“Close your eyes and think of the last time you saw someone being really brave.”
Those are the words that Brene Brown spoke in a Ted Talk that I listened to this morning. Brene has spent years of her life researching shame, guilt and vulnerability. She has looked at where these feelings come from and how they help and hinder us.
It’s truly fascinating.
Years ago a friend of mine revealed something very private to me. It was a intense source of both shame and guilt for her. She was heartbroken. I was so honored that she shared with me, that she trusted me with not only her secret but her heart. That’s a big deal ya’ll. It was an eye opening experience. I didn’t love her less, I didn’t think less of her, in fact, I loved her MORE. She taught me that vulnerability is the key to true friendship and connection.
Most (ALL) of us have an outer shell that is tough to crack. We have issues with our own self worth and we guard our perceived flaws. We worry that others won’t like us if we reveal our true selves. It’s true that some people won’t like us if they truly know us, but others will love us deeply. And DEEPLY is how I want to love and be loved.
Brene describes vulnerability as “uncertainty, risk, emotional exposure . . . a willingness to show up and be seen when you can’t control the outcome.” I struggle with this big time. My mom has been telling me for years that I am very guarded and she’s right. I’ve been trying to be more vulnerable but it’s a journey. It might be the journey that lasts a lifetime.
This morning, when I closed my eyes and thought of the last time that I saw someone being really brave, I thought of my son Fleet. Last week he took his guitar to school and played the 2.5 songs that he knows in front of his class. He practiced extra hard all weekend. He didn’t seem nervous, just excited. I was awed. He typically errs on the side of shy and reserved, especially in group settings. He doesn’t know it, but he was willing to be vulnerable, to risk emotional exposure. That is bravery at it’s finest.
I want to be brave like him.
Here is the link to one of Brene Brown’s Ted Talks. I learned about her through the Mommy Soul Tribe Facebook group that I mentioned last week. You can also find her on various podcasts. I’ve started listening to podcasts in the car almost daily on my commute to and from work.
Kids are the ultimate vulnerability machines, right? They wear their emotions on their sleeves and don’t care who sees them. I feel like it’s my job to help them channel their vulnerability. To never make them feel ashamed but to help them express themselves effectively and seek out positive friendships. And most importantly, to never give up – on themselves, on other people and to know that THEY ARE WORTHY AND THEY ARE ENOUGH. More to come as I listen and learn more.