Out of the blue this morning a friend emailed me the link to the YouTube video of a TedTalk that aired this past summer. All her email said was
“I posted this on Facebook, but I really mean it… this is 20 minutes that I want you to watch. Brené is amazing! It is what I’ve LIVED for the last 3 years.”
I had a million things to do, pages to edit, emails to send, friends to call, plans to make, and attitude to check. I pulled into the Starbucks parking lot and got ready to get out of the car fully intending to watch it… later. Instead I tapped the link and sat there as the video played.
Some days you follow your gut instead of your head.
Brené Brown, the researcher speaking in the video, spent years trying to understand how certain people manage to live their lives wholeheartedly. No matter what, they deal with what life throws at them and just get on with living – upbeat, happy-go-lucky. She was mesmerized by the phenomenon and studied it until she could understand it. It took her 10 years.
I want you to watch the video for yourself. Trust me, you have 20 minutes to spare. But here’s what I gleaned from it.
Everything in life boils down to the connections you make.
Courage is the ability to tell the story of who you are with your whole heart.
In order to experience real connections you must have the courage to be willing to let go of who you should be so you can embrace who you actually are.
And last, but not least…
Vulnerability is the core of shame, fear, and the struggle for worthiness. Vulnerability is also the birthplace of joy, creativity, belonging, and love. So if you don’t let yourself be vulnerable to the bad things in life, you won’t be able to let yourself see and appreciate the great things either.
For a while I’ve been struggling with feeling less than I could or should be. I’ve been watching myself with a hyper critical eye and berating myself for not measuring up to the inflated expectations I was setting for myself.
I wasn’t allowing myself to embrace who I really am.
I was forgetting to take note of the great things in my life now.
I was keeping myself from enjoying being the me I am today.
I know all these things. I coach M in embracing them every day. I nag him when he forgets and lets himself get lost in the past, future, or what-ifs. And yet I forgot.
The video ended and I felt like a weight had lifted off my shoulders. I smiled a lot more today than I have all week. I forgave myself for not being and doing everything I could or should be. I enjoyed being me.