Shame Keeps Us From Being Vulnerable


Shame Keeps Us From Being Vulnerable

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Wow, I just finished watching another video of a speaker at the TED conference by the name of Brene Brown. The topic was on shame and how it ties into vulnerability. Brene does such a great job of taking these concepts and bringing them into a conscious form that is easy to understand.  I believe part of her success is that she allows the listener to see her as vulnerable. This video is powerful.  I am so thankful that it was passed on to me.

You see, I’m afraid to be vulnerable, even though I try. Brene Brown is correct when she says in our culture, for men to be vulnerable generally means to be weak. I don’t necessarily call it being vulnerable as much as I refer to it as being sensitive. I”m one of those off the chart sensitive people, and that just doesn’t work for a male in today’s society. It is a difficult reconciliation for me because I can no longer deny how sensitive I am.  In many ways, I feel afraid of being mocked by the world.

However, my vulnerability goes much deeper than my sensitivity. I see people making statements about unknown things in life as if it were fact. For me, I share my experiences with others.  It is my place of strength and certainty because as I have lived through the experiences I had and healed from them, I have found a source of knowledge and wisdom. For me to share these things, I must allow my vulnerability to be seen, felt, and touched. All too often, when I do this, the critics line up to let me know that what I am sharing is utter BS!

Watching her video and listening to Brene Brown speak, I had tears in my eyes. I had never heard someone so eloquently talk about shame and how it keeps us from being vulnerable.   Brene Brown spoke in a way that truly resonated with me.  I needed to hear this message at this moment in time.

I know I have a lot of shame and I could tick off many on my own bucket list. It feels like I am carrying the shame of a million ancestors on my back.  No longer do I wish to be their mule. Never did I realize that this shame I carry is what is holding me back in life. I didn’t even realize just how powerful it was until I heard Brene speak. Hiding in my shell may be easy but life is more than this.

Being vulnerable for me is sitting there holding someone’s hand.  It is walking through the fears and pain of their life’s experiences. Being vulnerable for me is opening myself up to travel down the pathway of life doing all I can to use my experience in helping others. I know there is much more out there for me than I am currently doing at this moment, but I also know the shame acts like a thousand pound weight in the bottom of the ocean holding me back.

One of my favorite lines in the video was that vulnerability is the most accurate measurement of courage. Instead of seeing myself as weak, I can embrace my vulnerability as courage. I can lift myself up by seeing through my own eyes, I am not what others taught me to believe, but I am courage. I am not the shame that I have embraced all my life, but I am vulnerable, and through my vulnerability, I can rise above the highest storm clouds in my life.

To view the video and believe me, it is a must see video, click this link.