Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Brené & Me.

I just watched Brené Brown's talks, The Power of Vulnerability and Listening to ShameYou should, too.

She said quite a few things that struck a chord with me, but perhaps the most humbling was that it takes 'courage to be imperfect'.


In my efforts to attain perfection, I finally see myself for what I really am: a coward.
And it's true.

In Listening to Shame, Brown asks the audience to raise their hand if they think of vulnerability as a weakness. The majority raise their hands. She then asks (in reference to The Power of Vulnerability where she puts herself out there in front of several hundred people) if they saw courage in her vulnerability... and again, the majority raise their hands.

So where's the disconnect?
When we see others show their true colors, we applaud and commend them. We are thankful and appreciative of their ability and willingness to be raw and authentic. But when it's our turn...? When it's our turn we want to clam up and hide out... we want to unveil as little as possible about our imperfections. We are filled with shame.
'Shame, for women, is this web of unattainable, conflicting, competing expectations about who we're supposed to be... and its a strait-jacket' -Brené Brown
Absolutely, it is.
Confined to a life of desperate living, hoping someday that somehow we will attain the impossible: perfection. Or, rather, whatever we've personally deemed to be perfect.  I imagine the standard is different for all of us, but no matter who we are or what we're striving for, I doubt there will be a time when we think we've actually achieved it.

There's always room to be skinnier, or prettier, or smarter, or more athletic, or more popular, or more spiritual, or closer to God, or a better friend, or richer, or funnier, or.... you get the idea.

Brown's point is that there's a certain wholeheartedness that comes when we allow ourselves to be real and honest about our weaknesses, about our imperfections.  Her point is (after years of research, I might add) that vulnerability results in connectedness, and that connectedness is what we are made for.

She challenges her viewers to look at a baby, innocent and new, and to not lavish untrue things upon it (i.e. 'You're perfect...') but, instead to say, 'You're imperfect, and you're wired for struggle, but you are worthy of love and belonging.'

I don't want to be a coward any longer.
I want to embrace imperfection within myself... and I believe that the more I'm able to do that, the more I'm then able to have compassion on and embrace it in others.

I can be imperfect.
That can be okay.

Vulnerability can be transforming.
So, when it's our turn to rise to the occasion... will you join me?

May we find a greater wholeness in the vulnerability of our imperfections than we will ever find in attempts for perfection.

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  1. I have a blog request please. One of my biggest pet peeves is seeing young christian girls wearing way too much make up, fake tanning, and just looking completely fake in general, yet serving a God who created them beautiful. I understand we all have insecurities but we have to draw the line somewhere. Any advice on this for other girls who aren't embracing their natural beauty?

  2. Beautiful. And so true.

    Sometimes I get this, I've even told people this myself, but I find myself struggling with this a lot this year--more than I ever have in my life.

    These things run through my mind:
    -If I'm not perfect, how will people ever see the Lord through me?
    -Because I'm a leader in a ministry, and I'm older, so I know people look up to me, I have to be perfect. I HAVE to have it all together.
    -All my flaws are just going to push people away, and my friends won't love me. I have to be perfect to have good relationships.

    None of those things are true.