Vulnerability is the birthplace of innovation, creativity and change.
Brene Brown has produced two of my favorite talks on vulnerability. I featured her first TED Talk called the Power of Vulnerability in my blog called Open Your Heart. In my spiritual path, I’ve discovered how essential it is to be vulnerable for emotional health, connection and spiritual growth. Without it, I don’t really think growth is possible. Brown is a Shame Researcher – an odd job title – and she studies the effects of shame on people.
What I most like about this video, and it’s long, is that she talks about the way that shame manifests in men and women and how it is organized by gender. She says women feel shame around not being able to be perfect, do it all, and look great doing it. For men, shame is around being weak. You’ll have to watch it, but she describes the most interesting interchange with a man about shame and how the women in his life contribute to it. Every time I listen to it, I feel convicted of not being supportive of the men in my life. Yesterday, I wrote about what men bring to a relationship. We know what the gifts are and what good men are capable of bringing. But, what happens when a man cannot be the source of strength, when he is vulnerable or broken? They are not perfect either.
Shame is universal. I once did an exercise with some women around shame where we looked into a mirror and put words to the things that cause us to feel shameful. The most valuable part of that experience for me was hearing the extent of shame that other women feel. I thought I was the only one that was eaten up with it and who struggled to rise above the weight of it everyday. They ALL had it too. Every last one of them had a bucket of shame as heavy and as nasty as mine. And, because we shared it with each other and in a mirror, I became more empathetic to them. And, in turn, I became more empathetic to me. That’s the power of vulnerability. I invite you to watch this talk. And, if you really like her, why don’t you join me in taking her online video course on The Power of Vulnerability. I think it looks awesome!