Have you ever thought that you were not beautiful enough, not smart enough, not thin enough, not … enough of anything? Or maybe I should rephrase that, because I think most of us feel that at some time in our lives, depending on the circumstances. WHEN was the last time you thought that?
I was laid off from my job: I’m not good enough at my job.
I just got dumped: I’m not pretty enough. I’m not thin enough. I’m not fun enough.
I got a crappy mark for my uni assignment: I’m not intelligent enough. I didn’t work hard enough.*
I am childless. I’m not woman enough.
I’m not cool enough to be in this hip bar.
I’m not likeable enough to talk to that stranger over there who is clearly on their own, like I am.
I’m not talkative enough. I’m not quiet enough.
I’m not rich enough to be in this shop.
I’m just not … enough.
And so you hide, or put on a facade.
I watched this talk on Ted today by Brene Brown who is a “researcher/storyteller” and it’s all about the importance – the absolute essentiality – of vulnerability. It’s such a beautiful talk – you can watch it here.
She says vulnerability is the essence of all human connection, and that connection is what matters in life - it’s why we are here. It is THE THING.
The ability to feel connected gives purpose and meaning to our lives.
A while back – oh about 18 months ago I guess – I did a personal development-y kind of workshop that was all about removing the mental blockages that you create that stand in the way of who you want to be; the life you want to have. I think I must have a lot of mental blockages (!) but the one that came to me that day was around this very topic.
On the day of that seminar I wanted to really nail it – whatever “it” was and I wanted to get the words right so they made sense to me. You know sometimes you can think or talk about things and you know the words are not quite right, and for me anyway, if the words are not quite right, maybe I won’t get to the heart of it – anyway, that’s what I was thinking. So as I was talking to the person I was partnered with on this particular day I formulated exactly the thing that has stopped me from forming a lasting relationship in my life.
It was this: I am afraid of showing myself. When I said it, I thought, “Oh. Wow. Yep, that’s it. Boom.”
I am afraid of showing my vulnerability. Showing my not-perfectness. My ugly side. My dark side.My boring side. My un-pretty side. BUT THAT’S WHAT IT’S ALL ABOUT isn’t it – relationships? Any relationship, not just a romantic one. Really knowing a person, and loving them despite – or because of – their frailties. In fact I think that makes you love someone more, when you can see that they are human after all.
Connection – I guess that’s why I’m here now, blogging – and why you are reading: to connect with people, even though we may never meet face to face. As C.S. Lewis (author of The Chronicles of Narnia) said, or at least he did in the movie Shadowlands, “We read to know we are not alone.”
Brene follows on with the concept of “wholeheartedness”- the courage to tell the story of who you really are with your whole heart.
So this week I am going to live wholeheartedly. How are you going to live this week?
*Actually I got Distinctions for my last two assignments! I AM GOOD ENOUGH!