Vulnerability And Me
On Medium, it's clear that the most vulnerable stories are among the highest read. People like sharing in that pure, unadulterated honesty - in fact, being open and authentic is the best way to find your "tribe." The reason? Those that understand through experience feel less alone. In telling your honest story, you grab the hearts of others that have had similar stories to tell. The openness creates a bridge from writer to reader and back again.
Imagine meeting a person with their arms ready to hug you, naked and unafraid. That's the power of sharing an honest story that leaves you vulnerable. No armor, no poised stance waiting for the strike. Just one human to another, open and vulnerable.
Of course, that naked trust means you're open to attack as well. And that is scary.
Arguably, the best resource for understanding vulnerability and developing courage is Brené Brown. Brown has spent most of her professional life researching shame and vulnerability, and developing real-world techniques to utilize the results. Though she started with the intention of learning about human connection, it became necessary to sort through the muck of shame to get there.
And through the shame, she discovered vulnerability as a surefire torch to braving those swamps. Where shame takes root in the soul of character, vulnerability soothes, purifies, and sometimes even repairs that damage (in the right circumstances). And for human connectivity, vulnerability was at its core; one cannot happen without the other.
From our own traumatic life experiences, however, it's very clear to all of us that being vulnerable does not guarantee a connection.
We all want to belong.
Humans invariably crave belonging through human connections forged in moments of vulnerability, yet fear the rejection of shame from abusing that openness. How do we brave one to get the other? How can we protect ourselves and remain vulnerable at the same time? Brené has an answer to that, in her book Braving The Wilderness.
The book is short, but impactful. With each chapter, Brené walks us through the data and her unique experiences to show us not only what works but also a living example of exactly what she's talking about. Her own vulnerability shines through in each section, lighting the way to understand how we might utilize the same in our own lives and works.
And at its heart, the message invites us to "belong to ourselves."
Being a creator in any format- writing, acting, digital art, etc.- requires the creator to express their true, vulnerable self through their chosen medium. With writing, there's a very direct line between what's said and the authenticity of the person saying it. There is little shelter to hide in when weaving words- our true selves are revealed in every stroke.
This book provides a simple set of guidelines for each of us to forge our own paths through the wilderness. It sparks the courage within to show up and be vulnerable, "the cost is high but the reward is great." (Quote from the book by Maya Angelou to Bill Moyers' 1973 interview.)
Take charge of your path, and brave the untamed wilderness today.
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THe Accidental Monster
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