The above TEDx video has been making the circuit on the Internet. Videos going viral and spreading like wildfire is nothing noteworthy in the geek community. However, I was pretty stunned that this TOPIC did. It's wonderful. Recommended!
It is very relevant to the topic of community and relationships I've shared in this Footnotes blog (especially if you delve into the excerpts and books by M. Scott Peck and Keith Ferrazzi I've quoted, see Community category).
Watch the video, and below are some of my recaps so I don't have to re-watch the video to recall the highlights. Anything in "quotes" is a quote by Dr. Brown. The rest are my own notes. She also has a recent book titled, The Gifts of Imperfection.
Presented by academic researcher in social psychology/social work, Brené Brown, Ph.D., LMSW: "You're going to call me a "storyteller"? Why not a magic pixie!"
"Lean into the discomfort." - a mantra in social work... interesting!
Shame unravels connection. "Shame is easily understood as the fear of disconnection: there is something about me that if other people know it or see it that I won't be worthy of connection. The things I can tell you about it: It's universal, we all have it. The only people that don't experience shame have no capacity for human empathy and connection. No one wants to talk about it; and the less you want to talk about it the more you have it. What underpinned this shame--this "I'm not good enough"--which we all know that feeling. I'm not blank enough--I'm not thin enough, rich enough, beautiful enough, smart enough, promoted enough.
The thing that underpinned this was this excruciating vulnerability--this idea that in order for connection to happen we have to be willing to be seen, really seen."
She saw she herself hated vulnerability.
"I thought I was going to outsmart it."
"My one year turned into six years."
"People who have a sense of worthiness... and folks that struggle for it. There was only one variable that separated the people... they believed they were worthy of love and belonging. They believe they're worthy."
[So it's somewhat self-fulfilling.]
"The one thing that keeps us out of connection is our fear that we're not worthy of connection..."
Wholehearted people live from this sense of worthiness.
[She studied the patterns for six plus years...]
What they had in common was a sense of courage.... "These folks had, very simply, the courage to be imperfect. They had the compassion to be kind to themselves first, and then to others because as it turns out we can't practice compassion with other people if we can't treat ourselves kindly. And the last was they had connection--and this was the hard part--as a result of authenticity. They were willing to let go of who they thought they should be in order to be who they were. Which is, you have to absolutely do that for connection.
The other thing they had in common was this: they fully embraced vulnerability. They believed that what made them vulnerable made them beautiful. They didn't talk about vulnerability being comfortable nor did they really talk about it being excruciating as I heard of it earlier in the shame interviewing. They just talked about it being necessary. They talked about the willingness to say I love you first. The willingness to do something where there are no guarantees."
The definition and purpose of research is to "control and predict."
"My mission to control and predict had turned up the answer that the way to live is with vulnerability--and to stop controlling and predicting."
My first meeting with therapist I brought in my list of how the wholehearted live.
She's a therapist that works with therapists--"We have to go to those because their B.S. meters are good."
She said, What's going on?
"I have a vulnerability issue. And I know vulnerability is kind of the core of shame, and fear and our struggle for worthiness, but it appears it is also the birthplace of joy, of creativity, of belonging, of love. I think I have a problem and I need some help."
It took about a year.
"For me it was a year-long street-fight... Vulnerability pushed, I pushed back. I lost the fight, but probably won my life back."
"We numb vulnerability.... And I think there's evidence... We are the most in-debt, obese, addicted and medicated adult cohort in U.S. history."
"You cannot selectively numb emotion." I don't want to feel these--so I'm going to have a couple of beers and a banana nut muffin.
"You can't numb those hard feelings without numbing the other affects... We numb joy, we numb gratitude, we numb happiness. And then we are miserable and are looking for purpose and meaning--and we feel vulnerable, and then have a couple of beers and a banana nut muffin." Cycle.
"The other thing we do is make everything that's uncertain to certain."
"Blame is a way to discharge pain and discomfort."
"We perfect our children." ["You're worthy of love and belonging."]
"Let ourselves be seen."
"Love with our whole hearts even though there is no guarantee."
"To practice gratitude and joy in those moments of kind of terror when we're wondering can I love you this much, can I believe in this this passionately, can I be this fierce about this--just to be able to stop and instead of catastrophizing what might happen to say I'm just so grateful because to feel this vulnerable means I'm alive."
"Believe I'm enough."