Sunday 25 March 2012

The power of vulnerability

Vulnerability. I didn't expect it, but the term came up several times at a recent meeting of my writers' group. And that just happened to be the day after Brian McDonald told me about this video.

Dr. Brené Brown is a "researcher/ storyteller" as well as a professor at the University of Houston, Graduate College of Social Work. She studies human connectionour ability to empathize, belong, love. She is the author of I Thought It Was Just Me (but it isn't) and The Gifts of Imperfection. In this poignant, funny talk, she shares a deep insight from her research, one that sent her on a personal quest to know herself, as well as to understand humanity.

The video runs for 20 minutes. Get yourself a cup of coffee and settle down in a comfortable chair. It's going to be worth your time. I know that what Brené Brown shares is true. 

My father was a violent alcoholic who abandoned us when I was nine. That was something I was incapable of talking about back when I was old enough to finally escape the place where I grew up. I was about as closed off emotionally as was possible. It wasn't until I met the lady who is now my wife that I began to let it go, just a little. The result was uncontrollable weeping. And I mean, uncontrollable. My worst memory of that stage was standing at a bus stop on Anzac Highwayabout the most public place imaginable and crying and crying and crying. I had years of feelings pent up. Once they started to break out, they just kept on coming. I needed to accept my vulnerability, rather than try to hide it, in order to live a full life. 

But don't take my word for it, listen to an expert.

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Anonymous said...

Will have to watch this a few times,
this is such good stuff.
What an excellent speaker.
Great post, thank you.

Cathy said...

Thanks Henry for this. Couldn't have been better timing for another movie I'm developing.

Kathy said...

"Stories are just data with a soul."

"The feeling of connection is why we're here."

"When you ask people about love, they tell you about heartbreak."

"Shame is the fear of disconnection."

"People who have a strong sense of love and belonging believe they're worthy of love and belonging."

"Wholehearted people live from a deep sense of worthiness."

"Wholehearted people are willing to let go of who they think they should be, to be who they are. They fully embrace vulnerability. They are willing to do something where there are no guarantees... they invest in relationships that may or not work out."

"Vulnerability is the birthplace of joy, creativity, belonging and love."

Thanks, Henry.