I’ve become a fan of *Brene Brown! This follow up video to “The Gift of Imperfections” might just be my favorite!
As a recovering “invisible daughter of a narcissistic mother” I played with the rule of thumb, a good offense is the best defense. In other words, I had come to realize a few years ago I had developed the characteristic of being on the attack when I thougt someone was treating me much like my mother did. It didn’t matter whether it was someone I knew or not. If the grocery store cashier wasn’t acknowledging my presence and perhaps talking with someone else I would go on the attack and made sure he/she knew I was there and this wasn’t the acceptable behavior…to me. That sounds a bit more civilized than what I actually looked like to the other customers of the store. To everyone else I’m sure I just looked like an intolerant bitch.
I’m not sure of the impetus that allowed me to become aware of my “bad self”, but since I realized what I was doing, I realized the behavior was never going to “solve” the root of my problem… Change my mother! I just didn’t want to be vulnerable to being hurt like that by anyone else.
Now, don’t get me wrong, although my realization was several years ago, I still struggle with the concept of “letting go”. My biggest awakening was – my behavior had absolutely NO impact on my mother, but it has a lot of impact with other people and as Brene talks about vulnerability isn’t necessarily equal to weakness. Now, the grocery store cashier is just a pet peeve and not a matter of personal honor.
Are you vulnerable?
*Brené Brown is a research professor at the University of Houston Graduate College of Social Work. She has spent the past ten years studying vulnerability, courage, authenticity, and shame. She spent the first five years of her decade-long study focusing on shame and empathy, and is now using that work to explore a concept that she calls Wholeheartedness. She poses the questions:
How do we learn to embrace our vulnerabilities and imperfections so that we can engage in our lives from a place of authenticity and worthiness? How do we cultivate the courage, compassion, and connection that we need to recognize that we are enough – that we are worthy of love, belonging, and joy?