A while ago I posted a link to this vulnerability talk from Brene Brown that has become viral. What I hadn’t noticed is that Brown also did a Q & A session 2 years after the TED talk which makes pretty good reading around this whole subject of vulnerability.
Some quotes that grabbed me and that I have pulled out to reflect on further:
‘your worthiness, is a birthright and not something you have to earn’
‘When you lose your capacity to care what other people think, you’ve lost your ability to connect.’
I believe that first quote, I really do! I know i am created in the image of God. I know I am accepted totally as I am. I know there is nothing I can do to change that acceptance. But …. living that out in my life, in a world that bombards us all with ‘targets’ and ‘must have experiences’ and ‘this or that item to perfect our lives’ … a world where the establishment views those who are ‘different’ with some suspicion and fear of what may happen …. all combines to make it all so so hard. So … I believe this … I believe my worthiness is a birthright …. but living like I believe it … that’s a whole different ball game that I am trying to get to grips with.
That second comment though, caring about what people think … that one has hit me hard! My whole life is about connecting with people, building relationships, and becoming friends.
Over the last 7 days I have been struck by how much I value friendship. Friendships have become incredibly precious and important to me. One particular friendship seems to be moving to a whole different level of trust and respect, which is both humbling and exciting. This really has filled me with a great joy which seems to echo a ‘thank you God’ in some way. Another person who has become a friend has recently moved away. My respect and admiration of this person grew quickly. I have been surprised at the sense of sadness and loss that I feel over that person leaving. Friends, real friends (and I don’t use that term lightly as it takes a long time, usually, for me to see and to call a person a friend) are incredibly important to me.
But … and there is a but here … i have not linked the connectedness I talk of above with a concern of what others think. I do care what friends think. Somrtimes I will go as far as to say I will worry what my friends think. I would fiercely fight the corner for a friend. I would really hate to upset a friend.
But … I do work with an attitude of ‘if this is what I am called to do’. In practice that will mean that I don’t want to upset people ,, but if, in the course of what it has been agreed I am here to do, I do, then so be it!’ I don’t mind upsetting people …. i don’t like it, and would rather avoid it, but sometimes things reach a stage when to move forward disagreement and upset seem to be necessary.
I look to Jesus and to Paul, or earlier to Moses, Daniel, Jeremiah …. and they all acted like they did not care what others thought and just got on with the job. They all had opposition, they were asked to stop what they were doing, they upset those close to them and loved ones …. and yet they carried on regardless with the stuff they were called to do.
So …. ‘When you lose your capacity to care what other people think, you’ve lost your ability to connect.’ I’m not ure if I am grasping this statement well. I am mulling over the implications of those words to myself as not only a pioneer but also as a normal adult person.
So … that’s where I am going to end …Brown says a lot more - go read.