are enough