I know I’m a big nerd, but one of my favorite things ever is to find awesome books at used bookstores, book sales, libraries, etc. Recently, I was browsing through the books on sale at the library and found a brand new copy of a book by Brene Brown, I Thought It Was Just Me (But It Isn’t), for 50 cents! Wahoo!
I watched her TedTalk a while back, and it really hit home for me. She talks about how we (as Americans) have learned to numb negative emotions – pain, shame, fear and in doing so, we’ve not only blocked (or tried to block) these negative emotions, but have blocked joy, belonging, creativity and love. To be vulnerable takes courage and allows you to be wholehearted.
It made me realize how often I hide in the effort to protect myself from pain. I’m better than I used to be and if you told me two years ago how open I’d be to the entire world (or the couple hundred that read this blog), I’d have cringed. There are days that I bite my nails, second guess what I write, make my roommates read my next day’s post – just in case…and those are the posts I get most comments on. I’ve sat in front of my laptop as tears fell down my face, barely able to get my fingers to type as emotions overwhelm me. There are days that I chicken out and post something inconsequential because being vulnerable in public is more than I can give at the moment. But truly, I’ve learned that being vulnerable has helped me grow. And damn, it’s freaking scary. Jim Rohn, one of my favorite authors said, “The walls we build around us to keep sadness out also keeps out the joy.”
If you have a few minutes, this is one of the best TED Talks I’ve ever watched.