Monday, March 25, 2013

Published 8:54 AM by with 0 comment

Daring Greatly, Even When I am Afraid

Compassion. Trust. Connection. Vulnerability.

These things can make us extremely uncomfortable. We all want to be treated with compassion, but giving compassion means being vulnerable on our part, being willing to step forward with open arms to those who are hurting. Having our arms open prevents us from putting up defenses. That's where vulnerability becomes important.


I first watched Brene Brown's TED talk on the power of vulnerability several years ago. It spoke volumes to me then, and it continues to give insight and wisdom to me now. Now I try to watch it every few months. Here are a few of my favorite quotes:

"Courage, the original definition of courage, when it first came into the English language-- it's from the Latin word "cor", meaning "heart"-- and the original definition was to tell the story of who you are with your whole heart."

Do I live with my whole heart? Sometimes. But not often enough. I let fear, worry, and busyness get in my way. My life so far is riddled with mistakes where I shut down and shut people out.

"... you cannot selectively numb emotion. You can't say, here's the bad stuff. Here's vulnerability, here's grief, here's shame, here's fear, here's disappointment. I don't want to feel these... You cannot selectively numb. So when we numb those, we numb joy, we numb gratitude, we numb happiness. And then we are miserable, and we are looking for purpose and meaning, and then we feel vulnerable...  And it becomes this dangerous cycle."

At the hardest points in my life, I've tried to pretend that I was not sad, or afraid, or angry. That didn't work. It just covered up the awful feelings with layers of dirt, only to have them emerge later even bigger and uglier than before. You have to take the good and the bad in life and learn how to deal with them all.

"... as it turns out, we can't practice compassion with other people if we can't treat ourselves kindly."

Oh so true. How I view myself will directly translate into how I treat others. But all of this, treating yourself with compassion, treating others with compassion, learning how to be vulnerable... if I didn't see myself as being worthy of any of it, then I wouldn't have any reason to give it to anyone else. 

Jesus said, "As my father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love." If I am loved by Christ as much as he was loved by God the father, then that is truly being loved.

Jesus was an example of loving the lowest of the low, the tax collectors, the prostitutes, the swindlers, the morally broken, the diseased, the downtrodden. He knew where his worth came from and he could freely give love to those around him because of it.

That's the way I want to be.

I want to freshly dare to be vulnerable, to love others because I am loved, to be compassionate because I have been shown great compassion, to dare to tell my story, to feel the good and the bad and learn from my mistakes and have gratitude for the blessings.

Join me?