All my babes are sound asleep right now (hubby included on his day off from school), so I thought I'd share something that I've been reading lately. "Vulnerability is the birthplace of love, belonging, joy, and empathy." My sister in law recommended the book, Daring Greatly, to me, and I have only just started to really delve into it. And I wish I would've done so earlier! It's SO good, and a really interesting and meaningful topic for me. I'm only a few chapters into it, but she's been talking a lot about vulnerability. Brene Brown says, "Vulnerability is the core, the heart, the center, of meaningful human experiences." She talks about how connection is the reason that we're here on this earth. We are meant to connect with others. It gives us purpose and meaning. I couldn't agree more! The most meaningful relationships in my life are the ones where we've both embraced vulnerability. Which can be really, really hard sometimes!! There are few things I am more grateful for though than honesty and openness from people around me. I can think of a handful of people in my life who "pro vulnerability embracers". They aren't afraid to talk about the hard things, and they definitely aren't afraid to listen to the hard things. They are genuine and compassionate. They laugh, and they cry. They truly empathize. I'm realizing as I get older that this is actually a real scarcity. Those people are getting harder and harder to find! I've been thinking about those friends and family in my life who are humble, understanding, and recognize that they're not perfect. They are open about flaws and concerns they have. When they embrace those imperfections and use them to learn and better themselves, it allows and encourages me to do the same. It creates a safe space for me, and it's so refreshing! I feel like I can kick up my feet, and be myself.
I loved the story in the video where Brene Brown talks about a situation when say your daughter comes homes from school and tells you that she is having a hard time finding friends and no one wants to sit with her at lunch. In order to be truly empathetic you have to be vulnerable! You have to dig deep and go back to that time you were friendless or didn't have anyone to sit with. You have to dig deep to show that you understand. That it's hard. That what you're going through is really hard. And sometimes that's it! You don't always need to fix the situation. That's not what people are always looking for. Sometimes you fix the situation by just listening, relating to, and empathizing. That is one of the bests medicines for any mental or emotional ailment in my opinion. Feeling like you are truly understood. That you're not the only one. That people can relate.
My favorite part of the book so far though is her connection of being vulnerable to living a "wholehearted" life. She says,
"Wholehearted living is about engaging in our lives from a place of worthiness. It means cultivating the courage, compassion, and connection to wake up in the morning and think, 'No matter what gets done and how much is left undone, I am enough.' It's going to bed at night thinking, 'Yes, I am imperfect and vulnerable and sometimes afraid, but that doesn't change the truth that I am also brave and worthy of love and belonging.'"
Cheers to being more vulnerable. To finding ways to be more empathetic and understanding of those around me.