Vulnerability

 

We take ducks for granted as they are so common in the Pacific Northwest. I think this is a Northern Pintail. Ducks may be common, but they sure are beautiful! This leads me to talk about a wonderful Ted Talk featuring Brene Brown. Her topic? Vulnerability. 

Here is the address: https://www.ted.com/talks/brene_brown_the_power_of_vulnerability/c


She starts off by talking about the importance of connection. She says that shame and fear oftentimes interfere with our ability to make connections. She defines shame as the fear of disconnection. This really got me thinking about the times when I disconnect from others. What I think happens is that when others disagree with me on an important or sensitive topic or when I am tired, I have a fear of vulnerability and shame, so I vehemently defend my position.


She then talks about a "sense of worthiness" and the "courage to be imperfect." She puts together courage and compassion and connection. "In order for connection to happen, we have to allow ourselves to be seen." Whole hearted people have the compassion to be kind to themselves first, and then to others. The connection is "the result of authenticity." The willingness to "let go of who we think we should be" in order to be who we truly are. "What made them vulnerable made them beautiful." "Vulnerability is necessary."


In my case, when I feel that tension and feel the need to assert my desire to be right, that is the time to be vulnerable and to be the person who is willing to consider other options. The problem? People like me want to control and predict the situation, but the "way to live is with vulnerability" and tenderness. Fascinating!


She talks about people who have a strong sense of worthiness and love and belonging. The key is that those people believe that they are worthy of that love and belonging. "What keeps people out of connection is the fear that we are not worthy of connection." "Whole hearted living from a deep sense of worthiness."


She talks about the struggles many of us have with vulnerability. Again, it seems like this could be compared to a fear of losing or a fear of making mistakes. I do not want to be vulnerable and show those mistakes to others. 

WAYS OF SHOWING VULNERABILITY

  1. Asking my wife for help
  2. Initiating sex with one's partner
  3. Admitting that I am wrong
  4. Changing my opinion on the spot
  5. Changing my behavior on the spot

When we numb our negative feelings and our vulnerability with addictive behaviors and products, we also numb our positive feelings. Some also try to "make everything that is uncertain certain." I can relate to this with my black and white feelings. I want to have things be a certain way. It is either my way or the other person's way. There is a certainty to that perspective. 


"Blame is a way to discharge pain and discomfort." "We perfect." Blame and perfection and the numbing of feelings are all ways to avoid vulnerability. Vulnerability comes when I am open to what is going on in the moment. It is when I am receptive to the perspectives and thoughts and ideas and opinions of others. 

For kids: "You are imperfect and you are wired for struggle, but you are worthy of love and belonging." "We pretend that what we do does not have an effect on people." "Be authentic and real and say we're sorry and we will fix it." "Let ourselves be deeply seen and vulnerably seen." "Love with our whole hearts." "Practice gratitude and lean into joy." "I am enough."

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