The Power Of Vulnerability

I’ve been feeling pretty good lately. Perhaps it’s this weather– I just love when it’s crisp and slightly chilly out, but the sun is still brightly shining. Perhaps it’s the medicine change– I’m being switched over from Effexor to Prozac right now. Perhaps it’s that the stars aligned and God decided to send a little gift my way. But it really doesn’t matter why I’m feeling good… I just am! Yay!

Now to discuss more profound topics than “Happy! Yay!”:  My therapist at the outpatient program I’m in suggested that I watch a TED talk by Brene Brown called “The Power of Vulnerability.” I started watching it and thought “Oh, this is neat, and I’m also really tired…” And I of course drifted off into my own little thought world as Brown was waving her hands trying to get my attention through my computer screen. Well, eventually I decided to revisit the video, thinking it may have be of some value to me.

I was so right! What an excellent video. It really spoke to my perfectionistic tendencies and all of the shame I hold over my head. I so often “should” all over myself, never meeting my own standards (which gets in the way of social interactions, etc. etc.). As Brown explains, vulnerable is a very difficult thing to be in America today. That said, being vulnerable brings one great strength, self-empowerment, self-worth, makes on “whole-hearted.” Are these not all things that we so desperately yearn for ourselves?

Having been in hospital programs for depression, and being now in an outpatient program for depression, I have gained a great deal of “courage to be imperfect,”  of practice in being vulnerable. (And naturally, I still have a long way to go.) But it’s true: I have been forced to share my dark stories, my faults, my pains. And people listened. Not everyone– but many people. And these people I bonded with, creating beautiful bonds that come only from pure vulnerability and open-heartedness. These are some of the most precious things I have earned in this lifetime….

Now, I could go on and on talking about what Brene Brown said, but she really says it better (and more humorously) than anyone. So I will redirect you here to her video:

Enjoy it, and take time to wrap your mind tight around what she is saying. Whoever you are, dear heart, YOU can gain much from listening to this talk. YOU can gain much from vulnerability.

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“No one can make you feel inferior without your consent” – Eleanor Roosevelt

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