Your Choice: Vulnerable or NumbBy
So much has already been said about the dark side of life…the images that bombard us with each nightly news report, the loneliness, the fear of not belonging, losing connection, whatever the age… the vision of life as disappointing.
Research shows that as a culture, we have a tendency to protect ourselves against being vulnerable, being visible. When we’re no longer willing to show our true selves, we become numb, feeling no pain and experiencing no joy.
Why is our culture moving in this direction? Underneath it all lies a common theme of “not being enough”. Have you ever had the thought that what you’re bringing to the table is just not good enough? And if asked, you probably wouldn’t be able to say what good enough is – it’s simply that what you have doesn’t cut it.
At some point in life most everyone has that thought, whether on a conscious level or not.
According to Brene’ Brown, a brilliant researcher who investigates vulnerability in-depth, one person at a time, too many of us are stripping the meaning from the ordinary moments of our lives: sharing a smile with someone you love, witnessing the proverbial sunset, observing the power of the ocean, watching our troops return home, greeted by loving children leaping into their open arms.
It comes down to allowing ourselves to be available for those moments of love and natural beauty. Imagine having to defend yourself against life’s natural rhythms (adversity, challenge, hope, joy) to the point that the most basic beauty cannot touch you. Do you really call it a win when you protect against possible disappointment so well that you lose the capacity to feel?
And where’s the path back to aliveness in all its fullness? Brown reflects the voice of her 10,000 interviews: practice gratitude, enjoy all the moments, play.
Where are you in this process? It’s worth talking about. Please let me know what you’re thinking.