The Power of Vulnerability: Teachings of authenticity, connections and courage - Brene Brown

“You can't numb those hard feelings without numbing the other affects, our emotions. 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, so then we have a couple of beers and a banana nut muffin. And it becomes this dangerous cycle.”

“In our culture, we associate vulnerability with emotions we want to avoid such as fear, shame, and uncertainty. Yet we too often lose sight of the fact that vulnerability is also the birthplace of joy, belonging, creativity, authenticity, and love.”

This is one of the first self-helpy books I picked up that didn’t make me cringe. Brene Brown is the absolute best teacher on the subject of vulnerability because she does so with humour, down-to-earthness and she is relatable. She has written a number of books, all of which are good, but this one was the biggest eye-opener for me. She writes about the why’s and the how’s of dropping our armours in order to make real connections. Vulnerable, authentic, courageous connections. I’ve heard the audio-book version of this is very good as well, if you need any extra encouragement to start this book, here’s the TEDtalks she gave on the subject:

Macklemore – Starting over

“But I'd rather live telling the truth than be judged for my mistakes Them falsely held up, give em props, loved and praised I guess I gotta get this on the page”

Vulnerability is a scary thing. Often it’s easier to get defensive, hide behind armour or even lie. It helps me when other people show me how, watching them take the leap makes it a little easier for me to do the same. In this song, Macklemore writes about relapsing after three years of very public sobriety. He writes about the feeling of shame. What will the world think of him now? Will he lose all credibility? He worries about the responses of those closest to him. Essentially, he faces a choice - does he share his relapse, or does he keep it to himself? The second option feels like a lie, being falsely celebrated. In “Starting over” he talks about the decision-making process and ultimately chooses to get it on the page, in the form of the song we’re listening to. Listening to this song helps me feel more courageous whenever I want to open up about something. You’re not alone.