This time finishing Brené Brown’s TED talk, I cried.
I felt ashamed that I was unemployed. I was terrified that I would end up with a job that would not give me what I want. And disappointed by the dark thought that I wasn’t good enough to deserve respect.
I was afraid of loving someone because I feared imperfect consequences. People around me judged that I would likely fail at this relationship, and I was merely holding on to a feeling that I was taught not to trust.
I got stuck deep in the danger zone. Pursuing “perfection” and feeling hopeless when I thought myself inadequate. I kept researching for answers on the internet because the fear of failure and uncertainty made me so uncomfortable.
When I heard Brené’s words, I furiously took notes and sobbed quite uncontrollably out of immense gratitude.
What I was experiencing was
- Shame (for myself)
- Fear (for the future)
Shame and fear unravels connection.
Shame is thinking that you are not enough. People are ashamed of their vulnerability now. And they are afraid of being vulnerable in the future.
Vulnerability induces shame and fear, but interestingly enough, it’s also what sparks connection.
The difference is how we look at vulnerability:
If we look negatively upon our vulnerability and blame ourselves for it, it turns into shame and we shut down towards emotional connection.
If we are truly grateful for our vulnerability, we become kind to what we are. We are not perfect and that is not only okay, it is necessary.
Vulnerability is what allows us to breed connection.
So what to do?
- Love your own vulnerabilities
Today you may feel inadequate in your relationships, your career or your passions. But by being kind to yourself, you will regain the strength to stand up. Be grateful for the fact that you can feel this way, because you will remember this, and you now have the ability to profoundly connect with another human being over this. It is what makes you alive.
- Love even if it may not be perfect
Theres no better way to love than to love whole heartedly without fears. This is not blind love led by fickle emotions. This is a more intentional kind of love, that requires growth of unconditional patience and care needed to bolster your courage in the face of uncertainty. It is a difficult love, that asks for investment without return.
And only if you let go of a perfect ending and be vulnerable, will you truly be whole hearted, will you truly experience connection.
If you haven’t seen Brené Brown’s talk, here, you are welcome.