In class today we watched a video talking about vulnerability. Brene Brown said in her talk that vulnerability is the birthplace of joy and belonging, but that is also creates shame. This is true. Connection is why we’re here. Humans are hardwired to connect with others. It could be part of our nature or part of our nurture. Who knows if it is based on our biology or our socialization? Why we connect with others doesn’t matter, all that matters is that we’re able to. Feeling like you can’t connect with others is what keeps you from connection. If you feel like you’re capable of loving and belonging, then you probably love and belong. It all starts with ourselves and how we act. We can’t love other people if we don’t love ourselves first, just like we can’t treat other people kindly if we’re constantly degrading ourselves.
Loving other people takes courage, and the original definition courage is “to tell the story of who you are with your whole heart.” If someone doesn’t know and accept the real you along with all your flaws, then they can’t possibly love you. Brene made the statement “When you ask people about love, they tell you about heartbreak.” Loving someone is part of vulnerability. When you love someone, you trust them to not hurt you even though you know that they can. Vulnerability is telling someone that you love them first and risking rejection. Vulnerability is doing something with no guarantees and taking chances. It’s putting your whole heart into a relationship that you know may not work out, but doing it happily because you love the other person. Vulnerability is sitting by the phone waiting for a phone call from your doctor. You have to embrace your vulnerability, because it’s “what makes you beautiful.”
Brene makes four very good points towards the end of her speech. When we’re hurting, we try to numb the emotions that we don’t want to feel. This doesn’t work because you can’t selectively numb your emotions. You end up numbing joy and happiness, which leaves you feeling miserable. You have to embrace your vulnerability to let ourselves be seen. Letting yourself truly be seen is courage. To embrace your vulnerability, you have to love with your whole heart even though you’re uncertain. It is better to have loved and lost than to never have loved at all, or so they say. To embrace our vulnerability, we have to realize that we are enough. We’re good enough and we all deserve to be loved and to feel a connection with another person.
Shame and fear are connected to vulnerability, but so are loving and belonging. Part of the journey is figuring them out.