The Universe brought Brene Brown into my life many times before last Sunday, but I didn’t listen because I wasn’t ready then. I pushed away the notion that I should read some of what Brown has to say because I was afraid. I knew enough about Brown’s work as a vulnerability and shame researcher to be afraid to read her books or listen to her powerful message. Vulnerability? No thanks. Brown defines vulnerability as uncertainty, risk, and emotional exposure. The thought of letting myself be vulnerable in front of others terrifies me and makes me uncomfortable.
Why? Because the message that has been taught to me over & over by well-meaning (but wrong) people in my life is that being vulnerable is a weakness and that wearing armor is a strength. That when I cry (which, yes, I kind of do a lot & openly), I’m making others feel uncomfortable. Crying, to them, is something to be done rarely and in private. Keeping emotions inside is safe and brave and the right, courteous thing to do. These are the messages I’ve carried in my head for 35 years.
But I’m done now. (This is what I am doing right.)
Upon watching Brene Brown on Oprah’s Super Soul Sunday (part one), I purchased Daring Greatly and read 20% of it in one sitting last weekend. I cried while I read it because so much of it hit home, beginning with the title of this post, which is a quote from Daring Greatly and the prompt for this post today.
It’s been a while since I wrote from the gut here and let myself really be seen. I’m going to change that. I’m going to allow myself to be vulnerable in this space.
Vulnerability sounds like truth and feels like courage. Truth and courage aren’t always comfortable, but they’re never weakness.”
Have you read any of Brene Brown’s books? If so, which one(s) and what is your favorite quote or message?