Vulnerability – the ability to be vulnerable; open, raw, honest, authentic… this is a concept my life’s journey (and Healing Journey) has been leading me to explore for some time now. I even have one of my BFF’s writing a book on it for pete’s sake!

But what does vulnerability have to do with healing from a physical illness? If you have any of my books, you know my healing protocols are based upon the mind/body/spirit being inextricably linked and you CANNOT heal the physical body (long-term results) without getting into and healing the emotional body.

Not surprisingly, the pathway into the emotional body is… vulnerability! If you cannot be honest and authentic with yourself, if you cannot look at your jungle of emotions, traumas, core beliefs, saboteurs, etc. you will not be able to heal yourself. So I want to share with you two AMAZING videos to help you delve more deeply into this by Brene Brown, PhD – who has made it her life’s work to study vulnerability and authenticity. Every friend I have shared these videos with has had powerful shifts, so I wish for you the same…

VULNERABILITY

SHAME

And now that you’ve had an absolute feast on these monumentally life-altering concepts, let me leave you with some of my favorite quotes from Brene Brown – gleaned from her videos:

“Blame is a way to discharge pain and discomfort.”

“Courage is telling the story of who you are, with your whole heart.”

“Faith is the vulnerability that flows between the shores of certainty.”

“Speak your mind with your heart.”

“Vulnerability is to stop controlling and predicting. It is the birthplace of joy, creativity and love.”

I invite you to open further to the Healing Journey. And if there are places you’ve been scared to go, I hope you realize that therein lies your freedom – here’s more info on my favorite mind/body healing tool to get you there.

The Power Of Vulnerability
5 Comments

5 thoughts on “The Power Of Vulnerability

  • Thanks for posting this and including Brene Brown’s talks, Jini. I had watched the first one, but not the latter on shame where she talks about the gender difference in its conceptulization and depiction. Clearly the development of walls is a self-defense mechanism that helps one survive. I personally think the important thing is never to wall yourself off from your own authenticity as that is the greatest impediment probably to reaching your potential as a loving and joyful being. However, the thing I wonder about is how much of your “vulnerability” and true self should you leave exposed to all others. For me, true intimacy is only offered to those I trust with it. If you lack this kind of support and you feel unable to be your authentic self (not because you don’t think you are not worthy but because of the fact that those that surround you are so immersed in their facade that they can’t handle authenticity), then it could contribute as a barrier to reaching your true potential. This why it so important to cultivate a diverse, empathetic, and compassionate society over our trend towards a myopic, regressive, hypocritical and formalized society – it is a breeding ground for all our growing list of chronic ailments.

  • ASHLEY – this is a really good question you posed:

    “However, the thing I wonder about is how much of your “vulnerability” and true self should you leave exposed to all others.”

    I wonder this too, about being “appropriately” vulnerable, as opposed to carte blance vulnerable. Because aren’t we getting into “don’t cast your pearls before swine” territory?

    If you KNOW someone cannot hear you (or doesn’t want to), why expend the energy to be authentic? Why not just walk away, or let it go? Is it because there is a lot of grey area in the assumption that someone can’t/doesn’t want your authenticity? But what about relationships where the person has demonstrated over and over again that they don’t want you to be honest… what then?

    I read an article of Brene’s (about the Dixie Chicks speaking out) where she writes:

    “How can we be authentic when we are desperately trying to manage and control how others perceive us? How can we be honest with people about our beliefs and, at the same time, tell them what we think they want to hear? How do we stand up for what we believe in when we are trying to make everyone around us feel comfortable so they won’t get angry and put us down?”

    (Source: http://www.chron.com/default/article/We-should-all-take-voice-lessons-from-Dixie-1808725.php#page-1 )

    In the article, Brene gives several examples of where women suffered negative consequences as a result of NOT being authentic. But what about when you suffer negative consequences *because* you are authentic? For some issues, it would be worth it (racism, injustice, abuse, etc.).

    But for others – for example, you have a mother-in-law who believes abortion in any circumstance is wrong and if you disagree with her, she goes ballistic, refuses to attend family gatherings, won’t see her grandkids, etc. So… do you want to keep being authentic every time she brings up abortion, or do you just want to switch the subject, or leave the room?

    As you said: “because of the fact that those that surround you are so immersed in their facade that they can’t handle authenticity”

    And what about cultures (like the Chinese) where allowing others to “save face” through not being overtly truthful is a crucial social and business skill? Although, because such cultures are skilled at non-verbal communication, everyone knows the truth anyway – so they actually are not being inauthentic! Wouldn’t walking out the room when your mother-in-law starts her abortion comments be the equivalent of “saving face” – she knows your opinion, everyone else in the room knows your truth, why does it have to be spoken?

    I just read the quote from Brene again:

    “How can we be authentic when we are desperately trying to manage and control how others perceive us? How can we be honest with people about our beliefs and, at the same time, tell them what we think they want to hear? How do we stand up for what we believe in when we are trying to make everyone around us feel comfortable so they won’t get angry and put us down?”

    And perhaps the qualifying distinction here is:

    BAD: When you avoid authenticity because of your insecurities and fear of letting yourself be seen.

    GOOD: When you avoid authenticity – in that moment – because you are the bigger person, the person with more wisdom and it is a tactical decision – one based in experience and wisdom, not insecurity. So it is a wisdom-based decision, not a fear-based decision.

    How about that?

  • Exactly! “And perhaps the qualifying distinction here is:
    BAD: When you avoid authenticity because of your insecurities and fear of letting yourself be seen.”
    For me – the pivotal point is the relationship you have with yourself – if that is unauthentic or deluded, then all those that follow will be off and you will forever be searching for that evasiveness sense of peace, purpose, and acceptance. So many get stumped by the desire to be validated and approved of by everyone – and project someone other than themselves for this accolade, and they continue to perpetuate this dysfunction. It really is high school mentality that has unfortunately persisted into adulthood – thereby preventing personal and emotional maturity.
    Brene’s point in the article you link to which states, “Often, when women live under the weight of silence and fear speaking out, they have the least tolerance for other women who break the rules — they use them as targets to discharge their pain and rage.” is bang on. In my experience, some of those who are the most intolerant and judgemental against women living true to themselves and fearlessly are women who caged themselves in (or failed to unlatch the cage they were put in). Part of it is anger and part is envy because those that are vulnerable and authentic project a strong sense of self and inner peace and tend to attract the same from people and situations around them. There is both a contagious and magnetic aspect to it. I don’t see any reason to be apologetic for avoiding or disengaging from those you feel either can’t accept you as you are or you simply don’t feel good being around. Life is too short to expend energy on cultivating negativity. The degree of vulnerability I expose is directly related to the depth of the relationship in regards to both the level of trust and intimacy I share with that person.
    I have come to appreciate how important it is to really cherish those individuals that live to this ideal as they help everyone they touch to develop to their best self by exemplifying this true joyful potential and giving permission to overthrow the facade.

  • Thanks for posting the videos Jini. The desire to be vulnerable, and the courage it takes, has been something I have explored over the past few years. In 2009, I realised I had reached a point of “functioning” in life – no joy whatsoever. I’d lost touch with my authentic self – I was living the life I believed others expected me to live.
    You can read about this in my blog. I’ve included an EFT tapping script on the fears around being you and the anxieties around what others will think :
    http://www.theefthealingcentre.com/wordpress/step-into-vulnerability-and-connect-to-you/

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