“And I know that vulnerability is the core of shame and fear and our struggle for worthiness, but it appears that it’s also the birthplace of joy, of creativity, of belonging, of love.”
-Brene Brown (a research professor at the University of Houston Graduate College of Social Work)
I came across the above TEDTalk a few months back and it evoked something deep within me. First and foremost, I’m a person who used to consider vulnerability as a synonym of weakness (well, it’s a widely accepted definition and you could find it on dictionaries too) but in a negative sense. I saw vulnerability as a weakness that will get you punched right in the gut, dragging you all the way down to dark places and leave you breaking there without a hint of sympathy. Because of this perspective, I raised walls around me, the impenetrable ones, taller than skyscrapers which got me nowhere.
And of course, over the years, I became unhappy, anxious and made it more difficult for people to reach out to me. I understand no one is perfect here or rather completely good or bad. We are all indeed a mixture of both. However, I viewed anyone and everyone I came across as a threat to me – be it in real life or internet – they are all parasites, strangers with an intention to harm me. Unfortunately, the world is as such and my life experiences only strengthened this belief further.
Yet, the TEDTalk by Brene Brown helped me understand and accept that vulnerability is necessary to make connection with fellow human beings. One more thing, I learned to accept through this TEDTalk was that “I’m enough”. Besides, a friend of mine always tells me that first I should believe in myself, learn to love myself because then only I’ll be able to love others in my life. Whenever I try to convince her that I love my family more, I love her too but I don’t think I can ever love myself. She then gives me her beautiful smile and says, “Nathi, it’s not possible for you to love others wholeheartedly, when you don’t love yourself.”
All these years, I rarely agreed with her on that, but I suppose she’s right. And this website/blog is a place where I’ve decided to be open, vulnerable and trust that everything is going to be okay. Sure, they could hurt me here, things could go wrong but at the same time I could also find hope, truthful, lasting and supportive friends. Yes, this openness and vulnerability does extend to my day to day life (though it’s still under process).
That’s all for now.
I hope you did watch the TEDTalk by Brene Brown. If not, I highly recommend you do watch it because it will surely be an eye opener!