are you brave enough to be vulnerable?

Some people have the courage to be vulnerable while for others, they have to be brought to their knees first.

Looking back at the road from Tibet down into Nepal. While it wasn't really on this crazy angle, it was road works all the way.

I put my hand out the window and took this photo over the cliff into the mist below. Sometimes you just have to put your hand out, or up, and you don't know what you're going to get. A metaphor for life?

At the Voodoo Cafe earlier this week, Ricë Freeman-Zachery interviewed Jill Berry.  During the interview, Jill had some words of wisdom about the value of allowing yourself to be vulnerable – you learn that way.

Also this week, friend posted this link to Brené Brown: The power of vulnerability on Facebook – sorry, I don’t have the facility on this free version of WordPress to embed a video.

If you have ever suffered from self doubt or that inner critic, I urge you to watch – it’s 20:20 minutes long, wise and witty.  When you’ve watched please come back and leave a comment – let me know what resonates with you.  There was a bit 12:50 in that shook me – as well as many other a-ha moments.

Love and courage.

10 thoughts on “are you brave enough to be vulnerable?

  1. Wow! Thanks for the link! I really liked this talk a lot.

    I honestly am not sure how vulnerable I am. I don’t think about it much, but a couple of things resonated with me.

    I learned as a very young person (about 12-14) that I am enriched by loving as much or more than by being loved. To not love because I might not be loved back took much more away than loving and not being loved. Brown says this is being vulnerable. I know no other way to be on this. But I can see that this is indeed part of the birthplace of my joy (the bit at 12:50) and I focus on the joy so much more than the heartache that I say I never have heartache. AND, although my sister has on occasion pointed out that I have indeed had some bad things happen in my life, I genuinely believe that I really do have less sorrow and more joy than others. I have a logical, black/white, good/bad side and it can’t figure it out, but fortunately, I’m not ruled by that side of me.

    Perhaps I fit into Brown’s “I am worthy” group, but I don’t think about that any more than I think about vulnerability. I know I have moments (and not rarely) when I wonder about what my purpose is; when I’ve wondered if I’ve done _(fill in the blank)_ as well as I should/could have; if I/it (what I’ve done) matter(s).

    For me, a lot of this is my faith. Not as she mentioned it in the “I’m right and you’re wrong” kind of certainty, but with a certainty, nonetheless. I am certain in the reality of GOD. I am certain he loves me. I’m pretty sure that this belief is a major part of why things work the way they do for me I like Brown’s separation of bravery from courage. I would say that my faith is why I find the courage to stick my neck out, when I do.

    And I don’t always! While I may love freely and deeply, I’m slow and shy to express it openly. My inner critic is a grouchy old man who tells me that I’m a daydreamer and I don’t know what I’m doing. My inner child has tantrums.

    Even though it’s only 20 minutes, Brown has said a LOT and it has got me thinking. I hope that others who read your blog watch and post too.

    • Hello Faith, thank you for leaving your thoughtful comment. I think you’re right, you do appear to fit into that group of people who know they are worthy. While I wasn’t mindful of whether I was or not, I knew there were others who were considered not to be and that didn’t seem right to me even when I was very young – around 9 or 10.

      Those beliefs we become aware of when we are young seem to set down some very solid pathways. I knew that racism and sexism didn’t make sense to me, that the right/wrong attitude to spiritual beliefs didn’t mesh with what I saw as fair. I even challenged a Sunday School teacher about missionaries proselytising to people of other cultures – it didn’t seem right to mess with what others believed in that realm – how could we know we were ‘right’ and that maybe we should all be buddhist – who could know? As you can imagine that caused a bit of a stir!

      I’m glad the TED talk got you thinking – the site is a wonderful source of thought provoking material and inspiration.

  2. Must go hear the “talk.” BUt first. I used to be so hurt by being vulnerable that I turned it off and if I thought someone might hurt me, I’d keep them at arm’s length. Not so much anymore. I revel in my vulnerability. I am not so easily hurt but ultimately much more open to possibilities. THe joys of aging, I suppose. It is a good thing. Now off to heare TED

  3. A powerful talk. Thanks so much Wendy. I’ve never thought about it in quite that way.

    I loved your comment, Faith. I’ve come to what I now see as vulnerability only in the last few years. It comes up often enough and I make a conscious choice now. My friend hurt my feelings. OK, my feelings hurt because I love her. And I deeply agree with you about the power of loving being larger than the power of being loved. I learned that after my first child was born.

    • I just love seeing when people take the time to read each other’s comments and more so when there is an acknowledgement. I think loving is to make yourself real and therefore vulnerable – it really does make a truth of that old saying “nothing ventured, nothing gained” doesn’t it?

  4. Thanks for the link to the TED talk. I always enjoy them.

    My biggest vulnerability has been my fear of being hurt by my own non-acceptance of myself. I was hurt by others or situations because I was so hard on myself. When I finally, at age 65, learned to genuinely like myself, and feel lucky to live with me (smiley emoticon here) I became much more willing and able to be vulnerable in the world. Because I am safe at home, with me. When I wasn’t safe with me, I didn’t feel safe anywhere.

    Do you feel really lucky that you get to live with you?

    • Yes PJ,I really love to live with me. And yes, seeing yourself as you really are, as a work in progress, and accepting yourself ‘warts and all’ takes time. I’m glad you’re so happy with you!

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