So I talk an awful lot about the goddess that is Brené Brown. She’s a researcher of vulnerability (imagine!) and she is awesome. If you haven’t already, please check out this video:
Brené spoke to hundreds of people, and concluded three things: We all have it. No one wants to talk about it. The less we talk about it, the more power we turn over to it.
This week, inspired by this idea, we have been looking at how the darkness of our past can illuminate our present. Future. Etc.
Often, we get stuck in the shame manifesto. Worried our stuff in the closet is too embarrassing/awkward/difficult to bear, and thus become imprisoned by it.
We might build up a story in our head about how awful this thing is that we have, and this somehow justifies keeping it hidden away. But as Brené demonstrates in her video via a raise of hands, although most of us feel this way about our own stuff, in reality, when we observe someone else’s vulnerability, i.e. when they choose to share it with us, in actuality, we see it a strength – courageous, brave and honerable. Interesting eh?
Shame breeds three things: fear, blame and disconnection. Brené believes connection is the essence of the human experience – we are here to create meaningful, authentic relationships with other people. I have to aggree. Adding to that, a meaningful, authentic relationship with ourselves.
Recently i’ve been thinking a lot about connection, and not only because i’m an “immigrant” in Norway. I was recommended to read this brilliant book, conveniently titled, Connected, which is really hammering the topic of vulnerability home. It discusses networks and connective behaviour. It states we are highly influenced by everyone around us within three degrees of separation (our friends’ friends). This can make all the difference to how “happy” or “sad” we are. In the most simplistic terms. So it’s exciting to consider the idea of reaching out during those moments of darkness, (in many cases this is perhaps the opposite action of how we are feeling), owning our stories, and thus confronting our “shame” of being vulnerable head on.
Here’s the thing: Addressing our fears means the truth is out! We can be free! No more lugging around of extra baggage, agonising over how this “defines” us. It can only define us if we hand all our power over to it.
We can bring light to ourselves (and thus others) by first, acknowledging and then loving the darkest parts of ourselves. This translates to every part of our existence. Our relationship to ourself, as well as to our connections. We reach out, with a new source of acceptance and empathy for ourselves, which we can extend to our community. And this is how we breed compassion.
During classes this week we explored this idea by taking some pretty seemingly terrifying postures head on. Turned our worlds upside down. Confronting fears, and deconstructing poses to work for us. We can use even the most challenging situation, and obtain something positive from it.
We all have stories, dark and light. We are even more incredible because of this. It makes us who we are, and gives us the possibility to evolve. That’s pretty awesome!
So here’s a playlist (confronting vulnerability head on via some token shameless r&b) you courageous lot! Big love!