Ugh. The V word is one of my least favorite words in the english language. It makes me feel terrible, or like I'm not enough, or that something's wrong with me. It makes me stutter and scramble to perform outrageous acts of desperation to cover up that I have it.
I'm talking about VULNERABILITY.
Brene Brown, in her 1.9+ million viewed TedTalks video, "The Power of Vulnerability," describes the shame we feel of our vulnerability as "the fear of disconnection." What about me, she says we all think, if other people know it or see it will render me unworthy of connection?
Let me cut you off right here before you get all excited for me to share with you the solution to this fear. This isn't one of those blog posts where I give you a whammy! idea I just learned that you can immediately absorb and apply to your life. This is a blog post in which I tell you about something I'm currently struggling with. Fear, vulnerability, imperfection, and self-forgiveness are buzz words in my mind this week in my own process of searching, in my own journey of healing. This is a blog post in which I tell you that you are not alone.
I have a V word too.
And I want that to be something I can embrace, as Ms. Brown says is the common quality of those who have the highest sense of love, belonging, and courage (courage, she describes, has the original definition of 'to tell the story of who you are with your whole heart'). These are all people who believe vulnerability is necessary. Not an overly good or bad thing, just necessary. These people, she says, have "the courage to be imperfect."
I can't tell you how hard that is for me. Is that difficult for you? It fills me with FEAR to admit certain imperfections. In this part of my journey to living my best life and helping others to live theirs, I feel called to study fear more in depth. I'm setting out to talk with women of all walks of life about your experience with fear. You don't have to feel like you have anything particular or particularly interesting to say about fear. You just need to be willing to have an open conversation with me (which will be anonymous in any way I use my findings.) Yes, I am asking you to be courageous. :)
And if you haven't watched The Power of Vulnerability, take twenty minutes and forty-nine seconds out of your day today to watch:
For language nerds like me: Vulnerable comes from the latin vulnerā which means to wound, translating vulnerable to some form of "able to be wounded." From this I would derive that imperfect and vulnerable are two different things. Interesting!