A few weeks back I wrote about vulnerability – more of a description than anything else.
But I knew there was more to say so I went to a source who had done a lot of research in this area: Brene Brown.
I gleaned some valuable insights from her TED Talk.
Here’s how it works.
Connection is why we’re here, right?
In order to have connection, you need two things:
The belief that you’re worthy of connection.
The courage to show who you are – all of you.
Brown found that those who had connection and love, believed they were worthy of it.
The opposite was also true.
Those who didn’t believe they were worthy, did not find love and connection.
She also found that those who found love, loved with their “whole heart”.
They were able to show their imperfections and risk being rejected.
They were courageous.
They were able to “tell the story of who they are”.
They were vulnerable.
And they didn’t talk about vulnerability being good or bad, just necessary.
Unfortunately, most of us avoid feeling vulnerable. We numb it with _____ (fill in with your vice of choice – food, booze, drugs, etc.)
But here’s the thing.
Vulnerability is at the core of negative feelings – fear, shame, etc.
But it’s also at the core of the positive feelings – love, joy, belonging
You can’t numb one set without numbing the other.
And once the positive stuff gets numbed, we’re miserable and yearn for meaning.
We feel vulnerable as a result and want to numb again.
And it becomes a cycle.
Vulnerability can yield negative feelings, yes.
But there is also power in vulnerability.
And as Brown’s research has shown, vulnerability is the path to connection, and love.